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Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that causes symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency- pain, tingling, numbness, brain fog, and anxiety. Once antibiotics have cured the infection, natural supplements such as vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients and herbs often benefit Lyme disease patients.
How is Lyme disease spread?
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and it is spread by deer ticks. Anybody who lives in densely wooded grassy areas is at risk of being bitten by a tick carrying this bacterium. Once infected, antibiotics must be administered immediately in order to avoid lasting nerve damage.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Symptoms of Lyme disease may occur several weeks after exposure to an infected tick. Because symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to autoimmune disorders like pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease is sometimes not diagnosed until after severe nerve damage has occurred.
Common symptoms and comorbid conditions of Lyme disease are:
Shortness of breath
Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis)
Bannwarth’s triad (lymphocytic meningitis, cranial nerve palsy and radiculoneuritis)
Chronic Lyme disease occurs when people are recurrently infected by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. In addition to taking antibiotics to cure the infection, many chronic Lyme disease sufferers may use the following supplements to enhance the immune system and and alleviate minor pain, fatigue, and anxiety.
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Here are some ways that vitamin B12 protects you from Lyme disease symptoms:
Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the nervous system by aiding in the production of myelin, a fatty coating that shields each individual nerve cell.
With vitamin B12 deficiency and Lyme disease, your myelin sheathe may become worn down, exposing you to harmful toxins that may kill or damage your nerve cells.
By sustaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 through supplementation, you lower your risk for demyelinating disorders such as vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis, and Lyme disease.
Vitamin B12 also helps your body produce healthy red blood cells. Without sufficient stores of vitamin B12, your red blood cell count goes down, resulting in decreased oxygen flow to the brain, causing symptoms of fatigue and brain fog.
Because protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are often prescribed to treat Lyme disease, it is essential to include vitamin B12 as part of your treatment plan. PPI’s interfere with your body’s ability to digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, and long-term usage of protein pump inhibitors is a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
To prevent nerve damage from Lyme disease, doctors recommend 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 each week.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Taking 50-100 mgs of vitamin B6 each day is healthy for the metabolism, energy production, and increased healing.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
In order to further boost your immune system and eliminate toxins from your body, doctors recommend taking large doses of vitamin C daily.
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
Your body makes vitamin D3 whenever you are exposed to sunlight. Taking extra doses of vitamin D3 is beneficial for strengthening your immunity.
GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid)
GABA is an amino acid that your body produces to relax the muscles. Many Lyme disease patients find relief in taking GABA supplements to calm their nerves, treat anxiety, sleep peacefully, and prevent muscle spasms or seizures. The maximum recommended dose of GABA is 1500 mg, three times per day.
With regular antibiotic use, it is essential to take “friendly bacteria” in order to promote digestive health. Symptoms of indigestion include stomach pains, loose stools, and nausea. Many yogurts and kefirs are infused with probiotics. Additionally, probiotic supplements may be taken. Doctors recommend 5 – 10 billion CFUs of lactobacillus acidophilus each day.
Olive Leaf Extract
Olive leaf extract is a natural anti-inflammatory, in addition to having anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties. Although alternative treatment is not recommended for Lyme disease, many people use olive leaf extract for enhances immune system functioning.
Oil of Oregano
Another natural anti-inflammatory, the oil of pressed oregano contains carvacrol, a chemical which researchers believe is also beneficial for maintaining the body’s natural defenses.
To support a healthy immune system, many Lyme disease patients swallow one or more cloves of raw garlic each day.
Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
Followers of herbal medicine hold by 20 mg of Cat’s claw, three times per day, for optimal health with Lyme disease.
Please tell us…
Have you been contracted with Lyme disease? If so, what treatments did you use besides antibiotics to cure nerve pain?
Do you currently take vitamin B12 shots for neuropathy?
Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or offer suggestions. We would love to hear from you!
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What do vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common? More than you realize. For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.
Part I introduced you to excitotoxins…now in Part II, find out how to keep neurotoxins from disrupting your life.
Many neurodegenerative illnesses and other conditions are linked with elevated levels of excitotoxins such as homocysteine:
Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency)
“Glutamate and aspartate are doubled in viral meningitis, acute multiple sclerosis (MS) and myelopathy compared with control subjects and patients with peripheral facial nerve palsy.”
What causes elevated homocysteine levels?
