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Posts Tagged ‘Peripheral neuropathy’

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

B12 Shots: Getting your Medical Insurance to Pay

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 shots are crucial if you’re diagnosed with extremely low levels of vitamin B12, but they can be expensive. Some medical insurance plans cover the costs of vitamin B12 injections, but only if you qualify. Even if you’re approved, you may not be getting the right dosage to relieve some of the ailments that come with even mild vitamin B12 deficiency.

B12 Shots: Getting your Medical Insurance to Pay

Intramuscular vitamin B12 shots require the services of a licensed nurse, and to get your fill, your best bet is to apply for coverage from your medical insurance plan.

Unfortunately, healthcare plans such as Cigna, Aetna, and Blue Cross, in addition to Medicare, can make it difficult for you to get enough B12. Their mission is to prevent death from pernicious anemia, and they do that reasonably well…

Still, there are a host of health problems that don’t go away with minimum vitamin B12 shots; constant fatigue, brain fog, and depression can continue if you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 from your healthcare provider.

Aetna

Let’s consider Aetna:

Aetna will pay for vitamin B12 injections if you suffer from:

  • Diagnosed pernicious anemia, or other types of anemia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders linked with lack of intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 malabsorption or gastrointestinal surgeries
  • Neuropathy (nerve damage) from alcoholism, pernicious anemia, or posterolateral sclerosis
  • Dementia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Elevated homocysteine levels caused by homocysteinuria

Also, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency caused by medications such as metformin for diabetes, then you may be able to get your insurance to pay for vitamin B12 shots.

But no mention is made of vitamin B12 supplements in relation to symptoms of fatigue, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, or dizziness that occur when vitamin B12 levels are even marginally low, in people who are not diagnosed with anemia.

Also, children with autism are not approved for vitamin B12 injection compensation, even though many parents have noticed extreme health benefits (cognition, energy, and mood) with routine B12 shots.

So unless you’re diagnosed with pernicious anemia, peripheral neuropathy, or dementia that’s not related to old age, you will have difficulty getting your insurance to pay for vitamin B12 supplements. If your employer insurance plan covers naturopathic medicine, then you may be more successful.

Medicare

If you’re a senior citizen, then your risk for vitamin B12 deficiency is much higher. Still, Medicare Part D follows the same criteria for vitamin B12 shots as the Aetna plan.

Unless you can present proof that you suffer from one of the approved medical conditions as mentioned above, you may not get coverage for vitamin B12, even if you are suffering from extreme fatigue, sluggish thinking, mood problems, or other ailments that can happen even if blood tests indicate normal levels of vitamin B12.

Conclusion

If you’re turned down for Medicare or other healthcare compensation for vitamin B12 supplements, then fear not; there are other options.

While vitamin B12 shots can be expensive, costing upwards of $25 a pop, there are alternative methods of vitamin B12 supplementation that are available online and over the counter (OTC). Many are cheaper, gentler, and more convenient than vitamin B12 shots, and just as likely to get absorbed into your bloodstream.

Moreover, if you receive vitamin B12 shots through your provider, but you want more to “top up” vitamin B12 levels between office visits, then OTC vitamin B12 is a great option to get the amount you need, when you need it, at a fraction of the price of prescription B12.

Please tell us…

Does your healthcare provider cover vitamin B12 shots? If so, are you getting enough vitamin B12?

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

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Chronic Nerve Pain from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Monday, May 13th, 2013

 

 

Back pain, sore legs, and headaches may result from an injury, or from chronic illness like migraines, but they can also be symptoms of chronic nerve pain resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency, a form of anemia that impairs red blood cell production and leads to severe nerve cell damage. Listed are some typical causes of neuropathic pain associated with low vitamin B12 levels.

Chronic Nerve Pain from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

There are many types of chronic nerve pain, and most of them are strongly linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Nerve damage from vitamin B12 deficiency

Like multiple sclerosis (MS), vitamin B12 deficiency can also impair your nervous system and cause severe handicaps.

Your body relies on vitamin B12 to protect your nervous system from harm. Vitamin B12 builds myelin, a fatty substance that insulates your nerve fibers, enhancing intercellular communication, so that sensory messages travel along the spinal cord to the brain smoothly and efficiently.

