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Posts Tagged ‘Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency)’

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

The Addison’s Disease-Vitamin B12 Deficiency Link

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

 

 

What is Addison’s disease, and why is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency sometimes labeled Addison’s anemia? Here are some facts about B12 deficiency and Addison’s.

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

What is Addison’s disease?

Addison’s disease is a rare illness that destroys the adrenal glands. Since symptoms of Addison’s don’t manifest themselves until the adrenal cortex is nearly obliterated- by 90%- Addison’s disease is difficult to catch in time to prevent damage.

What are the symptoms of Addison’s disease?

Symptoms of advanced-stage Addison’s disease include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Salt cravings
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skin discolorations

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

What causes Addison’s disease?

Addison’s from autoimmune disorder is the most common type, but other rare forms of Addison’s disease occur around the world.

Causes of Addison’s disease include:

  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Fungal infection
  • Adrenal hemorrhage
  • Treatment for Cushing’s disease
  • Some hereditary diseases
  • Secondary Addison’s disease from pituitary gland tumor

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s

Most cases of Addison’s disease result from autoimmune disorder, and approximately half eventually develop other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid malfunctions.

Often, vitamin B12 deficiency also results from an autoimmune disorder- pernicious anemia, which occurs when the stomach is unable to produce or maintain the intrinsic factor enzyme that is necessary for vitamin B12 absorption.

About 5% of patients with autoimmune Addison’s disease may also develop vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Because of the strong link between vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia is sometimes referred to as Addison’s anemia.

Other conditions that correlate with Addison’s include:

  • Vitiligo (white patches on skin)
  • Celiac disease- gluten sensitivity disorder
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura)- low blood platelets

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

Symptoms of pernicious anemia

Blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency and intrinsic factor antibodies can determine if you have pernicious anemia.

Symptoms of pernicious anemia include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mental confusion (brain fog)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Muscle twitches
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor motor control
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Sore red tongue
  • Burning mouth syndrome

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Pernicious anemia treatment

To replenish vitamin B12 in your blood, a regimen of vitamin B12 injections, are necessary, per doctor’s instructions.

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with Addison’s disease and 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 vitamin B12 deficiency

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

References:

Living with Addison’s Disease

Images:

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, FRANK AND HELENA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, Ambro

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

 

 

We know that vitamin B12 helps to protect your nerve cells from harm by sustaining the myelin sheath; with vitamin B12 deficiency, you begin to experience symptoms of severe nerve cell damage, such as painful tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.  Is it too late to repair nerve damage, once the symptoms have set in?  It depends…

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Your peripheral nervous system (PNS)

It’s important to understand what we mean when we refer to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). While your central nervous system (CNS) includes just the nerves and nerve cells of your brain and spinal cord, your peripheral nervous system includes all the other nerves of your body- the network of neurons that branch out from your CNS to your limbs, torso, face, and internal organs.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

Every time you take in the mouthwatering scent of food cooking on a grill, or feel the bite of winter frost on your nose, that’s your peripheral nervous system at work.  Even your inner bodily functions like breathing, blood pressure, and digestion are controlled by your peripheral nerves.

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

Peripheral nerve protection

Your central nervous system is well protected by your skull and by a blood-brain barrier.  The same can’t be said for your peripheral nervous system, unfortunately.

The only protection your PNS has includes a coating of a fatty protein called myelin that insulates each and every strand of peripheral nerve cells, very similar to the way cable wires are protected by a strong coat of rubber.

Symptoms of peripheral nerve damage

When myelin erodes, as it does with certain illnesses, your nerve cells may be damaged by free radicals, bacteria, or a number of other threats.  The results are symptoms like nerve pain, tingling, and numbness.  These are the first signs of peripheral neuropathy.

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

Unless treated immediately, other symptoms of peripheral nerve damage may include:

  • CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 PatchHeightened sensitivity to touch
  • Muscular weakness
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Poor motor control
  • Paralysis
  • Burning pain
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Infertility
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

There are only two main causes of peripheral nerve damage- either an inherited genetic anomaly, or an acquired condition, like pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency, and other autoimmune disorders.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Testing for vitamin B12 deficiency and intrinsic factor antibodies is an important first step in diagnosing the cause of peripheral nerve damage.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Treating nerve pain

Medications and treatments used to relieve nerve pain include:

  • OTC analgesics
  • Mexiletine (heart medicine)
  • Anticonvulsant drugs (for epilepsy)
  • Antidepressants
  • Local anesthetics
  • Braces
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Surgery, as a last resort

Repairing nerve damage

Pain relief treatments will only block the pain, but they don’t address the underlying condition, and they won’t repair the nerve damage.