When your body produces homocysteine, it is immediately broken down by vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate). Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 keep your homocysteine levels down to a healthy minimum where already healthy homocysteine levels occur.
However, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia, then you don’t have enough vitamin B12 to break down homocysteine.
As a result, homocysteine levels spike, permeating your neurons, causing irreparable damage to your nerve cells and increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and memory problems.
“…increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.”
If you have pernicious anemia, then you may not be able to digest dietary forms of vitamin B12 (food, pills), due to a digestive system disorder.
In order to maintain healthy homocysteine levels (and thus gain the neurological health benefits of B12), you need to insert vitamin B12 directly into your bloodstream through vitamin B12 shots.
For maximum vitamin B12 benefits, experts recommend supplementing with extra over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well. Many patients experience improved neurological health in as little as a few days following vitamin B12 supplementation.
Please tell us…
Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
Please share your comments!
Spread the love…
Know anybody who could be helped by this information? Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link. As always, we welcome your comments!
What do vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common? More than you realize. For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.
What are excitotoxins?
Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills defines excitotoxins as amino acids “that react with specialized receptors in the brain in such a way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells.” Because they damage your nerve cells, excitotoxins are also referred to as neurotoxins.
Damaged nerve cells are one of the many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.
Homocysteine, for example, is an excitotoxin. Too much homocysteine causes your brain’s nerve cells to malfunction, breaking down the myelin sheathe and the blood-brain barrier (BBB), letting in free radicals, and potentially killing brain cells that can never be replicated.
Elevated homocysteine levels are also one of many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B12 increases stamina, restores mental alertness, and promotes healthy muscle tone. To maximize on the benefits of vitamin B12, you need to eat plenty foods that have vitamin B12 every day, preferably totaling 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.
Foods that are rich in B12 include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. But what if you choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet? Are there any natural vegan sources of vitamin B12?
Judge for yourself -see our no-nonsense list of foods that provide maximum vitamin B12.
How much vitamin B12 do I need?
According to the current RDA, you only need one or two mcg of vitamin B12. However, that amount doesn’t suffice for people with vitamin B12 deficiency, or people who need extra B12 for energy, sports endurance, or mental focus.
Vitamin B12 naturally occurs in protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. If you follow a diet that excludes meat, fish, and milk, such as a vegan diet, then you may opt for plant-based foods that are infused with vitamin B12. To get enough B12 to avoid deficiency, you might need to supplement with extra vitamin B12 as well.
How many clams do I have to eat?
Here is the nutritional data for foods that are rich in vitamin B12, starting with the highest- clams.
One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12. To get to your weekly dose, you would have to eat 11 servings of cooked clams each week. Hope you’ve got recipes!
After clams, liver is the richest source of vitamin B12. A 3-ounce serving of cooked lamb liver contains a whopping 72.8 mcg of vitamin B12. You would have to eat nearly 14 servings of liver pate each week, or 2 servings per day, to get the most vitamin B12 for your money. Want onions with that?
Caviar is usually savored in small doses, but to get 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 from this luxurious treat, you would need to eat 17 3-ounce servings of whitefish eggs each week. Don’t forget the crackers.
In some countries like Hawaii and Japan, octopus is a common staple, much like burgers and fries in the US. Three ounces of cooked octopus provides about 30 mcg of vitamin B12. To reach 1000 mcg, you would need to eat 33 helpings of cooked octopus. (Unless you prefer your octopus raw, in which case you would need to eat about 58 servings of octopus sushi each week.)
Among the finned creatures of the sea, mackerel is the fish that has the most vitamin B12, at 19 mcg per 100 grams. That’s 52 weekly servings of fish per week. (Can you say Holy Mackerel?)
Let’s face it- most of us don’t eat a lot of seafood or beef liver. Most of your dietary stores of vitamin B12 are probably going to come from good old-fashioned beef. (It’s what’s for dinner.)
Choose lean cuts of beef- not only are they healthier for your heart, but they also contain the richest amounts of vitamin B12 on the butcher aisle. Lean beef chuck shoulder contains 5.25 mcg of vitamin B12 per 3-ounce serving. To get even close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, you would need to eat over 80 beefsteaks per week. Hope you like chewing!
One double-cheeseburger contains 2.1 mcg of vitamin B12.
One cup of low-fat milk has 1.2 mcg of vitamin B12.
A serving of low-fat yogurt has 1.1 mcg of vitamin B12.
A beef taco has 0.9 mcg of vitamin B12.
