Dr. Michael F. Holick, Ph.D., M.D.
Dr. Michael F. Holick

Osteomalacia and Vitamin D

Posted by admin on November 27, 2008 under Osteomalacia, Vitamin D | 3 Comments to Read

Vitamin D deficiency causes a defect in the ability of the body to deposit calcium into the collagen jello-like matrix in the bone.  As a result, the covering on the bone which contains pain sensing nerves is easily deformed resulting in throbbing aching bone pain.  Patients with osteomalacia often complain of achiness in their muscles and bones.  These non-specific aches and pains in the bones and muscles are often misdiagnoses as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.  There have been several studies demonstrating that patients with severe bone and muscle pain and muscle weakness associated with osteomalacia have dramatic improvement in their symptoms when vitamin D deficiency is corrected.  It takes months to years to develop osteomalacia and associated symptoms and it takes three to six months before significant improvement in symptoms results from correcting vitamin D deficiency.  


Holick, M.F.  Vitamin D deficiency:  What a Pain it is.  Mayo Clin. Proc.  2003; 78(12): 1457-1459.

Malabanan AO, Turner AK, Holick MF. Severe generalized bone pain and osteoporosis in a premenopausal black female: effect of vitamin D replacement. J Clin Densitometr . 1998;1:201-204.

  • Pippa Cooke said,

    I was diagnosed with severe fibromyalgia 20ys ago. I came across the vit d in last few days, I have seen a rhumetologist recently ho did vit d test, I recieved a letter saying it was a little low (48) another pill I was ambivelant about taking more pills the more you take the more side effects resulting in more pills for side effects. I am amazed that suffering with fibro and other health probs also apparently related eg high bp, pre eclampsia with my daughter (from ICSI) delivered em section at 32 wks and my son being still born to mention but a few. I hope I will be given an adequate dose and will keep you posted to near scary future it seems strange and very emotional to believe that I may improve so significantly after 20 yrs this is more than half my life wasted (38 yrs young)to pain and suffering. If the results are so significant I will not be wasting any more time I will live life like i mean it…

  • rd said,

    I just got my lab result for vit d and it’s 17, i was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, my lymphocytes are also elevated and neutrophils are lower.What dose should i be taking to increase my Vit D level? I also do have really bad aches and stiffness, and muscular pain tender points near my low back, glutes, elbow, neck.

  • admin said,

    Dear rd,
    You are vitamin D deficient and many of your symptoms could be associated with vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia. I recommend 6000 units of vitamin D daily to treat vitamin D deficiency which is the same as taking 50,000 IUs of vitamin D3 weekly for 8 weeks and to prevent recurrence to take 3000 IUs daily or 50,000 IUs every 2 weeks.

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