You guys had great posts on this in May but many have sent me additional questions so i wanted to post some details as we now know Vitamin D Deficiency is linked to chronic pain and weakness both important in MS.
1) When the human body is deficient in vitamin D because of reduced dietary intake or inadequate exposure to sunlight, the parathyroid hormone mobilizes calcium from its stores in the skeleton.
2) As a result adults who are deficient in vitamin D may have chronic pain and lower extremity weakness.
3) One reason physicians discount the possibility of vitamin D deficiency is that they assume their patient has had plenty of sun exposure or adequate dietary intake. However, many patients actively avoid the sun or use sunscreen. A further complication is that sunlight in most of the United States (i.e., those states farther away from the equator) is inadequate to stimulate enough vitamin D formation in the winter.
4) Dietary sources of vitamin D are tougher to come by than we realize. Although fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, contain large amounts of vitamin D, and milk is fortified with vitamin D most foods contain very little vitamin D.
5) The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency has been reported to be as high as 21 to 58 percent in adolescents and adults in the United States and 54 percent in homebound older adults
6) Ask to check serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (25 OH Vit D) as this is the most reliable test for vitamin D status.
7) REMEMBER most endocrinologists believe that a normal level should be at least 20 ng per mL (50 nmol per L)
8) HOW MUCH VIT D SHOULD YOU BE TAKING? We recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day (many take 2000 IU a day)
9) In addition to chronic pain new studies show vitamin D is useful not only for bones, but also for balance and possibly for reducing overall cancer risk.