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Posts Tagged ‘Paresthesia’

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

3 Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013



What is fibromyalgia, and what type of pain symptoms does it cause? Unlike other types of chronic pain, fibromyalgia includes a wide variety of seemingly-unrelated debilitating ailments.

3 Fibromyalgia Pain Types- B12 Patch

If you suffer from arthritis, then you experience joint stiffness and muscle pain in certain targeted areas of the body. Likewise, people with chronic headaches suffer intense head pain and several other physical complaints.

Fibromyalgia, on the other hand, is more like a full-frontal assault on the body, by the body; an autoimmune condition in which you experience multiple types of chronic pain symptoms in various “hot spots” around the body.

There are three specific types of pain symptoms associated with fibromyalgia; they include:


Hyperalgesia is defined as increased sensitivity to pain, resulting from peripheral nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). With fibromyalgia, you typically experience pain on a much deeper level than others, as your reaction to pain is more severe, amplified by over-reactive nerve cells.

Causes of hyperalgesia may include severe vitamin B12 deficiency, as vitamin B12 is crucial for sustaining healthy neurological functioning, especially where the peripheral nervous system is concerned.

To ensure proper neurological health with fibromyalgia, it’s crucial to maintain normal vitamin B12 levels at all times.


Allodynia is severe pain caused by a normally-nonirritating stimulus that only affects the sufferer.

With fibromyalgia, you have difficulty finding comfortable clothes and sleeping restfully at night under heavy blankets, primary because allodynia makes certain tactile sensations unbearable. Scratchy shirt tags, tight waistbands, and itchy sweaters can be torture for somebody with severe allodynia.

For tips on dressing with fibromyalgia pain, read Choosing Pain-Free Clothes with Fibromyalgia

In addition to tactile hypersensitivity, you may also experience fibromyalgia pain resulting from non-severe hot or cold temperatures.


Paresthesia is painful numbness and prickling sensations, usually in the hands and feet, also resulting from peripheral neuropathy.

If it seems like your arms and legs are constantly falling asleep, and you feel “pins and needles” while sitting, then it could be peripheral neuropathy.

Paresthesia is also one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as a common type of fibromyalgia pain. For that reason, doctors often fail to catch low vitamin B12 levels in fibromyalgia patients.

Since vitamin B12 deficiency is often a comorbid condition of fibromyalgia, doctors recommend checking your vitamin B12 levels regularly, in order to prevent severe depletion of vitamin B12.

Your turn!

Do you suffer from fibromyalgia, in addition to vitamin B12 deficiency? If so, what advice can you offer our readers?

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

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

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Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain

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Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep!

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013



If your arms and legs keep falling asleep on a regular basis, then you may be suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Here are some facts about “pins and needles” caused by paresthesia, and what you can do for relief.

Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep! B12 Patch

Tingling, painful numbness

It’s aggravating when your legs fall asleep from sitting in an uncomfortable position for too long. For several seconds that seem to stretch for eternity, your experience sharp tingling sensations that begin in your feet and spread to the rest of your legs, causing excruciating burning pain, anxiety, and severe numbness.

When these symptoms occur often, you may be suffering from chronic paresthesia, a condition that results from a temporary glitch in communication between your brain and nerve cells in your legs.

Paresthesia is not just limited to your legs and feet falling asleep; it can also occur in your fingers, hands, wrists, arms, and even your tongue!

Once you start flexing your legs (waking them up), the pain eventually decreases, as your brain receives confirmation of electrochemical impulses coming from your peripheral nerves.

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

Vitamin B12 and your nerves

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential nutrient for many important biological functions, and one of the first clues that you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet is its impact on your peripheral nerves, the section of your nervous system that controls muscle coordination, reflexes, metabolism, and various organs.

Vitamin B12 benefits your neurons by maintaining myelin, a fatty substance that coats your individual nerve cells. The myelin sheath does double-duty by protecting your nervous system from harm while also enhancing intercellular communication between your neurons.


When there is a deterioration of myelin, resulting symptoms may include painful numbness, tingling in the extremities, and difficulty controlling arm and leg movements- all symptoms you may experience when your arms and legs keep “falling asleep.”

These symptoms may indicate peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage caused as a result of decreased myelin.

Illnesses that cause myelin corrosion (demyelination) include multiple sclerosis and pernicious anemia, a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Treatment for paresthesia

It’s easy to find out if your legs and arms are falling asleep from vitamin B12 deficiency. Ask your doctor for a blood screening for vitamin B12 levels. A deficiency in vitamin B12 means that you will have to supplement with synthetic vitamin B12 until your stores return to normal.

However, oftentimes vitamin B12 blood tests are inaccurate; therefore, it’s important to recognize symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, and confide with your doctor.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Painful tingling in the arms and legs (falling asleep)
  • Numbness in the arms and legs
  • Electric shock-like sensations
  • Sore, burning tongue
  • Difficulty walking
  • Slow reflexes
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Constant fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Vision problems
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Stomach pain

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+.

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Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms

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What makes your arms, legs and feet fall asleep?


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Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Monday, November 28th, 2011



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.  

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

WHY DO MY ARMS AND LEGS OFTEN FALL ASLEEP? B12 AND PARESTHESIA, WWW.B12PATCH.COMNerve 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.
Seizures and 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.

Also read: Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you


    How do you get rid of numbness and tingling?

    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.

    Read more about vitamin B12:

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

    Multiple Sclerosis and Vitamin B12 Deficiency



    Numbness and tingling: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

    What makes your arms, legs and feet fall asleep?

    Image credits, from top:

    Alex HolzknechtTeleyinex, Zabowski, Josiah Mackenzie, healingdream

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