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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

520776874Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency have been suspects in fibromyalgia.  The current small study, hoped to test whether vitamin D supplementation might be effective in improving symptoms of fibromyalgia.  In this study, 11 adult women who had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria, and had widespread pain in at least three quadrants of their body lasting for more than 3 months with a minimum of 11 of 18 tender points. 
Patients had a serum vitamin D level of 30 ng/ml or less and received 50,000 IU of oral vitamin D once every week for 3 months.  After 3 months, the vitamin D level increased significantly from 15.5-25.8 ng/ml to 28-58 ng/ml.  An improvement in the visual analogue scale scores was observed at 3 months from 90 to 30.  Eight women responded very significant improvement in symptoms and a trend for reduction in the number of tender points. 
Commentary:  Previous studies have demonstrated an association between fibromyalgia and vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, while others have not.  In one study of 30 Arab women with fibromyalgia, hypovitaminosis D was associated with widespread pain and an improvement in pain and fatigue was seen after two months of just one dose of vitamin D.  (Abokrysha N.  vitamin D deficiency in women with fibromyalgia in Saudi Arabia.  Pain Med 2012,13:7)
This current study was small, and lacked a control group, and other considerations such as sun exposure and sunscreen, but as a pilot study, and given the lack of good data on successful treatment options for these folks, this approach of once weekly doses of 50,000 IU of vitamin D for 3 months, for those with vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency, is an appealing option.

Reference:  Friere de Carvalho J, Glasner da Rocha Araujo F, Henrique de Mota L, et al.  Vitamin D supplementation seems to improve fibromyalgia symptoms: Preliminary results.  Israel Medical Association Journal 2018;20:379-381

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