One hard-boiled egg contains 0.6 mcg of vitamin B12.
Coming next: What about vegan vitamin B12?
Please tell us…
How do you get your vitamin B12- from supplements in pill form, vitamin B12 shots, or otherwise?
We’d love to hear from you- please feel free to leave your comments!
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Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!
Usage of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) is linked with B12 deficiency and other adverse effects, like osteoporosis. Your body produces stomach acids for good reason- to absorb vitamin B12 (cobalamin), iron and other essential nutrients. While heartburn is a painful symptom of acid reflux, having too few stomach acids can also cause debilitating symptoms.
What are PPIs?
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are drugs that lower the amount of stomach acid your body produces. It’s a popular treatment for preventing acid reflux symptoms like chronic heartburn, and it’s more effective than other acid secretion inhibitors like H2 blockers (Tagamet, Zantac). Hospitals use PPIs to prevent stomach ulcers in 40%-70% of inpatients. Examples of proton pump inhibitors are Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, Aciphex, and Protonix.
The following illnesses and conditions are treated with PPIs:
Long-term PPI usage has been linked with nutritional malabsorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and iron. Your body needs gastric acid in order to digest vitamin B12 foods sources like beef, chicken, fish, and eggs. Without stomach acids, vitamin B12 remains bonded to the food you eat and never enters the bloodstream, eventually resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency. Similarly, insufficient stomach acids also result in iron deficiency.
Because stomach acid production reduces with age, senior citizens, in addition to PPI users, are advised to check their vitamin B12 levels periodically. Other people at risk for B12 deficiency are vegans, people who suffer from autoimmune and gastrointestinaldisorders and anybody who has had gastricbypass or other gastrointestinal surgery.
Long-term PPI usage has been linked with increased risk of hip, spine, or wrist fractures resulting from severe osteoporosis. Researchers believe that PPIs inhibit calcium absorption and bone growth. In studies, high doses of PPIs were directly linked with osteoporosis, and that risk increased over time.
It should be noted that osteoporosis is also a vitamin B12 deficiency side effect from PPIs, as vitamin B12 benefits include sustained bone mass.
Increased chances of intestinal infection
Long-term and short-term PPI usage can lead to clostridium difficile infection (diarrhea), according to scientific studies published by the Archives of Internal Medicine.
If you stay at a hospital and are given proton pump inhibitors, your chances of acquiring pneumonia during your visit is increased by 30%, according to studies. While the use of PPIs for preventing stress-related ulcers is a valuable life-saving procedure, a significant amount of hospital patients who receive PPIs are not at risk for suffering from ulcers.
Rebound acid hypersecretion
If you try to wean off proton pump inhibitors, you’re likely to experience severe withdrawal effects, including sudden overproduction of stomach acids- hypergastrinemia. For this reason, PPI users become dependent on the heartburn drugs, and may suffer from adverse effects such as diarrhea, stomach tumors, and neoplasia. Dependence on PPIs happens quickly, as early as one month into prescription.
Studies have linked PPI usage with decreased effectiveness of clopidogrel (Plavix), a medication prescribed for heart disease. Also, decreased vitamin B12 is linked with increased risk for heart disease and stroke through elevated levels of homocysteine.
Have you been diagnosed with GERD, or one of the other illnesses treated with PPIs? If so, have you noticed vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like chronic fatigue, “pins and needles” in hands and feet, memory loss, and anxiety?
As always, we welcome your comments, inquiries, and suggestions!
Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and your gut:
In a recent video that’s sure to change your perception of autism, Carly Fleischmann, a not-so-typical autistic teenager tell us what it’s like inside her head, explaining why other autistic children act the way they do- bizarre behaviors that continue to puzzle autism experts, like head banging, swaying, and refusal to make eye contact with other people. Only instead of using verbal communication, of which she is incapable, Carly has learned how to communicate using iPadappsfor autism.
Branded “autistic” from birth
Born autistic, Carly started showing the first signs of autism as an infant; developmental delays like her inability to start crawling, sitting upright, walking, or talking at the same age as her twin sister Taryn told her parents that something was amiss. Experts said that she was mentally retarded, and close friends recommended sending Carly to an institution, but her parents refused.
“I could never do it,” admitted her father. “How can you give up your kid?”