When vitamin B12 levels are low, you experience side effects resulting from demyelination, destruction of the nerve cell’s outer coating. Nervous impulses become slower and chronic nerve pain symptoms of painful tingling, burning, and numbness become more frequent as the protective layer of your delicate nerve fibers slowly corrodes.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Over time, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe, debilitating chronic nerve pain and handicaps, such as difficulty walking, controlling arm movements, or maintaining balance.

Unless treated, severely depleted vitamin B12 levels can cause increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, and ultimately, death.

Diabetes

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often comorbid with diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common causes of chronic nerve pain, causing symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency. Diabetics taking metformin are at a high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as metformin is one of several drugs that prevent absorption of vitamin B12 from foods.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Vitamin B12 deficiency is harder to detect in people with diabetes, as the symptoms are masked by diabetic neuropathy. For that reason, diabetics are encouraged to take blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency frequently, and take extra doses of vitamin B12 when chronic nerve pain persists.

Autoimmune disorders

Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is an autoimmune disorder.

People with autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupus, or Crohn’s disease are more susceptible to the autoimmune form of pernicious anemia, one of the major causes of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Also, pernicious anemia may result from symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, migraines, or celiac disease, as frequent vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, and acid reflux make it more difficult to digest food sources of vitamin B12.

Treating nerve pain

If vitamin B12 deficiency is behind neuropathic pain, then only immediate and consistent supplementation of vitamin B12- usually in high doses- can bring ultimate relief.

The best, most digestible sources of vitamin B12 are non-dietary supplements that are absorbed into your bloodstream.

For best results, start out with 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 weekly, or more often, as needed.

NSAIDs are usually not helpful for treating neuropathic pain. While opioids may relieve chronic nerve pain symptoms, they are also addictive, have dangerous side effects, and sometimes lead to fatal overdose.

Your doctor may prescribe tricyclic antidepressants or SSNRIs for neuropathic pain, or he may advise anti-epileptic drugs. All of these, over extended periods of time, may result in uncomfortable side effects, so use with caution.

Topical ointments for arthritis may help to relieve nerve pain, without any harmful side effects.

Your turn!

If you suffer nerve pain in the hands, feet, or back, have you been 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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Do-It-Yourself Chronic Pain Management- 6 Helpful Tips

Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep!

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?


Image courtesy of marin/freedigitalphotos.net

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

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

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

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.

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

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Sources:

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain

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Eyes Jerking around- What causes Nystagmus?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

 

 

Some people are born with nystagmus- an annoying condition that makes your eyes jerk involuntarily, causing dizziness and reading problems. For others, nystagmus is acquired later in life.

Eyes Jerking around- What causes Nystagmus?

What is nystagmus?

Nystagmus is an eye disorder that makes your eyes shake, jolt, or swerve repetitively. It occurs when your brain has poor control over eye movements, and makes it difficult to focus well on a picture, book, or fine print on a medicine bottle.

What causes nystagmus?

In most cases, nystagmus is congenital, appearing within the first few months of infancy.

Acquired nystagmus, however, can occur during childhood or later, in adults. There are many possible causes for sensory nystagmus, including brain trauma and a number of neurological disorders:

  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Neurological side effect of anti-seizure medications, such as Dilantin and Phenobarbital
  • Head injury
  • Brain tumor
  • Hyperventilation
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Alcoholism
  • Nicotine
  • Idiopathic- no known cause

Peripheral Neuropathy- What is it, exactly?

Nystagmus symptoms

There are several types of nystagmus that are classified according to different symptoms and eye movement behaviors.

Some common symptoms of nystagmus include:

  • Eyes are constantly in motion
  • Oscillopsia- vertigo, dizziness, and poor balance from constant movement
  • Eyes veer over to one side and then jerk the other way
  • Eye movements occur from side to side, up and down, or rotate
  • Eye movements may change according to the way you hold your head or which way you’re looking
  • Nystagmus is sometimes triggered by stress, loss of sleep, or bright lights

Treating nystagmus

There is no known cure for nystagmus. Eyeglasses won’t stop your eyes from jerking involuntarily, although they will help improve any other vision problems which may exacerbate nystagmus.

In rare cases, surgery is recommended to correct nystagmus.

In addition to having your eyes checked, it’s important to address any other underlying health conditions which may be causing shaky vision.