If peripheral nerve damage is caught in time, then the nerve cells will heal themselves, but only if the threat is removed or reduced.

Untreated, severe nerve damage may become permanent.  Myelin damage could lead to multiple sclerosis (MS), in either your generation or the next.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Enter vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining your myelin sheath, so that your nerve cells come to no harm. Other functions of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) include cognitive health, energy, and red blood cell production.

Vitamin B12 occurs in meat, fish, cheese, and egg products, but even people who eat plenty of beef and dairy products may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Many factors may inhibit vitamin B12 absorption, like autoimmune disorder, gastrointestinal problems, or simply old age.

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Will vitamin B12 cure me?

If you are diagnosed with low levels of vitamin B12, then it is crucial that you get your vitamin B12 levels back to normal, in order to avoid symptoms of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency, such as severe nerve damage.

If you have been suffering from neuropathy for some time, it might still not be too late to benefit from intense vitamin B12 supplementation.  Depending on the extent of nerve damage, a regimen of weekly B12 will aid in nerve cell reparation quickly, efficiently.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

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+.

Read more about vitamin B12 and your nerves

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 1: Physical Pain

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet

Images: Stuart Miles,  luigi diamanti, Ambro, Jeroen van Oostrom, graur codrin, ZaldyImg

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency damages the nervous system, causing chronic pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet.  Did you know that many psychological problems like depression and anxiety also point to pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency?  Understanding the many roles that vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays in your body, as a whole, is crucial in recognizing the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

This segment focuses on mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic madness

Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis.  Without enough vitamin B12, your body cannot manufacture a good healthy supply of red blood cells to distribute oxygen.

Instead, vitamin B12 deficiency causes you to produce engorged, misshapen red blood cells that fail to function well, that cannot perform their duty.  This type of anemia is known as megaloblastic anemia, or pernicious anemia.

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

As a result of your brain not getting enough oxygen, vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms usually include extreme, overwhelming fatigue, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

HOW VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, B12 PATCH

Mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency

Because not all doctors screen regularly for vitamin B12 deficiency, many common symptoms are often misdiagnosed.  Especially with psychological problems, doctors may be quick to prescribe antidepressants or anti-psychotic medication, where a weekly vitamin B12 shot would have been of great benefit, possibly greater.

Psychological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Impaired concentration, low attention span
  • Confusion, or “brain fog”
  • Irritability
  • Acute psychosis
  • Hallucinations, both auditory and visual
  • Paranoia
  • Hypomania
  • Aggressive, violent behavior
  • Reversible manic and schizophreniform states
  • Increased risk for stroke

Also read How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 1: Physical Pain

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases?  Did your doctor also screen for pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency?

What vitamin B12 treatments do you currently take, and are you completely satisfied?

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 vitamin B12 and the brain:

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

Sources:

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Neurological Manifestations Of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Images:

Vitamin B12 for treating Lyme disease, plus 9 other Natural Supplements

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

 

 

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that causes symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency- pain, tingling, numbness, brain fog, and anxiety.  Once antibiotics have cured the infection, natural supplements such as vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients and herbs often benefit Lyme disease patients.

VITAMIN B12 FOR TREATING LYME DISEASE, PLUS 9 OTHER NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS, B12 PATCH

How is Lyme disease spread?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, and it is spread by deer ticks.  Anybody who lives in densely wooded grassy areas is at risk of being bitten by a tick carrying this bacterium.  Once infected, antibiotics must be administered immediately in order to avoid lasting nerve damage.

Symptoms of Lyme disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease may occur several weeks after exposure to an infected tick.  Because symptoms of Lyme disease are similar to autoimmune disorders like pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease is sometimes not diagnosed until after severe nerve damage has occurred.