Instead, they introduced Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), a popular therapy for autism, which also helped her with her severe verbal apraxia. With ABA, autistic children learn small tasks, one at a time, at their own rate of learning, using positive reinforcement. From the age of four, Carly started receiving 40-60 hours of one-to-one ABA per week.
“I am autistic, but that’s not who I am. Take time to know me, before you judge me.”
Still, Carly suffered severe autism, and progress was slow; she would rock back-and-forth incessantly for hours, lash out, break furniture, have sudden angry outbursts, and didn’t seem to comprehend anything that was going on around her, or understand what family members would say in front of her.
But looks can be deceiving…
“You know, I can hear you.”
At the age of 11, Carly was working with a therapist, and she was not happy about it. She was in one of her “off moods,” and didn’t feel like sitting still to learn her vocabulary. Sitting in front of a touch-screen device, she communicated her first word- “No.”
That one word opened up the floodgates for her; she started typing more words like “hurt” and “help.”
“People look at me and assume I am dumb because I can’t talk.”
Over the course of months, and after much coaxing from therapists, Carly learned how to type every time she wanted to say something. She learned how to say things to her parents that she was never able to express verbally, things like “I love when you read to me, and I love that you believe in me. I love you.”
For the first time, Carly, a teenager with autism, had control over her environment. For the first time, Carly was able to have conversations with her parents.
“I stopped looking her as a disabled person, and started looking at her as a sassy, mischievous teenaged girl,” says her dad. “She sees herself as a normal child locked in a body that does things that she has no control over.”
Carly describes her symptoms of autism
In her writing, Carly conveys a deep understanding of the world around her. Likewise, she struggles to get others to understand what her world is like…
On chronic pain:“You don’t know what it feels like to be me, when you can’t sit still because your legs feel like they are on fire, or it feels like a hundred ants are crawling up your arms…I want something that will put out the fire.”
On head banging:“Because if I don’t, it feels like my body is going to explode. It’s just like when you shake a can of Coke. If I could stop it, I would, but it’s not like turning a switch off. I know what is right and wrong, but it’s like I have a fight with my brain over it.”
On covering her ears, moaning, and rocking:“It’s a way for us to drown out all sensory input that overloads us all at once. We create output to block out input.”
On refusing eye contact: “People say that we have a hard time processing information. It’s not really true, our brains are wired differently. We take in many sounds and conversations at once. I take over a thousand pictures of a person’s face when I look at them. That’s why we have a hard time looking at people.”
On autism experts: “How can you explain something you have not lived or if you don’t know what it’s like to have it? If a horse is sick, you don’t ask a fish what’s wrong with the horse. You go right to the horse’s mouth.”
Carly becomes a delegate for autistic kids everywhere
Today, Carly communicates with other nonverbal autistic kids on the internet. She Twitters like any other teen, and she has a large fan base on Facebook and her blog, Carly’s Voice.
Carly has been the subject of many television talk shows and news segments, like Larry King Live, 20/20, and Ellen, to whom she donated over $500.00 to the Make it Right Foundation.
“Everyone has an inner voice waiting to come out.”
She has also interviewed celebrities like autism advocate Holly Robinson Peete and Joe Mantegna, who has a daughter with autism. She is also working on her first novel.
If it seems strange that a site containing information on vitamin B12 deficiency would also focus in autism, then know this:
Vitamin B12 is brain food. In a study focusing on 50 autistic children who were given vitamin B12 supplements, nine of the children experienced favorable results related to cognitive skills like language and socialization, in addition to changes in biomarkers for oxidative stress.
Vitamin B12 is good for the nerves. By supporting the myelin sheathe that insulates your nerve cells, vitamin B12 protects you from severe nerve damagelike apraxia and paresthesia
Vitamin B12 deficiency correlates with autism. Many children with autism also have vitamin B12 deficiency. By supplementing with extra B12, parents of autistic children note dramatic neurological health benefits.
Keeping your heart healthy requires making many lifestyle changes; most people don’t realize that avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is just as essential for your heart as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising, and reducing stress. Below are some pointers for promoting cardiovascular health, including reasons why extra vitamin B12 supplements are beneficial for a healthy heart.
1- Monitor your vitamin B12 levels
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, supports many necessary biochemical functions in your body. Vitamin B12 helps you produce plenty of red blood cells, helps maintain your nervous system, assists in building DNA, and sustains normal metabolism, cognitive functioning, strength, and energy.
