- High Dose of Vitamin D Helps Relieve Period Pain - But Experts Warns about its Possible Effects -

By Lisa Franchi republished on November 21, 2017

Suffering from menstrual pain? A single high dose of vitamin D is perhaps all you need, an Italian study suggests. But health experts are a bit worried about the possible effects that may come along with taking mega-dose of the said vitamin.

Vitamin D to Relieve Period Pain

A small study was conducted by a group of Italian researchers to measure the effect of vitamin D in menstrual pain. 40 women, ages 18 to 40, were asked to participate in the study. All of them had four consecutive painful periods within the past 6 months. The participants were divided into two groups – half were given large doses of vitamin D five days before their period begins while the other group took a placebo. After two months, all of them were interviewed about their menstrual pain. The group who had vitamin D reported less pain. In addition, nobody had to take painkillers. On the other hand, 40% of the placebo group admitted taking painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NADS).

According to the researchers, vitamin D aids in relieving pain by preventing the production of too much prostaglandin (a hormone-like substance that triggers menstrual pain). Results were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dysmenorrhoea is a very common condition that affects half of women who menstruate. And most of the time, women depend on NADs and other forms of medication to cope with it. Aside from abdominal cramps, a woman with dysmenorrhoea may also suffer from nausea, vomiting, headache and the sleeping problems.

The use of vitamin D to relieve period pain sounds to be a great idea. As many of us know, synthetic drugs like painkillers produce unwanted effects in the body. NASDs for instance, is said to cause gastrointestinal problems.

Experts’ Warning

However, some experts are quite sceptical about the dosage that is needed to relieve menstrual pain. On the study mentioned, each participant was given a single mega dose of vitamin D which amounted to 300,000IU. Basically, the biggest dose of vitamin D offered in pharmacies today is 1,000IU. That means one has to take a single dose consisting of 300 tablets. According to Mr Edward Morris, consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, the vitamin D given to the participants in the research was way above the tolerable amount. He added that such dose may not be safe for all women. Michael Dooley, consultant gynaecologist at the Poundbury Clinic in Dorchester, Dorset had similar thoughts. He warns women not to try said treatment without seeking advice from a medical practitioner. When taking it, extra caution is necessary, he said.

What if You Get Too Much of Vitamin D?

The recommended daily dose of vitamin D is only 600IU for both children and adults. Too much vitamin D (also called vitamin D toxicity) may lead to the build up of calcium in the blood. This in turn, may result to various health problems such as vomiting, rapid weight loss, poor appetite, constipation, heart rhythm abnormalities, kidney stones, frequent urination and more.

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