Common symptoms and comorbid conditions of Lyme disease are:

  • Red rash
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Nerve pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Tremors
  • Stiff neck
  • Balance problems
  • Impaired concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Photophobia
  • Arthritis
  • Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis)
  • Bannwarth’s triad (lymphocytic meningitis, cranial nerve palsy and radiculoneuritis)

VITAMIN B12 FOR TREATING LYME DISEASE, PLUS 9 OTHER NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS, B12 PATCH

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Beneficial supplements

Chronic Lyme disease occurs when people are recurrently infected by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.  In addition to taking antibiotics to cure the infection, many chronic Lyme disease sufferers may use the following supplements to enhance the immune system and and alleviate minor pain, fatigue, and anxiety.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Here are some ways that vitamin B12 protects you from Lyme disease symptoms:

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining the nervous system by aiding in the production of myelin, a fatty coating that shields each individual nerve cell.
  • With vitamin B12 deficiency and Lyme disease, your myelin sheathe may become worn down, exposing you to harmful toxins that may kill or damage your nerve cells.
  • By sustaining healthy levels of vitamin B12 through supplementation, you lower your risk for demyelinating disorders such as vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis, and Lyme disease.
  • Vitamin B12 also helps your body produce healthy red blood cells.  Without sufficient stores of vitamin B12, your red blood cell count goes down, resulting in decreased oxygen flow to the brain, causing symptoms of fatigue and brain fog.
  • Because protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are often prescribed to treat Lyme disease, it is essential to include vitamin B12 as part of your treatment plan.  PPI’s interfere with your body’s ability to digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, and long-term usage of protein pump inhibitors is a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • To prevent nerve damage from Lyme disease, doctors recommend 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 each week.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Taking 50-100 mgs of vitamin B6 each day is healthy for the metabolism, energy production, and increased healing.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)

In order to further boost your immune system and eliminate toxins from your body, doctors recommend taking large doses of vitamin C daily.

Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

Your body makes vitamin D3 whenever you are exposed to sunlight.  Taking extra doses of vitamin D3 is beneficial for strengthening your immunity.

GABA (Gama Amino Butyric Acid)

GABA is an amino acid that your body produces to relax the muscles.  Many Lyme disease patients find relief in taking GABA supplements to calm their nerves, treat anxiety, sleep peacefully, and prevent muscle spasms or seizures. The maximum recommended dose of GABA is 1500 mg, three times per day.

Probiotics

With regular antibiotic use, it is essential to take “friendly bacteria” in order to promote digestive health. Symptoms of indigestion include stomach pains, loose stools, and nausea.  Many yogurts and kefirs are infused with probiotics.  Additionally, probiotic supplements may be taken.  Doctors recommend 5 – 10 billion CFUs of lactobacillus acidophilus each day.

Olive Leaf Extract

Olive leaf extract is a natural anti-inflammatory, in addition to having anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties.  Although alternative treatment is not recommended for Lyme disease, many people use olive leaf extract for enhances immune system functioning.

Oil of Oregano

Another natural anti-inflammatory, the oil of pressed oregano contains carvacrol, a chemical which researchers believe is also beneficial for maintaining the body’s natural defenses.

Raw Garlic

To support a healthy immune system, many Lyme disease patients swallow one or more cloves of raw garlic each day.

Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa)

Followers of herbal medicine hold by 20 mg of Cat’s claw, three times per day, for optimal health with Lyme disease.

Please tell us…

Have you been contracted with Lyme disease?  If so, what treatments did you use besides antibiotics to cure nerve pain?

Do you currently take vitamin B12 shots for neuropathy?

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or offer suggestions.  We would love to hear from you!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Brain Fog: 20 Causes and Symptoms

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

Sources:

Lyme disease- Mayo Clinic.com

Lyme disease

Immune Boosting Vitamins and Lyme Disease

Images:

Wikimedia, RambergMediaImages

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

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

 

 

Do your legs keep going numb?  It could be vitamin B12 deficiencyPeripheral neuropathy -nerve damage from pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency- causes symptoms like pain, burning, and tingling sensations in your fingers and toes. Find out how vitamin B12 supplements can help…

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

They’re like Fed Ex for your nervous system

Your peripheral nerves operate outside your brain, shunting messages between your brain and your spinal cord.  They communicate signals about taste, touch, hearing, smell, and sight. 

The peripheral nerves also transmit messages influencing your motor skills, muscular coordination, and autonomic reflexes like breathing, heartbeat, bowel control, and blood pressure.

Damage to your peripheral nerves is called peripheral neuropathy.  Depending on which nerves are impaired, symptoms of peripheral neuropathy may include disorientation, brain fog,” loss of muscle control, “pins and needles” sensations, and digestive disorders.

Pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency is a common cause of peripheral neuropathy. (Read Do you have Franken-DNA from Pernicious Anemia?)

I think I’m having a nervous breakdown…

Symptoms of peripheral neuropathy vary from patient to patient.  Nerve damage caused by pernicious anemia may differ from neuropathy resulting from alcoholism, for example.

