Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can also come on relatively quickly. Given the array of symptoms a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the condition can be overlooked or confused with something else. Vitamin B12deficiency symptoms may include:
- strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
- difficulty walking
- difficulty thinking and reasoning , or memory loss
While an experienced physician may notice the symptoms and be able to detect a vitamin B12 deficiency with a good interview and physical exam, a blood test is needed to confirm the condition.
Its a good idea to ask your doctor about having your B12 level checked if you are a strict vegetarian or have had weight-loss surgery or have a condition that interferes with the absorption of food.
Early detection and treatment is important. If left untreated, the deficiency can cause severe neurologic problems and blood diseases.
Ranking The Best Nerve Health Supplements For Neuropathy Support
To rank the best nerve health supplements available, our editorial team tested and analyzed supplements, contacted manufacturers and labs, and painstakingly rated each supplement based on its effectiveness.
Here are our rankings of the best nerve supplements for 2021:
- Nerve Control 911
- Bonus Nerve Pain Guide #1: Neuropathy No More
- Bonus Nerve Pain Guide #2: Neuropathy Revolution
Lets jump right in and review the best supplements for neuropathy to find out which are the top nerve health support formulas today!
Treating The Underlying Cause
There are many different causes of peripheral neuropathy, some of which can be treated in different ways.
- diabetes can sometimes be controlled by lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, cutting down on alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly
- vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated with B12 injections or tablets
- peripheral neuropathy caused by a medicine you’re taking may improve if the medicine is stopped
Some less common types of peripheral neuropathy may be treated with medicines, such as:
- steroids powerful anti-inflammatory medicines
- immunosuppressants medicines that reduce the activity of the immune system
- injections of immunoglobulin a mixture of blood proteins called antibodies made by the immune system
But the underlying cause may not always be treatable.
You May Like: How Much Vitamin C Per Day When Sick
B Complex Vitamins Can Help Relieve Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain or nerve pain in peripheral neuropathy is characterised by burning sensation, pins and needles sensations, stabbing pain and electric shock-like sensations.
B vitamins are intricately involved in the pain mechanism. They improve antioxidant defences and regulate cellular mechanisms and neurotransmitter function to reduce nerve pain in neuropathy.
Research in an animal model has shown that a combination of B vitamins helps relieve neuropathic pain.
Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA is a neurotransmitter or chemical in the brain that is said to have a calming effect. Activation of GABA receptors is found to reduce neuropathic pain.
Yu and colleagues have observed that B vitamins reduce nerve pain by protecting the function of neurotransmitter GABA.
Analgesic or pain-relieving medications prescribed for neuropathic pain appear to be ineffective at times. Supplementing with vitamin B can increase the therapeutic effect of these painkillers in neuropathy.
Allodynia is pain in response to a stimulus that is not likely to cause pain . Addition of vitamin B12 to painkiller diclofenac increases its anti-allodynic effect and reduces neuropathic pain in an animal model.
Combination of steroid dexamethasone and B complex vitamins is used to treat neuropathic pain in Mexico. Research in animal models confirms that vitamin B and dexamethasone act synergistically to reduce nerve pain.
Neuropathy Supplements In Light Of Science
The majority of neuropathy supplements have not been subjected to clinical studies. Individual compounds in neuropathy supplements, on the other hand, have a lot of research backing them up, as explained above. Other methods of managing neuropathy have been discovered by researchers, including dietary and lifestyle changes.
Controlling blood sugar, having a shingles vaccine, engaging in physical exercise, and lowering inflammation have all been shown in studies to aid with neuropathy. Quitting smoking, if you smoke, may assist with neuropathy because it improves blood flow.
Anything that enhances blood flow or lowers inflammation may be beneficial in the treatment of neuropathy. Finally, neuropathy can be a serious ailment, and it is critical to consult with a doctor to manage the problem especially if neuropathy symptoms are unbearable or worsening. Supplements may not assist if you have severe neuropathy. In that case, more serious therapies like surgery may be required.