Vitamin B12 is also an essential nutrient for heart health, as it regulates homocysteine levels. In many studies, the hormone homocysteine has been found to increase your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Vitamin B12 helps your body break down homocysteine, thus reducing your risk for heart disease.
Goal:Get tested! Elderly individuals, people diagnosed with pernicious anemia, patients of gastrointestinal disorders, or anybody who has had gastrointestinal surgery involving the removal of the ileum (gastric bypass) cannot absorb vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid suffering B12 deficiency. To find out if you are at risk, request a blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency from your doctor.
All health experts agree that incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least 5 days per week, is the single most important lifestyle change you can make for your heart. Conversely, increasing evidence indicates that living a sedentary lifestyle- watching several hours of television each day, sitting at a desk for long periods without breaks, and shunning exercise- is one of the biggest contributing factors to heart disease.
Goal: Break it down! If you’re daunted by the idea of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill, plan three 10-minute breaks in the day for exercise, instead. Walk your dog or do a window-shopping run around the mall (without stopping!). If you work at a desk, set your timer to alert you to get up and stretch at regular intervals.
Prevent cardiovascular disease by following a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Avoid saturated trans-fats, and opt instead for small doses of healthy monounsaturated fats, like olive or canola oils. If you normally eat red meat, switch instead to lean poultry, which also contains plenty of vitamin B12. In addition to cutting down on fats, you should also eat more vitamin-enriched foods that are low in salt and refined carbohydrates.
Goal: Spice it up! Train your tongue to like nutritious, low-fat foods that have fewer “empty” calories. Go for high-fiber vegetables, grains, and legumes, lower-fat meats, cheeses, and spreads, and shake things up with dashes of cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and granulated garlic. By focusing on the spices, you’ll feel more satisfied, and less likely to miss that fatty mouth-feel of fried foods.
Numerous studies conclude that obesity is one of the greatest health risks that affect people today. Being overweight overburdens your entire body, contributing to illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening conditions.
Goal: Size it down! By cutting down the size of your plate, you alternatively cut down your dress size. Try using smaller plates, include veggies, omit surgery drinks, eat slower, and resist the urge to go for seconds.
If you think you might be suffering some of the symptoms of heart disease, such as breathlessness, heart palpitations, increased sweating, call your doctor right away. Ignoring even the smallest signs can be a matter of life or death.
Goal: See your doctor! Pay attention to bodily cues, and schedule a checkup, immediately.
6- Keep your emotions in check
Stress, anxiety, and depression are all taxing on your heart. Succumbing to anger increases your chances for heart attack, as well.
Goal: Talk it out! When you feel nervous, sad, or stressed, confide in a friend or close family member. If you’re uncomfortable asking others for help, schedule a meeting with a psychiatrist or social worker, instead.
At the very least, you should quit smoking in order to improve your heart health and your lungs. Smoking is linked with asthma and chronic bronchitis.
Goal: Don’t give up! If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past, then try again. Research shows that the more times you attempt to quit smoking cigarette, the greater the chances of eventually reaching that smoke-free goal. Ask your healthcare provider about quit-smoking programs, or try using a nicotine patch.
If you snore, then you might be a candidate for heart failure or stroke, according to latest research on the heavy risks of snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is one of many factors that may lead to cardiovascular disease.
Goal: Wear your mask! So far, the best treatment for severe sleep apnea is wearing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP) while sleeping.
10- Take care of your choppers
Over time, your teeth develop a layer of plaque that contains bacteria. Unless you brush and floss regularly, you can get gum disease, causing bacteria to seep into your blood supply and contributing to heart disease.
Goal: Floss it! Floss and brush morning and evening, and floss after meals.
Don’t fall victim to the “all or nothing” attitude. You don’t have to become a health and fitness enthusiast, but nor should you throw up your hands in despair. Accept that with every one success come numerous setbacks, and that lifestyle changes happen slowly, over a period of weeks, months, or even years.
Goal: Take baby steps! All successful weight-loss and fitness experts encourage you to set small, reachable short-term goals, in addition to the long-term goal of better health. This allows you to feel a small measure of success, and gives you the motivation you need to stay on the wagon. Congratulate yourself for losing 10% of your weight, losing a dress size, or every time you make a healthy food choice.
12- Respect your medications
Don’t think that just because you feel better, that you can stop taking your blood pressure medications. Many heart patients make that common mistake. If you are unhappy with a side effect of certain medications, then ask your doctor for an alternative. Conversely, don’t rely on medications alone to keep you healthy. It is essential to follow a heart-healthy diet, in addition to exercising and reducing stress, for optimal cardiovascular health.