  • Burning and painful numbness in the toes, feet, legs, fingers, hands, and legs
  • Decreased ability to differentiate between hot and cold
  • Loss of muscular control
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Tripping
  • Muscular twitching, including eyelids
  • Indigestion, heartburn, and bloating even after small meals
  • Vomiting
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bladder problems
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Sensation of food getting stuck in your throat
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Excess sweating

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

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

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

At least 20 million US citizens suffer from one of many different types of peripheral neuropathy.

About 30% of the time, doctors are unable to find a cause or cure, and the diagnosis is “idiopathic peripheral neuropathy.” (Meaning, we don’t know why you’re having nerve pain.)

Another 30% of nerve pain is related to diabetes.  Diabetic neuropathy is one of the leading known causes of painful tingling, numbness, and soreness in the feet.

The remaining 30% is caused by an assortment of conditions and ailments:

  • Autoimmune disorders like pernicious anemia  and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Tumor
  • Kidney disease
  • Infection
  • HIV
  • Toxic reaction to alcohol, drugs, or chemotherapy
  • Poor circulation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heredity

Type 2 Diabetes and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Are you at Risk?

Treatments for peripheral neuropathy

Not all kinds of peripheral neuropathy can be cured.  However, understanding the cause, be it vitamin B12 deficiency or Crohn’s disease, can help your doctor prescribe proper coping mechanisms and lifestyle habits to avoid complications.

  • If vitamin B12 deficiency is the cause, then you will need to take vitamin B12 supplements, possibly for life.
  • If pernicious anemia or digestive disorder is the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, then you will have to use delivery methods that dispense vitamin B12 directly into your bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system.
  • With diabetic peripheral neuropathy, you must check your feet often for blisters and cuts, in order to prevent infections.
  • Daily exercise helps to improve circulation and relieve nerve pain.
  • Get regular foot and hand massages to improve circulation.
  • Don’t sit in the same position for a long time, and don’t put pressure on your arms and legs.
  • If you suffer from Crohn’s disease or other GI disorders, then eat light meals that are low in fat, and avoid processed foods.
  • Alternative treatments that are beneficial include herbal supplements, antioxidants, acupuncture, and biofeedback.

Please tell us…

Do you experience a combination of any of the symptoms described?

Most doctors don’t request vitamin B12 blood tests in routine checkups.

When was the last time you had your B12 levels checked?

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information? 
Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link. 
As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and nerve pain:

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

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Sources:

About Peripheral Neuropathy: Facts

Peripheral neuropathy- PubMed Health

Peripheral Neuropathy- Mayo Clinic.com

Images:

Nina Matthews Photography

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

 

 

What do vitamin B12 deficiency, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis have in common?  More than you realize.  For one, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs often with fibromyalgia, MS, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Another clue is homocysteine, an excitotoxin that rattles your nervous system, sometimes with debilitating results.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Part I introduced you to excitotoxins…now in Part II, find out how to keep neurotoxins from disrupting your life.

Born with it: Clumsiness and Two Left Feet from Dyspraxia

What illnesses are linked with excitotoxicity?

Many neurodegenerative illnesses and other conditions are linked with elevated levels of excitotoxins such as homocysteine:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • AIDS dementia
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Infections
  • Lyme borreliosis

“Glutamate and aspartate are doubled in viral meningitis, acute multiple sclerosis (MS) and myelopathy compared with control subjects and patients with peripheral facial nerve palsy.”

What causes elevated homocysteine levels?

When your body produces homocysteine, it is immediately broken down by vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate).  Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 keep your homocysteine levels down to a healthy minimum where already healthy homocysteine levels occur.

However, if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia, then you don’t have enough vitamin B12 to break down homocysteine. 

As a result, homocysteine levels spike, permeating your neurons, causing irreparable damage to your nerve cells and increasing your risk for stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and memory problems.

“…increased homocysteine levels in the central nervous system characterize patients fulfilling the criteria for both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.”

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IS EXCITOTOXIC, B12 PATCH

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

If you have pernicious anemia, then you may not be able to digest dietary forms of vitamin B12 (food, pills), due to a digestive system disorder.

In order to maintain healthy homocysteine levels (and thus gain the neurological health benefits of B12), you need to insert vitamin B12 directly into your bloodstream through vitamin B12 shots.

For maximum vitamin B12 benefits, experts recommend supplementing with extra over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well.  Many patients experience improved neurological health in as little as a few days following vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part II

Please tell us…

  • Do you have one or more of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as described?
  • Do you suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and other comorbid illnesses such as fibromyalgia or multiple sclerosis?
  • How likely are you to change your diet and increase your vitamin B12, now that you know about the risk factors involved?
  • Please share your comments!