Also Check: How To Tell If You Have A Vitamin Deficiency
How A Few Simple Lifestyle Changes Can Relieve Your Nerve Pain
Stated bluntly, nerve pain can debilitate you if you dont get treatment. Any number of factors can cause your pain, including:
- Diabetes, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer or other major illness
- Injury to the brain or spine
- Poor blood supply to the nerves
- Carpal tunnel syndrome or sciatica
- Tumors that press on your nerves, causing pain
B Vitamins Increase The Therapeutic Effect Of Medications In Neuropathy
Gabapentin and pregabalin are the most commonly prescribed drugs for treating neuropathy. Addition of vitamin B to gabapentin or pregabalin increases their therapeutic effect and helps reduce neuropathy symptoms effectively.
Allodynia refers to pain response to a stimulus that would not cause pain in normal conditions.An experimental study reveals that taking vitamin B complex with gabapentin can increase its anti-allodynic effect and relieve neuropathic pain in neuropathy.
The combination of thiamine and pregabalin are found to have an additive pain-relieving effect and can benefit in the treatment of neuropathic pain and neuropathy.
In a preliminary study, patients with diabetic neuropathy were treated with gabapentin alone or in combination with vitamin B complex. A significant reduction in pain and improvement in the quality of life was observed in both groups. The only side effect noted was dizziness.
Mimenza and Aguilar compared the effects of a combination of vitamin B + gabapentin and pregabalin alone in neuropathy treatment. Addition of vitamin B1 and B12 to gabapentin was found to be as effective as pregabalin alone in reducing nerve pain.
The treatment was as follows: Gabapentin + vitamin B group: Starting with 300mg gabapentin to 3600mg at the last visit and 100mg vitamin B1 and 0.20mg vitamin B12. Pregabalin group: Starting with 75mg/day to 600mg/day.
Gabapentin and B complex vitamin combination helped achieved pain reduction as effectively as pregabalin.
You May Like: Does Baby Formula Have Vitamin D
Risks For Developing Prediabetes Or Type 2 Diabetes
The risks for developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes are:
- Being overweight or obese
- A family history especially a parent, brother or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Not enough physical activity and exercise
- A woman who had gestational diabetes or gave birth to a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
- African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Pacific Islanders, and some Asian Americans are at higher risk for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
What Are The Causes Of Neuropathy
Neuropathy occurs due to different reasons, mainly diabetes. It also could be a result of genetics or injury. Most people suffering from severe neuropathy have diabetes. You could also get due to physical damage of the affected area, dislocation, or regular movements occurring in one spot for a long time.
In an event where your blood is not circulating correctly to the peripheral nerves, they will not get enough oxygen and, therefore, will quickly be damaged. Some other causes include kidney and liver failure, smoking, excessive drinking of alcohol, chemotherapy, cancer, and infections.
Recommended Reading: What’s The Recommended Dose Of Vitamin C
What Vitamin B12 Cant Do
The Internet is full of articles lauding the use of vitamin B12 to prevent Alzheimers disease, heart disease, and other chronic conditions or reverse infertility, fatigue, eczema, and a long list of other health problems. Most are based on poor or faulty evidence.
Take Alzheimers disease as an example. Although there is a relationship between low vitamin B12 levels and cognitive decline, clinical studiesincluding those involving people with Alzheimers diseasehave not shown improvement in cognitive function, even doses of the vitamin as high as 1000 micrograms.
For now, its best to get enough vitamin B12 to prevent a deficiency, and not look to it as a remedy for what ails you.
Vitamin B For Treating Disorders Of The Peripheral Nerves
Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder of the peripheral nerves resulting from different causes, such as diabetes mellitus and alcoholism, leading to pain, numbness or weakness of the limbs and other problems. Vitamin B is commonly used to treat peripheral neuropathy but it is not clear if it helps. This review of 13 trials on diabetic and alcoholic peripheral neuropathy with a total of 741 participants showed only one study that suggested possible short-term benefit from eight-week treatment with benfotiamine with slightly greater improvement in vibration perception threshold compared to placebo. Vitamin B complex when given in a higher dose administered for four weeks was more efficacious than a lower dose in reducing pain and other clinical problems based on another study. Two to eight weeks of treatment with vitamin B was less efficacious than alpha-lipoic acid, cilostazol or cytidine triphosphate in short-term improvement of clinical and nerve test findings. All these findings require confirmation in larger studies before they can be accepted as definite. Vitamin B is generally well-tolerated with only a few reports of mild side effects.
