Vitamin D & Muscle Pain:
Low vitamin D levels can cause muscle pain and weakness. Studies show that as many as 25% of people with fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) have low vitamin D levels, and that supplementation may help lower pain levels in some cases. One study shows that vitamin D-deficient people need twice as much narcotic pain reliever as non-deficient people.
Your body needs vitamin D to help with calcium absorption and for bone growth and strength. Along with calcium, vitamin D protects you from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D Dosage:
Some FMS and ME/CFS experts recommend between 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily, which far exceeds the FDA's recommended daily allowance. In fact, the National Institutes of Health considers 2,000 IU the highest tolerable daily amount. However, recent discoveries about the importance of vitamin D for overall health are changing opinions about how much is enough. Make sure to talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you should be taking. If you take a high dosage, your doctor may want to test your levels periodically.
Vitamin D in Your Diet:
Vitamin D is naturally available in eggs, Swiss cheese, and several fish, including salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. You also get it from sunshine. Food makers add it cereal and milk to help prevent rickets in children.
Side Effects of Vitamin D:
Too much vitamin D is potentially toxic. Side effects:
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
Your doctor can help guide your vitamin D regimen.