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Low vitamin D status associated with balance problems among fibromyalgia patients

Posted on: December 22, 2016   by  Vitamin D Council

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A study published in the journal Modern Rheumatology suggests low vitamin D status may negatively impact balance among patients with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a chronic condition in which an individual experiences widespread musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, as well as sleep, mood and memory disturbances. Patients with FMS often experience balance issues, placing them at an increased risk for falls.

Due to vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory properties and role in muscle function and strength, researchers theorize that vitamin D status may be associated with postural control in patients with FMS.

Researchers recently conducted a case-control study in an effort to further evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status, pain and balance among FMS patients.

A total of 70 FMS patients and 60 healthy controls between the ages of 35-65 years of age were included in the study. The participants were divided in two groups based on their vitamin D status (+/- 30 ng/ml).  The following tools were used to evaluate the health status of all participants:

  • Fibromyalgia impace scale (FIQ) was used to evaluate the functional status of participants.
  • Berg Balance Scale (BBS) measured the participants balance.
  • The Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) was used to assess the physical, emotional and social impact of FMS on the participants.
  • Visual analog scale (VAS) was utilized to identify pain severity and fatigue.

Here is what the researchers found:

  • Patients scored significantly poorer on all health indicators compared to health controls.
  • A total of 33 FMS patients and 27 healthy controls had vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml.
  • Those with FMS had lower vitamin D levels than healthy controls; however, the difference was insignificant.
  • Vitamin D status was significantly associated with balance in both cases and controls (p < 0.05).

The researchers concluded,

“It was observed that low vitamin D levels affected balance in both FMS group and healthy control group. It should be kept in mind that vitamin D level is likely to negatively affect balance and VAS values in FMS.”

Source

Aksoy, M., Alton, L. & Metin, B. The relationship between balance and vitamin 25(OH)D in fibromyalgia patients. Modern Rheumatology, 2016.

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