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Hip Pain & Vitamin D Deficiency

By Lynn Hetzler

Hip pain can prevent you from work, exercise or doing the things you enjoy. There are many things that can cause hip pain, from illness to injury. A vitamin D deficiency may also contribute to hip pain. The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements says vitamin D deficiency causes bone pain and can even result in arthritis. In some cases, resolving a vitamin D deficiency may help you manage your hip pain.


A doctor can diagnose the cause of your hip pain. She will perform a thorough physical examination and ask if you have fallen recently or sustained other injuries that may be causing hip pain. She will order standard x-rays of your hip, as well as other radiology tests like MRI and CT scans. Blood tests may be performed to measure the amount of vitamin D in your blood, as well as tests for arthritis.

Importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone development and health. Low vitamin D levels can lead to weak or brittle bones, a condition known as osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no cure for osteoarthritis. Symptoms usually begin after the age of 40. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause osteomalacia, a disorder linked to bone pain.

Effects of Vitamin D on Rheumatoid Arthritis

"Arthritis Today", the online magazine from the Arthritis Foundation says vitamin D deficiency may play a significant role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects the lining of your joints, causing painful swelling that can result in joint deformity and erosion of the bone.

Sources of Vitamin D

You get vitamin D from only two sources: from sunlight exposure on your skin and from your food and supplements, according to You would only need as little as five minutes without sunscreen a few times a week to get it from the sun. Those living in the northern section of the United States may not get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D during the winter months. There are a few foods containing vitamin D. Fresh oranges and orange juices do have vitamin D. Salmon, tuna, eggs, fortified breads and cereals and milk are also good sources of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Supplements

Discuss taking vitamin D supplements with your doctor. Some prescription medicines, like prednisone or anti-seizure medications, may decrease the amount of vitamin D in your body. Additionally, review with your doctor any prescription or over-the-counter medications you are taking to be sure you won’t suffer any harmful interactions between your prescription drugs and vitamin D. Avoid taking too much vitamin D, as that can result in nausea and vomiting, confusion or even serious heart problems.

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