Just “old age”?
Q: Does myopathy just have to be a matter of old age? My husband’s doctors say they can’t do anything for him. They’ve run tests and say it’s just part of getting old and that he’s going to be in his wheelchair for the rest of his life. Is there anything that can be done to get him out of it?
Dr. Wright: It’s too bad that “mainstream” doctors don’t pay more attention to the benefits of natural medicine. If they did, they would know that in some cases (but not all), myopathy–a condition characterized by extreme muscle weakness and sometimes degrees of immobility–can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency and is treatable with adequate supplementation.
A study published back in 2000 reported on five patients who were confined to wheelchairs because of weakness and immobility. Two were elderly, one was a 37-year-old man with Type I diabetes mellitus, one had carcinoid syndrome, and one was severely malnourished. In each case, the muscle weakness had been attributed to causes such as old age, diabetic neuropathy, or general poor health. But they all had one thing in common: low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
Four to six weeks after they began treatment with vitamin D, their body aches and pains ceased, and their normal muscle strength returned. Four patients achieved normal levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D and as a result became fully mobile. The fifth also became mobile. The authors wrote: “Myopathy due to chronic vitamin D deficiency probably contributes to immobility and ill health in a significant number of patients in the northern United States. An awareness of this condition may significantly improve mobility and quality of life.”
Although it’s possible that low levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D isn’t the cause of your husband’s myopathy, it’s certainly worth looking into. If he is vitamin D deficient, he should work with a physician skilled and knowledgeable in natural medicine to bring his levels up to normal.