It’s not funny anymore- it’s one thing to trip over a low step every once in a while, but when you keep falling over your own feet, then it’s time to re-examine your health profile. Surprisingly, the solution could be as simple as upping your vitamin B12 levels.
There’s a name for that!
The condition is called dyspraxia, and it’s a neurological disorder that makes it difficult for people to use their motor skills efficiently. “Motor learning disability” impairs your ability to control arm and leg movements and stay coordinated; simple everyday tasks like carrying a food tray, tying your shoelaces, or walking up a flight of stairs without falling are challenging for people with dyspraxia.
It’s a nerve cell thing
Scientists are certain exactly what causes dyspraxia, but they know that it occurs in the nervous system, specifically in the area of motor neurons, cells that control movement and coordination. What other people may call “clumsiness” is really a result of your neurons trying to connect with other nerve cells while transmitting messages to the brain, but being constantly interrupted.
When there is a breakdown in communication between these nerve cells, your brain has difficulty processing information related to physical coordination, resulting in delayed or improper response.
About 10% have some form of dyspraxia, while only 2% have a severe problem with constantly falling down and sporting injuries.
There’s no cure for developmental dyspraxia, but if diagnosed, you may be prescribed a number of treatments that are supposed to help, such as occupational therapy, speech therapy, and perceptual motor training.
Guess which vitamin feeds your brain cells?
Vitamin B12 is one of the most fundamental nutrients for neurological performance, as it helps to maintain myelin, a fatty substance which coats your nerve cells, providing a smooth surface for enhanced intercellular communication.
One thing that happens when vitamin B12 (cobalamin) levels are severely low is that your myelin shield becomes thinner, making it more difficult for your nerve cells to function properly.
Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lean to demyelination, a complete breakdown in myelin, which causes many MS-like symptoms, such as painful tingling and numbness in the arms and legs, stiff muscle pain, muscle twitches or spasms, difficulty balancing on one leg, constantly dropping things, and impaired gait.
So, if dyspraxia is not inherited from birth, then it’s possible that frequent falling could be a result of low vitamin B12, as one of the many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is poor muscle coordination and damage to the peripheral nerve cells that control your arms and legs.
It’s important to catch vitamin B12 deficiency while the symptoms are still reversible, before there is any actual damage to the nerve cells.
To treat, many doctors recommend constant supplementation of vitamin B12, in doses of 1,000mcg, to be taken in the form of vitamin B12 injections, sublingual tablets, or other non-dietary methods, until symptoms disappear.
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Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography/flickr