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Posts Tagged ‘Multiple Sclerosis’

Top 10 Disorders Linked with B12 Deficiency

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a type of anemia that sneaks up on you; symptoms are often masked by other underlying illnesses, and can worsen intense fatigue, depression, anxiety and weakness. Listed below are illnesses and other health conditions that can be helped by diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency and implementing immediate supplementation.

Top 10 Disorders Linked with B12 Deficiency

  1. Anemia- Pernicious anemia occurs with untreated vitamin B12 deficiency. Once considered a fatal disease, doctors can now prevent irreparable nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and loss of red blood cells by executing high doses of vitamin B12, usually for life.
  2. Alzheimer’s disease dementia- Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among elderly citizens. As you age, you lose your ability to digest vitamins from natural food sources. One of the earliest symptoms of declining vitamin B12 levels is memory loss. With age-related dementia, undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency can exacerbate symptoms like forgetfulness, confusion, moodiness, and paranoia.  That’s why doctors recommend routine serum vitamin B12 screenings for individuals over the age of 60.
  3. Mental illness- Scientists have found that people with bipolar disorder, chronic depression, or post-partum psychosis respond better to medications when vitamin B12 levels are normal. Conversely, vitamin B12 deficiency in people suffering from mental illness (depression, schizophrenia) results in a worsening of symptoms.
  4. Peripheral neuropathy- Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system, as it supports myelin, a fatty coating that insulates your nerve cells. Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage. Symptoms include painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, muscle spasms, and poor reflexes.
  5. Multiple sclerosis- B12 deficiency is sometimes misdiagnosed as MS, as the symptoms are similar and both conditions involve a breakdown of myelin. Vitamin B12 deficiency in multiple sclerosis patients can also magnify symptoms of numbness, muscle pain, and fatigue.
  6. Vertigo- Dizziness and vertigo is one of many side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  7. Chronic fatigue syndrome- Severe fatigue can be helped by correcting a vitamin B12 deficiency, as B12 is needed for energy and mental wellness. Also, many chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers also have gastrointestinal disorders that prevent proper absorption of vitamin B12 from foods, leading to lower than normal B12 levels.
  8. Fibromyalgia- Similar to CFS, fibromyalgia is also comorbid with severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
  9. Erectile dysfunction- Many oft-cited scientific reports have seen a link between sexual disorders and abnormally low levels of vitamin B12.
  10. Infertility- Vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy or while trying to conceive can increase your risk for premature birth, miscarriage, and difficulty conceiving.

If you have any of the illnesses listed above, have you been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency? Sometimes, false-negative test results fail to determine vitamin B12 deficiency when symptoms are evident.

Since vitamin B12 is safe to use in even highest doses, doctors recommend supplementing if any of the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency make it difficult to function normally, even without a diagnosis.

Also read

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Image courtesy of piyaphantawong

Why do I have Numbness in my Fingers?

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

 

 

If your fingers feel numb and tingly more often than usual, then it can indicate a problem with your nerve endings or blood flow.  Paresthesia- annoying “pins and needles” in your hands, fingertips, feet, and toes happens a lot with vitamin B12 deficiency and other conditions that affect the nervous system. Listed are some reasons that people get painful numbness in the extremities.

Why do I have Numbness in my Fingers?

Nerve damage from vitamin B12 deficiency

Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet are some of the first signs of peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia (severely low vitamin B12). People often complain about their hands or legs constantly “going to sleep” before they even get their vitamin B12 blood levels checked.

The reason for this is that vitamin B12 is absolutely critical for a healthy nervous system, as it helps to maintain myelin, a protective coating that shields your nerve cells from harm and also enhances communication along the network of synapses.

Unchecked, vitamin B12 levels will continue to decline, leading to even worse symptoms of nerve cell damage and other debilitating ailments; depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, brain fog, and memory problems are all conditions linked with pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Pain and Numbness from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you experience any of the symptoms listed, then see a doctor. Ask for a blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency. Or, start taking vitamin B12 supplements right away, and see if you notice any improvement. Vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, so you don’t need to worry about taking too much.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder that erodes myelin- the same substance the goes under attack with vitamin B12 deficiency. Numbness and tingling is a minor symptom of MS; for some, nerve damage impairs your ability to walk or speak without severe difficulty.

Diabetes

Diabetic neuropathy- nerve damage caused by symptoms of type 2 diabetes- is also a possible cause for constant numbness in your fingertips and toes. If it occurs, speak to your doctor. If you are diabetic, then you should be in the habit of testing your hands and legs for signs of numbness, and checking for wounds.

Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep!

Carpal tunnel syndrome

If you work at a computer all day, then it’s normal for your fingers to go numb every now and then from the constant tap-tap-tapping at the keyboard. Carpal tunnel syndrome, which you get from repetitive hand motions, is a common cause of pain in the fingers, hands, and wrists. You can also get this from knitting, gaming, and playing the piano.

To treat, make a habit of taking a break every 20 minutes. If you have a hard time remembering, then set a timer to warn you when you should stop, stretch your fingers, and twirl your wrists, even for just a few minutes.

Raynaud’s phenomenon

Common in people with lupus, Raynaud’s disease causes numbness or cooling in the extremities, including the fingers, toes, nose, and ears. This happens because of inadequate blood flow to these areas.

