Why a Vitamin D Deficiency Could Be The Cause of Your Joint and Muscle Pain: A guide for patients
The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is sometimes called the 'sunshine vitamin' because your body naturally produces vitamin D when it is directly exposed to sunlight. It is not as easily absorbed into your bloodstream from food sources. The UK government and the NHS, have issued public health advice, stating that everyone over the age of 1, should consider taking a vitamin D supplement in the Autumn and Winter Months, when we don't have enough natural sunshine and to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin.
- In the winter months, as many as 75% of us are Vitamin D deficient.
- A Vitamin D supplement is the most effective way to ensure that you're getting an adequate boost.
Vitamin D has many important functions. Perhaps the most vital is regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus and facilitating normal immune system function. Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases. According to research published in the British Medical Journal, Vitamin D is proven to reduce COVID-19 infection and severity, and this is true of other winter illnesses like the common cold and flu.
Vitamin D and how it can help in Pain Management
Various studies conducted by trusted health bodies have reported the following:
- People living with chronic pain who were deficient in vitamin D are most likely to benefit from taking vitamin D supplements (further studies are needed to determine whether vitamin D supplements can help everyone living with chronic pain - but the information gathered so far is promising).
- Adults with a vitamin D deficiency who are older than 50 are more likely to develop pain in their hip and knee joints. Studies have concluded that the associated pain is likely to get worse if the deficiency isn’t treated.
- In studies conducted on people with rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune condition that causes the body to attack its joints), most of the participants had low vitamin D levels.
It is important to note that Vitamin D is not a cure for pain, but if you have a vitamin D deficiency, this could be contributing to increased pain and hindering your recovery.
A simple blood test via your GP can determine if you have a vitamin D deficiency. You can also do a test at home using a readily available skin-prick blood test kit.
Common Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency
The Surprising Health Benefits of Vitamin D