Numb toes for 4 months - B12 deficiency?

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Hi there   I am female and aged 46.  blood tests show I am perimenopausal. Four months ago  I developed tingling in the toes on my left foot (only ever been this foot). it seemed to come on after having reaction to estrogen cream taken for spate of sudden urine infections.  Ten minutes after taking the drug I experienced dizziness and blurred vision.  30 minutes later it happened again but then went and didnt return but then numb toes occurred. This has been constant and over the past three weeks has got alot stronger and prickling spreads to underside of foot with fluttering of nerves sporadically in left calf muscle.  If I wear flat shoes my foot doesnt like it and appears to struggle causing a a horrible sticky prickly feeling in arch of foot - am much better with a tight lace up mid heel shoe.  Infact foot much prefers no socks at all - seems rather sensitive to anything around it.  No pain apart from on a handful of occasions sharp sudden pin like feeling in top of toes. Ive had MRI of spine - no pinched nerve - no neuropathy - did have spinal decompression surgery on lower discs following car accident 7 years ago but no apparent problems according to spinal surgeon and MRI.  Had MRI of thorax, brain scan, thorough blood tests - all the usual including Lyme, B12, Thyroid  diabetes  but I am now wondering if this is related to B12 deficiency.  I am vegan but am pretty good at taking supplements and fortified foods.  My level four months ago was 282 - I have asked my doctor for a B12 injection (due to happen tomorrow) and he has agreed and tomorrow I will also ask for more thorough thyroid test as blood results show serum levels as 0.56 in a range of 0.35 - 4.94.  Ive read hypo thyroid can cause B12 deficiency.  All very depressing and causing lots of anxiety, sleepless nights.  Not helped by a very stressful year losing two very close relatives in quick succession.  Anxiety levels also went through through the roof recently when brain scan showed probable AV fistula in my brain - turned out there was nothing wrong just a slightly enlarged vein which was normal for me but lead to a cerebral angiagram on top of everything else.  My neurologist has suggested re-doing all the scans and spinal puncture test - I am insured fortunately so getting tests done pretty quickly.  After those not sure where to go - I seem to exasperating the experts which is very frustrating.   Does any of this ring true with others?   Many thanks     Tracey

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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey,

    With a complex medical history like yours, I would expect the causes of tingling in one foot are most likely related to either the spinal injury or the enlarged vein.  B12 deficiency is more likely to cause bilateral symptoms, for obvious reasons.  Have you researched MS?  

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    • Posted

      Hello there  thank you so much for your response.  Yes I had always wondered why the problem was only with my left foot and believed although I now have no back problems maybe it could be as a result of my spinal decompression surgery (which was a complete success)  they simply removed the jelly from the protruding disc by key hole surgery and sewed me back up.  I dont have too much info about the large vein save to say that my neurosurgeon has since my angiogram given me a clean bill of health in such regard - he knows about my numb toes but clearly sees no connection.  I also recall my neurologist saying no to "MS" following my brain scan.   It would certainly make sense for the B12 deficiency to be bilateral but I have no experience on the subject as the thought  I may be deficient after perusing my blood results popped the thought into my head and of course reading about what is considered to be a healthy level.  282 appeared low so Ive been putting 2 and 2 together particularly as I am vegan.  many thanks Tracey
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  • Posted

    Hi Tracey, so sorry to hear you're having these problems. It is true that thyroid and low B12 can go together, and I would agree (from my own experiences) that stress can be a major factor. Have you had cortisol levels checked? You say yourself that anxiety levels "went through the roof" after your brain scan. Bereavement is such a hard thing to deal with too, and sometimes comes back to hit us later, even if we feel we've coped at the time. I always get more numbness and pins and needles on the

    left side, and I wonder if it's like most things, we have a weaker and stronger side. I am left handed though, so would have expected my left side to be stronger. I have found some help from my chiropractor, and am wearing supports in my shoes now. All I would say is keep plugging away to get help, and know you have the best wishes of everyone on here. Good luck Marion

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    • Posted

      Hi Marion   thank you so much for your message.  No I havent had my cortisol levels checked - I wonder how I do this (?)  To be honest this year has been the worse year in my life so Ive no idea what my poor body has been subjected to in practice.  I gave up my job a year ago to look after my relatives who then both died in quick succession.  Then 4 days after all the numbness, pins and needles appeared. I had attributed them to reacting to the estrogen cream or terrible stress upsetting my hormones or a mixture of both.  As such I hadnt considered B12 deficiency but as the symptoms have worsened and affect my daily living Ive had to research further. I do agree entirely about stress coming back to bite us after an event.  Its interesting your pins and needles are on your left side - do you suffer B12 deficiency at all?  I was on the verge of going to see a chiropractor so I will pursue that many thanks for the reminder. A podiatrist I saw last week didnt suggest shoe supports but I feel they would help.  Thank you very much Marion for your wishes of good luck.  I feel better already hearing from real people!!    Best wishes   Tracey
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    • Posted

      Hi again Tracey, I think cortisol can be tested via a blood test and also saliva. I am B12 deficient and also hypothyroid, plus the most recent diagnosis is fibromyalgia. A pretty depressing set I think you'd agree? The chiropractic shoe inserts have helped with some foot pain, but don't solve the numbness and pins and needles. I think the chiro said I'd got metatarsalgia under my left foot. I only suggested the cortisol testing as one of my friends was found to have very high cortisol levels after several years of high stress. Do hope you get things sorted, let us know how you get on? Best Wishes Marion x
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    • Posted

