The “Vitamin D Craze,” as some health blogs have labeled it, has certainly received a lot of press in recent years. Some research has pointed to Vitamin D as the “be-all” cure for everything from depression, to prevention of cancer, fracture risk and even heart attacks. Others have said that the evidence is lacking, and the need to supplement overhyped.
As is true with almost all things in medicine, the truth lies somewhere in between. Vitamin D deficiency can be an important medical issue for some patients and supplementation an important part of their overall treatment plan. At US Neuropathy Centers, our doctors can help you determine if Vitamin D is right for you.
It is fairly well accepted that Vitamin D deficiency can have a major impact on the health of patients living with type 2 diabetes. For example, a 2013 study in the journal Endocrine Practice suggests that vitamin D insufficiency is associated with reduced cardiovascular autonomic function among patients with type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular autonomic function involves the involuntary functions of the heart, such as control of heart rate and blood pressure. Type 2 diabetes has been linked to damage of the nerves that control these functions. Dysfunction of these nerves can cause irregular heart rate, low blood pressure and exercise intolerance.
What impact does Vitamin D have on cardiovascular autonomic function? Vitamin D has been shown to help regulate blood pressure and aid the pumping and contracting of the heart.
The study involved 50 patients with type 2 diabetes. Vitamin D levels and heart rate variability were measured, and a link was found between lower Vitamin D levels and decreased heart rate variability.
Low Vitamin D levels may also impact how much pain you have and your general sense of well-being. Other research has explored the link between Vitamin D levels and neuropathic pain. The link between pain and depression has also been well explored. A team of researchers, led by Todd Doyle of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, explored how vitamin D supplementation affected women with type 2 diabetes who were also suffering from depression.
At the baseline of the study, 61% of women reported neuropathic pain, such as shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet, and 74% reported sensory pain – numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs.
After 6 months of Vitamin D supplementation, the women’s depression levels significantly improved and the women who suffered neuropathic and/or sensory pain at the beginning study also saw their symptoms decrease at 3 and 6 months.
So if Vitamin D right for you? If you have any signs or symptoms of neuropathy, contact one of our many centers across the country. Our experts can help you determine the elements of a treatment plan that will help you take back your quality of life.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
@US Neuropathy Centers, 2018