Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago. The findings were presented at an Oct. 24, 2013, research conference at Loyolas Health Sciences Campus.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with depression and pain, but few studies have looked at how pain may affect the treatment of depression in patients with type 2 diabetes, and no studies have evaluated the role of vitamin D supplementation on this association, according to a news release.
Researchers in this study tested the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplementation (50,000 IUs) for six months on depression in women with type 2 diabetes. Depression significantly improved after supplementation. In addition, 61 percent of patients reported shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet (neuropathic pain) and 74 percent reported numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs (sensory pain) at the beginning of the study. Researchers found a significant decrease in neuropathic and sensory pain at three and six months following vitamin D2 supplementation.
Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression, Todd Doyle, PhD, lead author and fellow, department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a news release. While further research is needed, D2 supplementation is a promising treatment for both pain and depression in type 2 diabetes.
Loyola researchers have received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research to conduct a trial comparing the effects of two different doses of vitamin D3 supplements on health outcomes in women with diabetes.
Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, Sue Penckofer, RN, PhD, study co-author and professor, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, said in the release. This NIH grant will allow us to shed greater light on understanding the role that this nutrient plays in managing the health of women with diabetes.
Other study authors included Patricia Mumby, PhD, professor, department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences, and Mary Anne Emanuele, MD, professor, department of endocrinology and metabolism, both of the Stritch School of Medicine; Mary Alice Byrn, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Nursing, St. Marys College, Notre Dame, Ind.; and Diane E. Wallis, MD, Midwest Heart Specialists, Downers Grove, Ill.