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Victoria asked...

Hi, I have had chronic pain for 4 years and have just been told my vitamin D level is 15. I have just looked on one of your pages and can see that you recommend not a lot of exercise. I was wondering why I have never been told that. I have been in pain for 4 years now every single day. It could possibly be fibromyalgia.

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The Answer

We will endeavour to shed some light on what the conditions Fibromyalgia and Vitamin D Deficiency are, how they affect you and how they can be treated.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a condition that causes pain throughout the body over a prolonged period of time.

FMS is often triggered by a physically or emotionally stressful event such as infection, injury, operation or major life event but the exact cause is often unknown.

Recent research has noted that in people who suffer from FMS there is often a deficiency in Vitamin D as well.

Symptoms include joint and muscle pain, extreme fatigue, difficulty sleeping, headaches, decreased mental agility and flare up of bowel conditions such as IBS.

There is currently no cure for FMS but things that can help manage the symptoms and help with daily living include lifestyle changes, talking therapies, medication to manage pain and symptoms, low impact exercises and contact with support networks.

It would be advisable to spend time meeting with your GP to discuss if you have FMS and what treatment would be beneficial to you.

Treatment would ideally need to be all encompassing and include input from Neurologists, Rheumatologists and Psychologists to enable pain and condition management as well as psychological help.

There are many medications which can be used to help treat FMS from analgesics to anti-inflammatories to nerve pathway blocking agents.

Low impact exercise such as swimming, hydrotherapy and specifically tailored exercises can help reduce pain, muscle tension as well as helping your mental health.

Some alternative therapies can be used such as massage, acupuncture and manipulation but are not proved by research to aid recovery and should be used only with medical advice in order to ensure that they do not cause a conflict with any medications being prescribed.

Vitamin D Deficiency has similar symptoms to fibromyalgia and is often linked and misdiagnosed.

The causes of Vitamin D deficiency include reduction in exposure to sunlight, obesity, reduced kidney function, IBS/Crohn’s Disease and reduced Vitamin D intake in your diet.

Treatment of this deficiency can be helped by improving your general diet, losing weight so absorption of the vitamin improves and by taking supplements.

Again it would be advisable to see your GP to discuss appropriate treatment and to exclude any other health concerns that can be causing the symptoms you describe.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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