Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D


Widespread pain is one of the most common complaints of fibromyalgia (FM) sufferers. Various types of pain (sharp or dull, throbbing or achy) affecting various parts of the body (muscles, tendons, joints) make fibromyalgia a difficult malady to definitively diagnose as well as treat.

Dr. Ben Taimoorazy of Guardian Headache & Pain Management Institute explains about 18 “tender points” such as the inside and outside of the elbow, the knee, the head , and the chest that, when touched with a certain amount of pressure, cause significantly more pain to those suffering from fibromyalgia than to other people. The response to pressure on tender points is one method of obtaining an accurate diagnosis.

While there are many theories about fibromyalgia—its cause, why some people are more prone to develop FM, and treatment strategies—some recent research supports a relatively simple reason for the pain and a relatively straightforward remedy. Interestingly enough, this research focuses on Vitamin D—a vitamin that the body produces naturally upon exposure to sunlight.

A recent study of Saudi Arabian women, who for cultural and religious reasons are virtually covered completely and receive very little exposure to the sun, showed that most of the women examined had significant Vitamin D deficiency. In addition, a large proportion of these women also suffered from fibromyalgia.

Dr. Taimoorazy clarifies the connection: “Vitamin D is necessary for bone metabolism—it works with calcium to harden bone. Without enough Vitamin D, bone becomes spongy and absorbs more water, which in turn causes the periosteum to loosen and lift away from the bone.” The periosteum is a layer of highly enervated tissue that covers the bone—when it loosens, the nerve endings become even more sensitive, making it tender and painful.

The good news, according to Dr. Taimoorazy, is that “these issues are all very treatable through Vitamin D and calcium supplements.”

Some patients find their painful symptoms are considerably diminished by increasing Vitamin D levels. Because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is absorbed through the intestinal tract with the help of fats, FM patients may experience little benefit with oral supplements due to irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea, also symptoms of fibromyalgia. “Supplements may help somewhat,” Dr. Taimoorazy says, “but if a patient experiences regular bouts of diarrhea, the absorption of Vitamin D is decreased. Therefore, the recommended treatment is to receive intramuscular injections of this essential vitamin.”

What causes fibromyalgia is not well understood, which makes it hard to diagnose and treat. New theories and treatment strategies, such as the importance of sleep and hormone production as discussed last month and the information about Vitamin D, especially when utilized in conjunction with pain medication, help improve the quality of life for many fibromyalgia patients.

The constant goal for Dr. Taimoorazy is to decrease the patient’s pain. If a good night’s sleep through the use of a CPAP machine, orthotic device, or other method, along with hormone therapy and/or Vitamin D treatments will help a patient get relief from the pain, he feels it’s a successful strategy. And the patient, of course, just feels…better.

For more information about Fibromyalgia tretment contact Dr. Benjamin Taimoorazy at Beverly Hills Migraine and Pain Management Institute, 424-302-0289. This practice is located at 2203 Eastland Drive, Suite #7, in Bloomington Illinois.

Please visit our video about fibromyalgia http://bhmigraineandpain.com/category/fibromyalgia/