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Research Letter
April 14, 2008

Vitamin D as an Analgesic for Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Neuropathic Pain

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(7):771-772. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.7.771

Treatment of neuropathic pain is generally unsatisfying for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus,1 and patients with debilitating residual symptoms may be given nonspecific diagnoses such as “chronic pain syndrome.” Although hypovitaminosis D is highly prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes,2 to our knowledge, its impact on neuropathic pain has not been previously evaluated. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of vitamin D repletion on neuropathic pain in patients with type 2 diabetes and vitamin D insufficiency.

A total of 51 patients with type 2 diabetes with typical neuropathic pain, including burning, tingling, numbness, and throbbing sensations, and physical examination findings of reduced sensation to monofilament, were included. Severity of pain was evaluated by the short form of the McGill pain questionnaire (MPQ) and a 5-cm visual analog self-report scale (VAS) (0, no pain; 1, mild; 2, discomforting; 3, distressing; 4, horrible; and 5, excruciating). Baseline characteristics are summarized in the Table. Patients with myositis, connective tissue disorders, inflammatory arthropathies, and recent musculoskeletal trauma were excluded.