In most cases, when acquired nystagmus is not caused by a tumor or head injury, it is often a symptom of nerve damage, which may result from MS, diabetes, alcoholic neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy from vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia.

In such cases, only treating the underlying health condition will eventually “cure” symptoms of dizziness, eye shaking, and the like.

Supplementing with extra vitamin B12 is a good suggestion, as blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency are not always reliable, and may not show a true result.

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:

I Can’t See Clearly with B12 Deficiency- Double Vision and other Eye Problems

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

Sources:

Understanding Nystagmus

Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo in Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Downbeat nystagmus indicates cerebellar or brain-stem lesions in vitamin B12 deficiency

Image courtesy of hapinachu/flickr

Peripheral Neuropathy- What is it, exactly?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

 

 

Peripheral neuropathy is one of the earliest signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, causing an assortment of ailments such as painful tingling in the hands and feet, muscle spasms, and shortness of breath.  Untreated, peripheral neuropathy from pernicious anemia, a common cause of low vitamin B12 levels, can result in severe irreversible nerve damage.

Peripheral Neuropathy- What is it, exactly? B12 Patch

What is peripheral neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is any type of nerve damage that occurs in the peripheral nervous system, impairing your ability to control bodily movements, in addition to involuntary reactions such as digestion, heart rate, and circulation.

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

Causes of peripheral neuropathy range from vitamin B12 deficiency or multiple sclerosis (MS) to diabetes, alcoholism, or autoimmune disorders.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can affect just one part of your body, or it can occur in many areas of your body at once.

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Painful tingling or burning (“pins and needles”) in the extremities- hands, feet, arms, legs, and mouth
  • Slower reflexes
  • Temporary numbness in the arms and legs
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Feebleness
  • Frequent tripping or dropping things
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sweating
  • Poor bladder control
  • Infertility

(Also read: Pain and Numbness in the Arms- 13 Causes)

Health risks of peripheral neuropathy

Unless treated, peripheral neuropathy from vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to complete destruction of peripheral nerve cells, irreplaceable neurons that control arm and leg movement, balance, hearing, eyesight, heart health, and digestive system functioning.

Untreated peripheral neuropathy can result in mobility handicaps, including gait impairments, decreased motor control, muscle pain in the legs and arms, muscle spasms, partial paralysis, and difficulty remaining upright while sitting, standing, or walking.

Though pernicious anemia is no longer considered a mortality risk, there are still cases of infants subjected to vitamin B12 deficiency who have suffered fatalities from long-term untreated peripheral neuropathy.

How does vitamin B12 deficiency cause peripheral neuropathy?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is an essential nutrient for your nervous system, as it helps to sustain myelin, a fatty substance that coats your nerve cells.

The myelin sheath protects your delicate nerve cell structures from outside harm, in addition to promoting fast, efficient intercellular communication within the nervous system.  Without myelin, your nerve cells would be vulnerable to attack by harmful bacteria, viruses, or toxins.

Vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia is one of several demyelinating diseases that destroy myelin, causing symptoms of peripheral neuropathy- poor nervous reflexes, muscle pain, numbness, and shortness of breath.

To ensure that your myelin sheath remains functional, and thus avoid peripheral neuropathy, it’s important to sustain healthy levels of vitamin B12 at all times.

(Also read: Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?)

Treating peripheral neuropathy

If vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause of peripheral neuropathy symptoms, then it’s crucial to replenish your vitamin B12 levels immediately. Most doctors recommend routine vitamin B12 injections in treating peripheral neuropathy.

For quicker results, pernicious anemia patients have the option of co-supplementing with over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as there is no upper limit for vitamin B12 dosage.

This is an especially good option when health insurance benefits cover only a minimal portion of vitamin B12, and fail to provide sufficient vitamin B12 supplementation to effectively cure peripheral neuropathy symptoms.

Please tell us…

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 Awareness…Hello, Anyone?

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Sources:

Peripheral neuropathy- MayoClinic.com

Peripheral neuropathy- PubMed Health

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

 

 

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a rare condition that causes severe chronic pain, usually in the arms or legs, but not restricted to those areas.  Scientists aren’t certain exactly what causes CRPS, but they believe it may result from peripheral nerve disorder. Here are some facts about complex regional pain syndrome, and some tips for alleviating chronic pain.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)- B12 Patch

What is CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), or reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), is a rare form of chronic pain disorder that scientists believe is centered in the peripheral and central nervous systems.

