A recent study (reference below) of patients in England who were being treated by rheumatologists for inflammatory arthritis and chronic pain found that most were diagnosed as deficient in vitamin D at the start of treatment, were prescribed a daily dose of vitamin D that is now known to be inadequate and remained deficient in vitamin D during treatment for their primary complaint.
These results suggest a very odd situation in medical treatment for inflammation-based diseases, which include cancers, degenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases.
- The symptoms of inflammatory diseases are the same as those of vitamin D deficiencies.
- Patients with symptoms of inflammation are frequently not screened for vitamin D deficiency or are screened incorrectly (20% of physicians order the wrong test).
- Prescriptions for vitamin D supplements are inadequate to correct deficiencies.
- Treatment is not reassessed to confirm that the deficiencies have been remedied.
- Vitamin D deficiencies are routinely left untreated.
A Modest Proposal: This might mean that a huge fraction of the inflammatory epidemic could be remedied by having people roll up their sleeves and pant legs and spend 20 minutes in the midday sun. After two weeks of this treatment, the U.S. health care budget could be reduced by a detectable percentage (10% reduction in symptoms?)
Mouyis M, Ostor AJ, Crisp AJ, Ginawi A, Halsall DJ, Shenker N, Poole KE. 2008. Hypovitaminosis D among rheumatology outpatients in clinical practice. Rheumatology (Oxford) 47(9):1348-51.