Recommended Reading: How Much Vitamin D Does A 13 Year Old Need
What Exactly Is Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a chronic illness caused by nerve injury or compression outside of the spinal cord and brain. It happens when your nerves are injured or destroyed. Nerves transmit information from your body to your brain. When these nerves are damaged or killed, they transmit erratic messages to your brain, leading you to experience pain, numbness, or tingling. Neuropathies commonly begin in the hands and feet, but other body areas might be affected as well. In most cases, it occurs when high quantities of lipids or sugar in the blood harm the bodys neurons. It can affect almost any nerve in the body, resulting in a wide range of symptoms. Tingling, discomfort, or numbness in your extremities might be caused by neuropathy. People with diabetes are prone to neuropathy. Neuropathy, often known as peripheral neuropathy, is a condition with the peripheral nervous system. That is why Neuropathy is often referred to as Peripheral Neuropathy.
How Can You Prevent Neuropathy Caused By A B12 Deficiency
The main action you can take to prevent this condition is to make sure you get enough B12 in your diet, especially if you avoid meat products and follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
You should also ensure you limit the factors that can interfere with your bodys ability to absorb B12. This includes avoiding alcohol and managing underlying conditions.
Luckily, neuropathy symptoms even reversible if caught early enough. For this reason, you should pay attention to your body and check in with your doctor if you notice the onset of any troubling symptoms.
Read Also: How Much Vitamin D Should An Adult Take
Great Vitamins For Neuropathy
Neuropathy is nerve damage that can appear in people who have diabetes, or as a side effect of chemotherapy. Certain lifestyle changes may help, in addition to conventional medical options. Many people also turn to supplements as a way to manage their neuropathy symptoms. These can often have fewer side effects than more traditional treatment and contribute to other areas of health. As you develop your plan for Broomfield neuropathy treatment, talk with your doctor about the risk and benefits of these supplements that are commonly used for neuropathy pain management. With the right combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and treatment for the underlying cause, Broomfield neuropathy treatment is effective and helpful for most patients.
What Is Peripheral Neuropathy
To begin, the condition in question is peripheral neuropathy, a dysfunction of the peripheral nerves. Most commonly, this leads to numbness, tingling, weakness, pain, or even paralysis that begins in the hands or feet and can spread throughout the body. Either a single body part can be affected or multiple can exhibit symptoms.
Most commonly, peripheral neuropathy occurs as a result of diabetes, though injuries and other conditions can also bring it on in patients. It is also a side effect of some chemotherapy treatments.
Read Also: What Is The Best Vitamin C On The Market
Vitamin B12 Promoted Myelin Regeneration By Er Stress After Tbi
Figure 5. Vitamin B12 protects against myelin damage after TBI through ER Stress. Representative images of white matter with LFB staining images of the myelin sheath at 14 days. Scale bar = 1000 m, Scale bar = 250 m. Protein expressions and quantification data of MBP in each group. ##P< 0.01 vs. the sham group, P< 0.01 and & & P< 0.01 vs. the TBI group. Values represent the mean ± SEM, n = 4. Immuno-histochemisty staining of MBP in each group. Representative images of white matter with LFB staining images of the myelin sheath at 14 days. Scale bar = 1000 m, Scale bar = 250 m. Protein expressions and quantification data of MBP in each group. P< 0.05 vs. the indicated group values represent the mean ± SEM, n = 4. Immuno-histochemisty staining of MBP in each group.
Other Causes Of Vitamin B12 Neuropathy
There are many reasons why someone may develop neuropathy as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.
For example, as you get older, your stomach naturally produces less acid that normally aids B12 absorption. As a result, the condition is relatively common in older adults. According to Harvard Health, 3.2% of adults over 50 have a low B12 level, and as many as 20% are borderline deficient.