With CRPS I, patients suffer from chronic pain following an injury of health condition that didn’t cause any noticeable damage to the nervous system. This is the most common type of CRPS.

CRPS II is usually triggered by actual nerve damage resulting from injury, heart attack, infection, or stroke. With CRPS I, pain symptoms are disproportional with any perceivable injury and often exacerbated by stress.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

What causes CRPS?

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes complex regional pain syndrome, but there are a few theories. One is that increased sensitivity to pain triggers results from a nervous system disorder and incorrect response to inflammation. Others believe that CRPS may result from an autoimmune disorder.

What are the symptoms of CRPS?

The most common form of CRPS affects the peripheral nervous system, resulting in debilitating pain in the extremities.

Some of the symptoms of CRPS include:

  • Pervasive burning or throbbing pain in the legs, arms, hands, or feet
  • Hypersensitivity to extreme temperatures
  • Painful swelling
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Change in skin tone or texture
  • Decreased motor control

Chronically Pained? Here’s your Essential Chronic Pain Checklist…

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)- B12 Patch

Order your copy of  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Explained from Amazon today.

CRPS treatment

Below are some popular medications, treatments, and natural therapies that have proven effective for alleviating symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome.

  • Pain relievers, including both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription
  • Antidepressants and anti-epileptic drugs, for treating peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
  • Corticosteroids (steroid drugs) to treat inflammation and increase mobility
  • Sympathetic nerve blockers
  • Physical therapy, for range of motion
  • Psychotherapy, for stress reduction
  • Spinal cord stimulation

Vitamins for CRPS

For preventing complex regional pain syndrome, doctors recommend taking extra vitamin C following any injuries, including falls, fractures, or sprains.

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

Also, as vitamin B12 is essential for optimum nervous system integrity, doctors also urge patients of CRPS to take extra doses of vitamin B12, in order to boost intercellular communication within the nervous system and prevent peripheral nerve damage.

Please tell us…

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet

Complex regional pain syndrome- MayoClinic.com

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pain and Numbness in the Arms- 13 Causes

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

 

 

Pain, numbness in the arms, tingling in the fingertips- these sensations are not only annoying, but can also signify an underlying illness that requires immediate attention. Frequent causes of “pins and needles” or chronic paralysis of the extremities range from vitamin B12 deficiency to diabetic neuropathy. Here is a list of the most common reasons for pain and numbness in the arms.

Pain and Numbness in the Arms- 12 Causes- B12 Patch

Arm numbness can occur in one or both arms, and it can last for hours, or just a few seconds. Paralysis often causes painful prickling and tingling, in addition to partial or complete numbness in the left or right arm. Arm numbness and pain are usually temporary, and may result from lack of blood flow to the arms, traumatic injury, or peripheral nerve damage, such as occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you experience frequent numbness, pain, or tingling in the arms or legs, contact your doctor immediately, so that he can rule out any possible life-threatening conditions.

Here are some illnesses are conditions that are linked with pain and numbness in the arms:

  1. Vitamin B12 deficiency- Since vitamin B12 is essential for nerve health, a depletion of vitamin B12 likewise leads to peripheral neuropathy, damage to the nervous system. Without enough vitamin B12 to protect the nerve cells, your nerve cells begin to slow down, reduce in number, and fail to function properly, causing delayed reflexes, pain, weakness, and loss of sensation. Some common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include painful tingling and numbness in the arms and legs, muscular twitches, chronic pain, fatigue, and memory loss.
  2. Diabetic neuropathy- Similar to neuropathy experienced with vitamin B12 deficiency; diabetes can cause severe numbness in the arms and feet.
  3. Multiple sclerosis (MS) - Multiple sclerosis is a chronic degenerative nervous system disorder that causes a breakdown in nerve cell functioning, resulting in pain and numbness in the arms and feet and eventual immobility.
  4. Autoimmune disorder- Several autoimmune conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or celiac disease may result in nerve impairment that causes numbness and pain.
  5. Migraines- In addition to debilitating headaches, nausea, and fatigue, many migraine sufferers also experience frequent numbness and tingling in the extremities.
  6. Stroke- Some of the many warning signs of stroke include temporary partial numbness in the arm, torso, or face, headache, loss of consciousness, confusion, and sudden speech impairment.
  7. Transient ischemic attacks- A “mini-stroke” can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the arms, legs, or face.
  8. Thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) - TOS can cause painful numbness in the arm, shoulder, or hand, and may result from an injury or poor posture.
  9. Carpal tunnel syndrome- Repetitive hand movements from typing or knitting are a frequent cause of pain, numbness and tingling in the fingers, hand, wrist, or arm.
  10. Spinal stenosis- Erosion of the spinal column that occurs with age may cause tingling, pain, and numbness, in many parts of the body, including the arms.
  11. Brachial plexus injuries- For pain and numbness in the left arm, your doctor may need to inspect for damage to the brachial plexus, also called Erb’s palsy.
  12. Crutch palsy- Also called radial nerve dysfunction, crutch palsy also causes numbness in the left arm.
  13. Cubital tunnel syndrome- Also called ulnar nerve entrapment, this is also a cause of pain and numbness in the left arm.