      Hi Marion   many thanks for your message.  I will certainly follow up on the cortisol test - I think I can predict the outcome!!).  I am so sorry to hear that although the shoe insert helped with pain that you are still living with pins and needles in addition to your recent diagnosis.  I think my partner is getting abit sick of me talking about my numb toes!  Every morning I wake and wiggle my toes hoping they have 'defrosted' but no they are the same, usually worse.  It really has got me down.  Having the symptoms come on four days after a double bereavement was not good timing!!  I certainly will let you know how I get on and thank you for asking me to do so.  I really feel for you and what you are living with.  All we want to do is feel normal again!!  Out of interest I have looked up fibromyalgia thinking I had that.  The stress particularly of my health whilst grinding my teeth at night(!!!) caused a tooth to break.  A trip to the dentist/stress brought my my TMJ (had this when my friend died 2 years ago) and whenever the TMJ muscle took over which also caused terrible pain in my teeth I had the most debilitating pain right up the back of my head to the top - so much so I had to sit dead still for 5 minutes - I was drooling through the pain (sorry!)  never had that when I had TMJ before. Oh well living off porridge and warm water over Christmas certainly have made the pounds drop off.  Take care and stay strong   Tracey x
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  • Posted

    hi Tracey: i presume that u are no longer applying the Estrogen cream. tracey. have a google of Dr Joseph Chandy's b12 def. protocol. it charts how much b12 u should be taking for ur b12 levels. there's also a questionnaire that establishes ur b12 levels by organ symptom involved. it's very accessible.

    C

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Caitlin for your response.  I am now going off to look at Dr Chandy's chart.

      I only took one dose of estrogen cream - the reaction scared the living daylights of me - I now dont know if I am sensitive to estrogen or any of the carrier ingredients.   I am taking natural progesterone though as I am showing signs of the perimenopause - that said the numbness,  confusion and  depression etc I can now possibly attribute to the lack of B12!!!

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    • Posted

      hi tracey, having read ur first post & knowing that u have insurance it might be worth ur while having a few important ancillary tests done. i often find that when the body has to deal with a lot of uncontrollabe stress, more than one system/organ/pathway gets thrown out of zinc. many of the pathways need overlapping co-factors i.e Vits/Mins./Enzymes/CoEnzymes etc. so it might be worth getting ur:

      1)Vit. D levels checked -''25 hydroxy vit. D test''.

      2)Coeliac disease test -(Coeliac can be associated with b12 def.)

      3)Cortisol blood levels

      4)Thyroxine levels - TSH, T3 & T4 levels. u may have to emphasise that u need the T3/4 done as Docs seem to stick to the TSH. i had to battle to get my T3/4 levels done to find i was v. low in T3, but with normal TSH.

      5)to establish why ur b12 deficient the following tests are indicated: Methymalonic Acid test (MMA) & Homocysteine. the MMA is not available on the NHS, but might be in private medicine.

      6)the Intrinsic Factor (IF) test will help with establishing whether ur b12 is due to PA or not.

      BTW, Vitamin B 3, especially in the activated form, (NADH) can be v. therapeutic for stress reduction as well as Magnesium. as u probably know it's advisable to take a good quality Vit B complex & Mineral Complex to keep the B's & Minerals in balance.

      i use the 'twenty to one' natural progestrone cream. that's 20 parts progesrtone and one part oestrogen - that's the 'Wellsprings' one.

      if the TMJ is still bothereing you a 'Kinesiologist' who specialises in TMJ work could sort that one out. a Kinesiology ''balance'' would do wonders to harmonise the mind/body interconnections. they can also check for toxicities & deficiencies. best if u can get an experienced Kinesiologist.

      establishing the diagnosis and starting the treatment is more than half the battle. so all good luck on the home run.

      C

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    • Posted

      Dear Caitlin   you are wonderful!  Thank you so much for spending your Sunday afternoon taking the time to prepare such an informative message for me.  I will certainly take you up your advice and have the tests done - as you say why not as I am insured (thanks to my partners work).  I have to say the TMJ has been particularly debilitating since my symptoms flared up in September.  I think the bereavements took everything out of me and then waiting for test results and being scared to death with an inaccurate diagnosis of problems in the brain capped it off!!  I feel so much better after today and feel as though I am not alone any more and can take the 'bull by the horns' and start taking steps in the direction of recovery.  By the way its the Wellsprings Progesterone cream that I use - only just started it so will need to wait and see if it assists in balancing my hormones.  Since my reaction to estrogen cream GP wont give me HRT and to date I had been hoping numb toes were hormonally related;  dont think I am going to be that lucky.Thank you again Caitlin for your knowledge, advice and support.  It means a huge amount.Take care   Tracey
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  • Posted

    Hi Tracy. I to am trying to get answers. I'm b12 deficiency. Started December 12th 2014. Also started pre menopause. Hope you get answers. You will be fine.
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    • Posted

      Hi Martina  thank you so much for responding to my message.  I have acquired a book called  The B12 Deficiency Survival Handbook by Dr A Ghazanfar  its very enlightening and includes all sorts of helpful information including sections aimed at the Medical Profession so they can spot and deal with possible B12 cases. There is an interesting section on MMA - B12 deficiency causes low levels of this and a urine test will show low levels and is 99% specific and more sensitive that blood tests. Furthermore those with neurological impairment excrete more of this.  A normal level is MMA < 3.60 mmol/mol creatinine (urine test) and MMA (SMMA) < 0.04 umol/L or 0.04-0.27 umol/L. Going to GP tomorrow and see if such a test can be done.  So much cheaper for the profession than sending people round the houses with unnecessary scans looking for unusual stuff when B12 deficiency is easy to spot if you ask the right questions!  all the very best Tracey
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