One morning, I rushed to urgent care when all my limbs were numb. It turned out to be a vitamin B12 deficiency.


Author Kelly Lisman stands on her balcony at sunset and smiles

Author Kelly Risman.Courtesy Kelly Risman

  • When I experienced unexplained pins and needles and weakness in all my limbs, I started to panic.

  • About a week later, I went to the doctor and found out I had a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • This is B12 deficiency and treatment, and how I’m feeling today.

One Wednesday morning in May, I ran around Lower Manhattan as usual. I enjoyed the nice weather, ate my usual meal, and went to work. Then, as I was getting ready for the night, something extraordinary happened.

When I was lying on my right side in bed Radiation of pins and needles through my left arm. Why were you sleeping even though you didn’t put power in your left arm? I shook it, contorted my body, and stretched out my limbs to try and get rid of the feeling, but I couldn’t get any relief.

Then my left hand went numb. After panicking for 30 minutes, I was convinced it was all in my head and finally fell asleep. I was. I’m really mad.

I was in a hurry to find an answer

I limped to a nearby emergency center. The doctor, who didn’t do any tests or give a prescription, said the tingling could be explained by a viral infection. I left feeling even more desperate and even more tingly than when I stumbled.

There was no change in symptoms, but I saw a physician. The internist immediately performed an extensive panel of blood tests. I waited five days for the results and was so debilitated. I couldn’t even go around the block.

Finally, the panel is back. severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is Severe Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

A B12 level of about 300 picograms per milliliter is considered normal, and less than 200 pg/ml is considered low, according to Dr. Edwin Serrano, a neurologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. Mine was hovering around 175 pg/ml. My numbers probably didn’t plummet this low overnight.

Brad Kamitaki, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, said:

Many people are asymptomatic at first. He said that B12 deficiency is either undiagnosed or underdiagnosed because “symptoms can be nonspecific, such as cognitive decline, fatigue, swollen tongue, tingling in the arms and legs, and difficulty walking.” It’s possible,” he added.

B12 deficiency usually has two causes: malabsorption or inadequate intake. Some conditions, such as atrophic gastritis and celiac disease, can block B12 absorption, but animal products are the main source of B12, so vegan and vegetarian diets can lead to inadequate intake. There is a possibility.

Symptoms did not resolve immediately after starting treatment

At least the treatment sounded easy. Vitamin B12 injection 1 month, then daily supplementsI thought a week of injections would make the symptoms go away, but I was wrong. It takes a while for your body to replenish B12, Serrano said.

That was my case. Despite being treated, my symptoms got worse before they got better and I can’t overstate how the symptoms have affected my life. I also noticed that I had no appetite and skipped meals regularly. My brain fog was overwhelming. I had a bad headache and couldn’t sleep. My vision became blurry. To my surprise, my doctor thought her two latter symptoms warranted an MRI brain scan of him to rule out a tumor or multiple sclerosis. A neurologist later told me that the B12 deficiency explained both.

It’s important to note that some people may be at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency than others, including those on a plant-based diet.

“I also want people to recognize that Getting enough vitamin B12 Essential during pregnancy and exclusively breastfeeding, as the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency in the growing fetus and infant can be significant.

Serrano added that older people are also at higher risk, as cases of B12 deficiency increase with age.

i was very lucky. Left untreated, Serrano said, it can cause “irreversible damage” to the nervous system, leading to the inability to walk normally, permanent muscle strain and loss of leg motor function. He added that if the condition is not treated, it can alter the ability to produce red blood cells, increasing the risk of heart failure and even increasing the risk of dementia.

About five months after my initial panic attack in May, my symptoms were mostly gone. My strength and energy was restored, my brain fog cleared, my numbness subsided, and I was able to resume my morning runs.

Read the original article at insider