Please tell us…

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Like this? Read more:

Foot Numbness- 5 Likely Reasons your Feet feel like Pin Cushions

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

Sources:

WebMD Symptom Checker

What Are The Causes Of Pain, Numbness & Tingling In The Left Arm?

Arm Numbness – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments – Better Medicine
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Foot Numbness- 5 Likely Reasons your Feet feel like Pin Cushions

Monday, September 24th, 2012

 

 

What causes foot numbness? You know, that horrible “pins and needles” sensation you keep getting in your feet (and sometimes hands), that takes forever to go away. Don’t ignore painful tingling in the extremities, because it could be a sign of a severe injury or underlying illness. If you frequently experience foot numbness throughout the day, then alert your doctor immediately. Here are some possible causes of foot numbness.

Foot Numbness- 5 Likely Reasons your Feet feel like Pin Cushions- B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for your nerves- it helps to maintain myelin, a fatty substance that coats the nerve cells of your brain and spinal cord, insulating them from inflammation and exposure to viruses. Myelin also supports communication between the nerve cells, providing a slick surface for quick and effective delivery.

When you don’t have enough vitamin B12 to maintain myelin, the result is a breakdown of the myelin sheath, called demyelination, which impairs your nervous system functioning. Vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia, is a common cause of foot numbness, painful tingling, and other forms of nerve damage that occur when the myelin sheath become diminished.

To treat foot numbness caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, it is essential to replenish your vitamin B12 levels immediately. Many supplements like vitamin B12 shots, sublingual vitamin B12, or other over-the-counter (OTC) nonedible forms of vitamin B12 are effective for getting your vitamin B12 levels back to normal.

Pernicious Anemia- Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Nerve Rattling- Peripheral Neuropathy

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Multiple sclerosis (MS), like pernicious anemia, is also a demyelinating disease, but it is much rarer and more detrimental. Peripheral nerve damage from MS goes beyond foot numbness, and causes difficulty walking, manipulating your arms and legs, or controlling your bladder.

Because of its similarity to symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, patients of MS are advised to have their vitamin B12 levels checked routinely, in addition to receiving treatments for muscles spasms, fatigue, or foot numbness caused by multiple sclerosis.

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

Diabetic neuropathy

If you suffer from diabetes, then you may experience frequent foot numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, or sore tongue. This is a sign of diabetic neuropathy (nerve damage caused by diabetes).

It’s worth noting that if you take metformin, a popular diabetes medication, then you are at high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, another common cause of nerve damage, as mentioned earlier.

See your doctor if foot numbness occurs frequently, and also ask for vitamin B12 blood screening, as well.

Managing Diabetes and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Shingles

If you had chickenpox as a child, then you may develop shingles in your old age. In addition to foot numbness, other symptoms of shingles include painful burning skin rash, blistering, fever, and joint pain.

Herniated disk

A herniated disk occurs when a disk in your spine slips and causes nerve pressure. Symptoms of herniated disk in the lower back include sharp pain in the hips and legs, in addition to foot numbness or weakened leg muscles.

Please tell us…

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:

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Undetected Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Why is B12 off the Radar?

Sources:

Peripheral neuropathy

Numbness and tingling- Medline Plus

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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