Do you know any other conditions that cause painful numbness in the fingers, hands, legs, and feet? Please comment below!

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Image courtesy of Juliana Coutinho

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 3

Monday, March 4th, 2013

 

 

Pernicious anemia (PA) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are both autoimmune disorders that cause fatigue, chronic pain, and physical handicaps, but that is where their similarities end. If that’s the case, why are so many doctors quick to diagnose multiple sclerosis before testing for simple vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia?

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple=

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS)

There is single test to determine multiple sclerosis; if you suffer from symptoms indicating MS, then you may need to visit a neurologist, who will run a series of tests in order to determine if you are indeed suffering from multiple sclerosis, and not another condition with similar disorders, such as pernicious anemia, which often mimic the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

Criteria used to diagnose multiple sclerosis include:

  • Symptoms of fatigue, dizziness, muscle pain, and vision problems
  • Symptoms that began between the ages of 20-50
  • Signs of neurological disorder
  • Two or more brain lesions that are evident from MRI scans
  • Debilitating symptoms that occur in phases at least one month apart
  • Vitamin B12 levels are normal
  • No other underlying diseases are detected

Tests and procedures that confirm multiple sclerosis include:

  • MRI brain scan
  • Spinal tap
  • Evoked potential tests
  • Blood tests

Diagnosing pernicious anemia (PA)

The main indicator of pernicious anemia is severe depletion of vitamin B12 levels in the blood. However, pernicious anemia is not the only cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. (Other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include vegan dieting, bariatric surgery, autoimmune disorder, GERD or diabetes medications, alcoholism, and old age.)

In order to determine that vitamin B12 deficiency is from pernicious anemia, your doctor will need to run some tests and look for specific criteria that indicate pernicious anemia.

Criteria used to diagnose pernicious anemia include:

  • Family history for pernicious anemia or autoimmune disorders
  • Underlying immune system malfunctioning
  • Lack of intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme needed to absorb vitamin B12 from foods and pills
  • Gastrointestinal problems (Crohn’s disease, celiac disease)

Tests and procedures that confirm pernicious anemia include:

  • Physical exam
  • Vitamin B12 blood test
  • Intrinsic factor antibody
  • Parietal cell antibody
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Reticulocyte count
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylmalonic acid (MMA)
  • Iron-binding capacity
  • Bone marrow

Also read:

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1 (overview)

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 2 (Symptoms)

Your turn!

Have you been misdiagnosed with MS, when really you have low vitamin B12 levels?

How many years do you think you had vitamin B12 deficiency before you finally got a correct diagnosis?

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:

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

15 Chronic Pain Causes and 15 Treatments (Vitamin B12 is one)

Sources:

Diagnosing Multiple Sclerosis

How Is Pernicious Anemia Diagnosed?

Image(s) courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 2

Friday, March 1st, 2013

 

 

Pernicious anemia (PA) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are both autoimmune disorders that cause fatigue, chronic pain, and physical handicaps, but that is where their similarities end. If that’s the case, why are so many doctors quick to diagnose multiple sclerosis before testing for simple vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia?

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple=

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Early symptoms of multiple sclerosis often vary for the individual, making a diagnosis even harder to achieve.

Multiple sclerosis can be elusive; some days you may feel fine, while other times you experience unusual warning signs of nerve damage, pain symptoms that last for weeks, only to have them disappear again for months…or years at a time.

Like pernicious anemia, the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis usually occur in your 30s and 40s.

Early signs of multiple sclerosis may include:

  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (“pins and needles”)
  • Constant itchiness
  • Sore, burning tongue
  • Vision problems- blurriness, double vision, eye pain, partial blindness
  • Difficulty manipulating arm and leg movements, making it harder to walk or grasp small objects
  • Poor balance
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Muscle spasms, tremors
  • Brain fog, disorientation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Low sex drive
  • Poor bladder control

Symptoms of pernicious anemia

Symptoms of pernicious anemia occur as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency, which in turn triggers debilitating conditions caused by diminished red blood cells (and thus oxygen depletion) and damage to the nervous system (peripheral neuropathy).

It’s worth noting that may of the symptoms of pernicious anemia are almost identical to those experienced by multiple sclerosis patients.

Unlike symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which come and go in stages, pernicious anemia symptoms- chronic fatigue, muscle pain, dizziness- are ever present,  and continue to worsen until vitamin B12 levels get back to normal.

Signs of pernicious anemia include:

  • Brain fog (fuzzy thinking)
  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (“pins and needles”)
  • Difficulty balancing on one leg
  • Decreased motor skills
  • Gait disturbances
  • Sore, burning red tongue
  • Eye twitches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Partial paralysis
  • Vision problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea

Stay with us! Part 3 discusses ways your doctor may diagnose multiple sclerosis or pernicious anemia.

Your turn!

Have you been misdiagnosed with MS, when really you have low vitamin B12 levels?

How many years do you think you had vitamin B12 deficiency before you finally got a correct diagnosis?

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:

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

15 Chronic Pain Causes and 15 Treatments (Vitamin B12 is one)

Sources:

Early Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Tingling, Numbness, Balance, and More

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia?

Image(s) courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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