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Excitotoxic, Part I

Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Brain Lesions?

Sources:

Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins

Neurotransmitters in cerebrospinal fluid reflect pathological activity-PubMed, NCBI

Increased concentrations of homocysteine in the cerebrospinal fluid in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome- PubMed, NCBI

Cytochemical detection of homocysteine in pernicious anemia and in chronic erythremic myelosis- PubMed, NCBI

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Is an Allergy also an Autoimmune Disease? When the Immune System goes awry

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

 

 

The immune system is a complex network of cells, and when things go wrong- as with autoimmune diseases, allergies, or immunodeficiency disorders- the results can be debilitating at best…or deadly, at worst.  Sometimes, telling the difference between various immune disorders can be confusing.  Like, what’s the difference between gluten hypersensitivity and celiac disease? Find the answer below…

IS AN ALLERGY ALSO AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE? WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM GOES AWRY, B12 PATCH

The immune system

Your immune system is a busy place- it’s made up of your lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, bone marrow, and parts of your digestive system.  The immune system’s main purpose in life is to protect your body from dangerous antigens, which could be anything from bacteria  to viruses and toxic chemicals.  (Sometimes, even somebody else’s blood or saliva can be labeled by your immune system as an antigen.)

Once your immune system picks up the scent of an antigen, it goes into attack mode, producing antibodies to destroy the “alien invader.”   Not only that, but your immune system also sends white blood cells to gobble up the offending flu virus, germ, contaminant, or mutant cell.

Except when it doesn’t. Because sometimes, the immune system doesn’t react the way it’s expected to.  When that happens, it’s called an immune system disorder.

There are many types of immune disorders, including allergies, autoimmune diseases, and immunodeficiency disorders.

IS AN ALLERGY ALSO AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE? WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM GOES AWRY, B12 PATCH

Allergy and Hypersensitivity

When your immune system has an inappropriate response to a perfectly safe substance, then that is called an allergic reaction, or hypersensitivity.  An example of an inappropriate reaction can be an overreaction to laundry detergent.  With chronic allergies, your immune system is trigger-happy, reacting to numerous stimuli by producing histamines, causing uncomfortable and sometimes fatal allergic reactions like swelling, hives, congestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and headache.

People don’t usually inherit specific allergies.  Still, if your parents (or at least, your mother) suffer from allergies, then you are likely prone to allergic reactions, as well.

Things people are allergic to:

  • Pets
  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Insect bites

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

IS AN ALLERGY ALSO AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE? WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM GOES AWRY, B12 PATCH

Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when your body attacks healthy cells in your body, mistaking them for antigens.  There are over 80 kinds of autoimmune diseases, and they can affect any part of your body. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases often come and go; flare-ups cause debilitating chronic pain, and brief periods of remission offer some respite.  While the disease itself can’t always be cured, the symptoms can be treated.

Common autoimmune diseases:

  • Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


IS AN ALLERGY ALSO AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE? WHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM GOES AWRY, B12 PATCH

Immunodeficiency disorders

Unlike autoimmune diseases or allergies, where the immune system is intact (albeit malfunctioning), immunodeficiency disorders occur when certain parts of the immune system are missing or deficient.  Usually, an immunodeficiency disorder involves insufficient or malfunctioning white blood cells, or not enough antibodies.

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is an example of an immune deficiency disorder caused by a human immunodeficiency virus- HIV.  Some immunodeficiency disorders are inherited, as well.

AIDS with B12 Deficiency

What’s the difference between an allergy, and autoimmune disorder, and an immune deficiency?

When you have allergies, it is because your body overreacts to otherwise harmless stimuli, causing uncomfortable and sometimes harmful symptoms.

When you have an autoimmune disease, your body essentially attacks itself, causing damage to your digestive system, respiratory system, or muscles, for example.

An immunodeficiency disorder is when your body stops protecting you from foreign stimuli like viruses, toxins, bacteria, or tumors.

Did you figure out the difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease?

With celiac disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that causes serious harm to your digestive system.  People who have celiac disease must cut all gluten products from their diet.  If eating starchy bread, cakes, or crackers gives you a stomachache, that doesn’t mean you have celiac.  You might have gluten intolerance, which means that your body produces histamines whenever it detects gluten in your system.

If you liked this article, then show us some love!  Share this with friends, and leave your comments!

Read more about autoimmune disorders here:

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Sources:

Autoimmune Diseases

Immunodeficiency disorders

Allergies

Images, from top:

Esther Gibbons, taliesin, jeltovski,  Trygve.u

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