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Posts Tagged ‘Frequent falling’

Stop Falling Down- Raise your B12!

Friday, February 8th, 2013

 

 

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.

Stop Falling Down- Raise your B12! B12 Patch

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.

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

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.

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

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.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Sources:

What Is Dyspraxia? How Is Dyspraxia Treated?

Image courtesy of Pink Sherbet Photography/flickr

Frequent Falling: 10 Medical Causes

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

 

 

All jokes aside- frequent falling is a serious problem, and not always connected to old age.  For example, vitamin B12 deficiency or one of several other conditions may be to blame for balance disorders. Here are some tips for preventing falls.

FREQUENT FALLING: 10 MEDICAL CAUSES

1) Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient for neurological health, and a shortage of vitamin B12 in the blood (vitamin B12 deficiency) can cause nerve cell damage and destruction, resulting in ailments like chronic pain, numbness, vision problems, tremors, and many others related to your nervous system.

One such disorder is gait ataxia, or unsteady gait.  Damage to the myelin sheath, which protects your nerve cells, can result in movement disorders, including difficulty controlling your leg muscles while walking, running, jumping, or standing on one leg.

Symptoms of gait ataxia include:

  • Frequent falling
  • Difficulty standing on one leg
  • Painful numbness and tingling in arms, legs, and mouth
  • Shaky or jerky movements in legs and arms, “clumsiness”
  • Seizures, trembling
  • Muscular feebleness in the legs and arms
  • Poor motor skills
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Blurred vision, double vision, or shaky eye movements

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

2) Obesity

Recently, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society released a report stating that elderly individuals who suffer from morbid obesity are more at risk for frequent falling than frail senior citizens.  While feeble muscles may account for a certain amount of falling in thinner seniors, difficulty maintaining balance accounts for significantly more falling among heavy elderly citizens.

3) Diabetes

Just as pernicious anemia, a cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, can cause nerve damage, diabetes can also create neuropathic symptoms that make it difficult to walk without falling.

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

4) Antidepressants

Alzheimer’s disease patients who take antidepressants are at a significantly high risk of stumbling frequently, compared to dementia patients who don’t receive them, according to this report on frequent falling.

5) Mixing meds

Sometimes, combining certain medications can cause you to lose balance and trip more often than usual.  If you notice yourself falling frequently recently, then alert your pharmacist or doctor.

6) Middle ear disorders

The vestibular system of your inner ear and brain controls balance and spatial awareness.  Likewise, a vestibular disorder can cause processing problems resulting in dizziness, light-headedness, and frequent falling.

Examples of vestibular disorders are Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV, labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis.

FREQUENT FALLING: 10 MEDICAL CAUSES

7) Lumbar spinal stenosis

Sometimes, a slipped disc or arthritis can impair the motor nerves of your spine, causing muscular weakness in your legs, which can in turn make it difficult to walk.

8) Cervical myelopathy

Similar to lumbar spinal stenosis, cervical myelopathy can occur with a slipped disk or arthritis in the neck.  Symptoms include loss of balance and frequent falling, but may not include neck pain.

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

9) Joint problems

It’s worth noting the obvious- instabilities of the joints in your hips, knees, or ankles, are common causes of falling.

10) Brain injury

Balance disorders sometimes indicate damage to the brain, whether from a concussion or illness.  Symptoms of brain injury may include dizziness, sudden headaches, and memory problems.

FREQUENT FALLING: 10 MEDICAL CAUSES

Please tell us…

Do you think you fall more frequently than is considered normal? If so, have you tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about B12 and your nerves

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

References:

B12 and Gait Ataxia

Obesity tied to older adults’ risk of falls: study

Antidepressants for dementia patients linked to frequent falling

Understanding Vestibular Disorders

Frequent Falls: what they mean and what to do

Images:

Brainsonic, Melissa O’Donohue, Keoni Cabral

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