Goal: Get organized! Keep your meds somewhere where you won’t forget them. If necessary, store a batch of precut tablets in a pill keeper.
So you’re sitting at your desk, and suddenly your legs fall asleep. You try to shake it off, but that annoying numbness and tingling sensation just doesn’t want to leave without a fight. Paresthesia, a neuropathic ailment often associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, causes “pins and needles,” numbness, and painful burning in your hands, arms, feet, and legs.
What are the symptoms of paresthesia?
Paresthesia causes numbness and tingling sensations, primarily in your hands, arms, feet, and legs. People who experience paresthesia say they feel like their legs or arms are “falling asleep.” Others describe it as a burning pain in one or more limbs, “pins and needles,” or severe itching.
Is paresthesia serious?
Sometimes, paresthesia happens as a response to hyperventilating, anxiety, or just putting too much pressure on one nerve for too long.
Other times, paresthesia occurs as part of a chronic condition, and the only way to put an end to the constant numbness and prickling sensations is to find out what is causing your symptoms, and the best way to treat it.
What causes your arms or legs to “fall asleep?”
Many chronic conditions, illnesses, or drug interactions can cause neuropathic pain symptoms such as paresthesia.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet are usually the first symptoms noticed by sufferers of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B12 protects the myelin sheath, the fatty layer that protects your peripheral nerves. Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency causes damage to the nervous system, resulting in peripheral neuropathy.
In addition to limbs falling asleep, other symptoms of B12 deficiency are loss of fine motor control, trouble walking, fatigue, memory loss, “brain fog,” depression, disorientation, anxiety, insomnia, stomach upset, breathlessness, loss of appetite, and hallucinations.
Nerve damage:Other types of nerve damage result from Lyme disease and frostbite.
Elderly individuals suffer from paresthesia caused by vitamin deficiency, in addition to poor circulation in the arms and legs, or peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
Arthritis: Various types of arthritis cause neuropathic pain symptoms similar to paresthesia, in addition to carpal tunnel syndrome. Autoimmune diseases:Lupus, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS) sometimes cause chronic paresthesia. Migraines: If you get migraine attacks, then you might also experience frequent pins and needles, or legs falling asleep. Seizuresand stroke are correlated with paresthesia. Shingles:symptoms include numbness, tingling, and burning sensations in the skin. Drugs:Drug interactions that may cause paresthesia symptoms are beta-blockers, beta-alanines, anticonvulsants, narcotics, opiates, and Lomotil.
The quicker you get your blood flowing to your extremities, the sooner you will start to feel relief. As soon as you feel your arms or legs starting to fall asleep or feel tingly, do one or all of the following:
1-Pump your arms.
2- Clench and unclench your fists.
3-Kick your legs.
4- Walk it off.
5-Stand up, holding onto a chair or wall for support. Put all your weight on the foot that is falling asleep, rise up on your tiptoes, and then lower to the ball of your foot. Repeat the movement, pumping up and down, without resting the heel on the floor, until pain goes away.
6-Massage hands, arms, legs, or feet gently.
These are helpful tips for temporarily relieving paresthesia. However, if you experience numbness, tingling, burning, or other painful symptoms frequently, then it is crucial to visit a doctor. A blood test will determine if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, or one of many other likely conditions.
Are you at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, one of the fastest growing forms of malnourishment today? Most people with B12 deficiency don’t even know they have it. Find out why vitamin B12 is important for healthy living. Are you are getting enough?
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient called cobalamin, occurs naturally in meat and other protein foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk. Vitamin B12 is one of the B-complex vitamins, and plays many important roles in your healthy lifestyle, and unless you get enough vitamin B12 from your diet or from vitamin B12 supplements, then you might experience the following symptoms:
Constant tiredness, fatigue for no apparent reason
Lack of appetite
Lack of concentration
Short-term memory loss
Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet
Sore, swollen red tongue
Altered taste perception
Difficulty walking smoothly
Poor hand-eye coordination and motor skills
Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to neurological damage, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, memory problems, and misdiagnosis of severe mood disorders.
Even if you eat plenty of meat and milk, you may be susceptible for vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are many other risk factors involved…
If you fit into any one of the following categories, then you are highly susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency:
Do you have diabetes? If you are diabetic, and you take metformin, then you are vulnerable to B12 deficiency, since metformin blocks your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly.
