Vitamin D May Help Women with Type 2 Diabetes

vitamin d diabetesOne of the trickier side effects associated with Type 2 diabetes—particularly in women with the disease—is pain and depression. While doctors and researchers have known of this link for some time, there has traditionally not been much study on the effect of pain on the treatment of depression, and almost none on the role of vitamin D supplementation on the association. More recent studies have demonstrated that diabetics tend to have a deficiency in vitamin D, but until a new finding presented at a Loyola Health Sciences conference this year, the connection was more or less just an interesting finding. The research presented by Loyola University Chicago could mean enhanced treatments for women suffering from these particular side effects, which also derail blood sugar control. While diabetic supply companies have been offering treatment tools ranging from accuchek lancets to insulin pump accessories, cheap insulin syringes and other supplies for diabetes, it may be that in the future, doctors will prescribe vitamin D supplementation as part of the overall lifestyle treatment that diabetics receive.

The study went on for six months, testing the efficacy of weekly vitamin D2 supplements. The participants were women with depression and type 2 diabetes. Todd Doyle, lead author and fellow, said about the study, “Pain is a common and often serious problem for women with type 2 diabetes and depression.” Over the course of the study and at the conclusion of the research, very positive results were shown; 61% of patients reported shooting or burning pain in their legs and feet and 74% reported numbness and tingling in their hands, fingers and legs at the beginning of the study. By the end of the study, researchers found a significant decrease in both neuropathic and sensory pain, both at the midway point of the study as well as at the end. The findings for depression were also significant. While doctors are increasingly recommending holistic approaches to managing diabetes—in addition to monitoring and medications using products like accuchek lancets, insulin pump accessories, and cheap insulin syringes—this study marks a new finding that could positively impact the quality of life for many diabetics.

Depression plays a major role in diabetes treatment, if for no other reason than depressed patients typically have much poorer management of their blood sugar levels than those who aren’t depressed. Of course, as blood glucose levels continue to be managed poorly, depression tends to intensify, creating a spiral of bad health decisions. While doctors have been able to recommend any number of products from diabetic supply companies for the management of the disease itself, they may find themselves prescribing vitamin D supplements to help patients who need something beyond cheap insulin syringes, accuchek lancets, or insulin pump accessories. Loyola researchers are pursuing the research and 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 for women with diabetes. This exciting research may lead to much better treatment options and a higher quality of life for all diabetes patients.

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