Many illnesses also can impact your bodys ability to absorb B12 and cause a deficiency. These include autoimmune disorders, Crohns disease, multiple sclerosis, an HIV infection, diseases of the pancreas, gastritis, and more.
Don’t Miss: What Vitamin Helps Tighten Skin
Dietary Supplements That Can Improve Neuropathy
Famous sayings like, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and you are what you eat stress the influence that our diet has on our health. Although diet alone does not dictate whether or not we develop certain medical conditions or how our body responds to them, several studies have indicated that diet is a contributing factor. For this reason, there are a variety of dietary supplements and guidelines available for managing certain conditions. One such condition is neuropathy.
Neuropathy is a type of nerve dysfunction that results in weakness, numbness, and pain. One common cause of neuropathy is diabetes, however neuropathy can also be the result of conditions such as lupus, Guillain-Barre syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjorgens syndrome, to name a few. In some cases, neuropathy can also be a side effect of chemotherapy.
While there are conventional treatments available to treat symptoms associated with neuropathy, recent research suggests that dietary supplements may also be beneficial for some individuals. One of the primary benefits of dietary supplements is the fact that they generally have less side effects than other types of treatments. With that being said, it is still recommended to speak with your doctor before stopping any conventional treatments and/or starting a dietary supplement. Here are six dietary supplements for neuropathy that you may want to discuss with your doctor:
B Vitamins For Neuropathy
B vitamins are useful in treating neuropathy since they support healthy nervous system function. Peripheral neuropathy is sometimes caused by a vitamin B deficiency.
Supplementation should include vitamin B-1 , B-6, and B-12. You may choose to take these separately instead of as a B complex.
Benfotiamine is like vitamin B-1, which is also known as thiamine. Its thought to reduce pain and inflammation levels and prevent cellular damage.
A deficiency in vitamin B-12 is one cause of peripheral neuropathy. Left untreated, it can cause permanent nerve damage.
Vitamin B-6 may help to maintain the covering on nerve endings. But its important that you dont take more than 200 milligrams of B-6 per day. Taking higher amounts can lead to nerve damage and cause symptoms of neuropathy.
Food rich in B vitamins include:
- meat, poultry, and fish
2008 study found benfotiamine to have a positive effect on diabetic neuropathy. It was shown to decrease pain and improve the condition.
But a small 2012 study found that people with type 1 diabetes who took 300 mg a day of benfotiamine showed no significant improvements to nerve function or inflammation. People took the supplement for 24 months. Further studies are needed to expand upon these findings. Its also important to examine the effects of benfotiamine in combination with other B vitamins.
According to a 2016 study, acetyl-L-carnitine significantly improved:
Don’t Miss: Do Vitamin D Supplements Help With Depression
How Does Vitamin B Complex Help In Neuropathy Treatment
Vitamin B deficiency is commonly observed in peripheral neuropathy. Supplementation with B vitamins helps in neuropathy by relieving nerve pain, strengthening antioxidant defences, supporting nerve repair and maintenance of myelin sheath and increasing the therapeutic effect of conventional medicines for nerve pain such as gabapentin.
A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research, 2016 demonstrated that combination of vitamin B and gabapentin was as effective as pregabalin alone in treating painful diabetic neuropathy. Also, the addition of vitamin B reduced the dosage of gabapentin required for pain relief.
Among the B complex vitamins, B1, B6, B9 and B12 are proven to help in neuropathy. Here is how they work at a cellular level to relieve neuropathy symptoms.
Vitamin B complex supports neurite outgrowth or extension of the tail like structures of the neuron. Vitamin B1, B6, and B12 are actively involved in this growth. They can support nerve repair in neuropathy.
Vitamin B1 or Thiamine regulates the formation of myelin , synthesis of neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA and also affects nerve conduction.
Thiamine deficiency can be responsible for polyneuropathy in the lower limbs resembling a burning feet sensation.
Malabsorption of vitamin B2 in the intestine has been linked with neuropathy.
Vitamin B9 deficiency has been linked with sensory rather than motor neuropathy. It can lead to loss of axons .