Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D
For years now, Science has been trying to find out any possible association between Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic non-articular rheumatologic disorder specified with chronic systemic musculoskeletal pains causing morning stiffness, fatigue, sleep disorder, multiple tender points, low pain threshold, symptoms of depression and anxiety and intestinal dysmotility.
Fibromyalgia is generally considered to be a stress-related disorder that involves abnormal functioning in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Similarly, to other psychiatric disorders, fibromyalgia has been associated with the inability to suppress cortisol.
Causes are still unknown however, several studies reported the effects of abnormal levels of neurotransmitters and disorders of the endocrine system in patients affected by fibromyalgia. So particular attention is needed regarding the interaction between neuro-endocrine, metabolic, and immunologic factors.
But there are other factors such as genetics, serotonin, melatonin, substance P, endorphins and vitamin D that have been reported to be responsible for the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia.
Science is still working on it. Studies indicate that 4-5% of the 30-60-year-old population in USA suffer of fibromyalgia and almost 90% of whom are female. The prevalence of fibromyalgia can vary from 7.3% to 12.9% across different countries, but the incidence in women is nine fold higher than that in men.
Why Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is an important regulator of the immune system which acts as an active cofactor in the incidence of autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus and irritable bowel syndrome.
Besides there are several studies suggesting a possible relationship between musculoskeletal pain and vitamin D deficiency.
Overall a meta-analysis study, that included 12 large trials in fibromyalgia and Vitamin D revealed credible evidence that vitamin D can be a determinant factor for fibromyalgia (Reference 1, Reference 2).
If you are concerned that you are not getting enough vitamin D from sunshine then up your intake of fatty fish and seafood. They are among the foods highest in vitamin D, though exact vitamin content may vary depending on the type and source of the food in question.
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