If you have arthritis in your knee, you know how painful it is just to walk across the room. Instead of opting for surgery or pain-masking medications, I may have another solution. One that treats the cause, not the symptoms. The solution may be for you to simply take more of a common nutrient. And it’s probably a nutrient you don?t normally associate with pain relief.
In fact, increasing your intake (if you’re deficient) could reduce your pain considerably. That’s what the research presented at the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Scientific Meeting says.
Their researchers recently conducted a two-year trial on 100 people in their 60s. All of them had pain in their knees. The researchers tested the participants? vitamin D levels at the beginning of the study. They found that 47% of them were deficient. In fact, their levels were below 30 ng/ml (optimal levels are above 50 mg/ml).
The researchers found that this deficiency contributed to their pain and difficulty in walking. The lower their levels of vitamin D, the greater their pain – and the slower they walked. The researchers concluded that there is a clear association between low vitamin D levels and pain in your knees.
Could a vitamin D deficiency be at the root of your arthritis pain? It’s possible. Most people are deficient today. So ask your doctor to give you a simple blood test to determine if you’re deficient. If you are, you need to increase your vitamin D levels. While spending time in the sun will help your vitamin D production, it won’t raise your levels to optimum levels. A simple blood test can tell you whether or not you have enough.
If you’re low in vitamin D, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement (this is the natural form). I take, and suggest, 5,000 IU a day. It may seem like a lot, but it’s perfectly safe and effective.
Please let me know how much relief you get from taking this inexpensive and readily available nutrient.
Your voice of reason in women’s health,
By Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs PhD
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Wang, J., Nuite, M., Wheeler, L.M., Badiani, P., Joas, J., Mcadams, E.L., Fletcher, J., Lavalley, M.P., Dawson-Hughes, B., Mcalindon, T.E. 2007. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with greater pain and slow walking speed in patients with knee osteoarthritis (KOA). In: American College of Rheumatology Scientific Meeting, 11/6/07-11/11/07, Boston, MA. 56(9supplement): S124.
Low Vitamin D Levels are Associated with Greater Pain and Slow Walking Speed in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis (KOA).
Jun Wang1, Melynn Nuite1, Laura M. Wheeler1, Prutha Badiani1, Johane Joas1, Erica L. McAdams1, Fletcher Jeremiah1, Michael P. Lavalley2, Bess Dawson-Hughes3, Timothy E. McAlindon1. 1Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, MA; 2Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA; 3Jean Mayer USDA HNRC on Aging, Boston, MA.