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Posts Tagged ‘nerve damage’

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.


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

Food Sources For Vitamin B12

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

The Need For Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for cell division and blood formation in the body. Neither plants nor animals can produce vitamin B12; it is produced by bacteria. Animals get the vitamin B12 they need by consuming food which contains the vitamin B12 producing bacteria. The plants we eat do not contain vitamin B12 unless the bacteria are present or vitamin B12 is added to them. Therefore, vegetarians need to look for fortified foods or supplements to get enough vitamin B12 in their diet. Though the daily amount of vitamin B12 needed is very small, vitamin B12 deficiency is a very serious problem that can lead eventually to anemia and irreversible nerve damage. Prudent vegetarians will include sources of vitamin B12 in their diet. Vitamin B12 is especially important during pregnancy and lactation, and for infants and children.

Sources of Vitamin B12 For Vegetarians

Some sources of vitamin B12 are vitamin B12 fortified soymilk, vitamin B12 fortified wheat gluten, and soybeans. These vegetarian products are often made to resemble meat, fish, or poultry. Also, there are vitamin supplements available that do not contain animal products. Vegetarians who choose to use a vitamin B12 supplement, either as a single supplement or in a multivitamin, must remember to use the supplements regularly for them to be effective. In order to meet the body’s needs, one should take a daily vitamin B12 supplement of approximately 5-10 micrograms, or a weekly vitamin B12 supplement of approximately 2000 micrograms. 

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