Have you had weight loss surgery? If you have had any bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, or any other gastrointestinal surgery that involves removing a piece of the small intestine called the ileum, then you need to take vitamin B12 supplements regularly. The ileum is the bottom-most part of the small intestine, and is principally responsible for absorbing vitamin B12.
Do you suffer from autoimmune disorders? If you suffer from any autoimmune disease that involves damage to the digestive system, then you are at risk for many forms of malnourishment, including vitamin B12 deficiency. Examples of autoimmune disorders that correlate with vitamin B12 deficiency are Crohn’s disease, celiac disorder, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and lupus.
Are you a senior citizen? The elderly are highly susceptible to B12 deficiency. As you age, your body produces fewer stomach acids that are necessary for digesting vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. Also, older people tend to eat less and have sensitive stomachs, all of which can lead to malnourishment. In order to avoid B12 deficiency, it is crucial to include extra B12 supplements in your daily vitamin regimen.
Do you take heartburn medication? If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or if just take many antacids, then you might become deficient in vitamin B12, as stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamins such as B12 from your food.
Are you an alcoholic? Frequent alcohol use inhibits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like vitamin B12 properly, and causes malnourishment.
Does vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia run in your family? Some people are unable to produce intrinsic factor, an essential chemical your stomach makes to access and digest vitamin B12 from food sources. If you have this autoimmune disorder, then you must supplement with a form of vitamin B12 that dispenses the vitamin directly into your bloodstream.
How can I find out if I have vitamin B12 deficiency?
The only way to find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency is to visit your doctor and ask for a vitamin B12 blood test. If you test positive, then he will likely prescribe a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements.
Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:
“What is vitamin B12,” you ask? Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is a member of the B-complex vitamins. A water-soluble vitamin, B12 is stored in your liver and is necessary for avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency.
What are the benefits of vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 wears many hats. It is essential for a vast number of important bodily functions.
Red blood cells! Vitamin B12 helps your body produce plenty of red blood cells that are required for carrying oxygen throughout your body. With enough B12, you would suffer from constant dizziness and fatigue.
Memory! Vitamin B12 assists in cognitive skills such as memory, concentration, and comprehension. Without enough B12, you may suffer memory loss, depression, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating.
Heart health! Vitamin B12 controls the level of homocysteine in your blood, a protein associated with heart attack and stroke. Without enough B12, you are at a higher risk of dying of heart disease or stoke.
Bone health! Scientists have found a high correlation healthy vitamin B12 levels and a lower risk of getting osteoporosis- loss of bone mass- in elderly individuals. Senior citizens who keep their vitamin B12 levels normal benefit by maintaining healthy joints and cartilage functioning.
Senses! Vitamin B12 keeps communication flowing between your brain and various nerve sites, such as your fingers, toes, mouth, eyes, and ears. Without enough B12, you would suffer neurological damage such as tingling, numbness or pain in your hands, feet, and tongue.
Movement! Vitamin B12 protects the myelin sheathe of your nervous system. Without enough B12, you would have difficulty controlling your muscles in your arms and legs.
DNA! Vitamin B12 promotes DNA synthesis. Without enough B12, you would suffer abnormal cell growth.
Metabolism! Vitamin B12 boosts stamina by helping your body convert fat into energy. Without enough B12, you would feel sluggish, confused, and chronically fatigued, and be more prone to weight gain.
What foods have vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal-based proteins. The following food sources have the highest levels of vitamin B12:
Meat! Beef, particularly lean beefsteak and beef organs, such as liver and heart
Chicken! Poultry, including lean chicken, turkey, and duck
Fish! Seafood, including tuna, halibut, salmon, crab meat, clams, and oysters
Eggs! Don’t skip the yolks- they are extremely high in this B vitamin
Milk! Dairy products, including milk, hard cheese, yogurt, and kefir
But I eat plenty of protein, and I take vitamin supplements.
Even if you eat plenty of foods with vitamin B12, you are not immune to B12 deficiency. Many multivitamins and B-complex pills include vitamin B12, but not in sufficient amounts to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in individuals who are at risk.
The only way to get enough B12 is by taking vitamin B12 supplements. Some popular B12 supplements are vitamin B12 sublingual pills,and prescribed vitamin B12 shots.