Read how Your Doctors online helped Scarlet discover that the cause of her symptoms was B-12 deficiency.
A 32-Year-old female with tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
For the past few months, I have been experiencing tingling and numbness in my hands and feet. It usually occurred in the palms of my hand and soles of my feet. Initially, I ignored it, but now it was becoming a nuisance.
My primary care doctor tested me for diabetes and told me there was nothing wrong, and it was anxiety.
I finally made an appointment with my primary care doctor, who ran a test for diabetes which was clear. He told me that there was nothing wrong with me and attributed my symptoms, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, to anxiety. I tried explaining to him that I didn’t have anxiety but soon realized that that was no use arguing.
I started doing some research, but that didn’t get me that far because tingling and numbness were associated conditions such as nerve compression, which further unsettled me. So finally, I decided to treat it as anxiety and started trying all forms of relaxation techniques. I even joined a yoga class for three months, and there was no improvement in my symptoms at all.
I finally consulted another doctor for this tingling and numbness in my hands and feet sensation and signed up on Your Doctors Online platform!
The following wise step was to get another opinion or consult another doctor. However, I consulted an online doctor instead of visiting a doctor in person this time. I found an online website, “your doctors. online“, and signed up.
I was connected with Dr Farrukh, who patiently listened to me, asked several questions related to my symptoms and guided me accordingly. First, she questioned me if I had been tested for diabetes yet and whether I had any family history. I informed her that my doctor had ruled out the possibility of diabetes. After that, she suggested that I get my Vitamin B-12 levels checked as a deficiency is a common cause for experiencing tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.
I could never have guessed that B-12 deficiency can cause tingling and numbness in the hands and feet!
The past few months were an emotional roller coaster ride for me, and my physician had disappointed me, attributing my symptoms to anxiety. However, this online platform provided me with a much satisfying experience, and I was provided with a proper possible diagnosis and advised on how to get tested. Dr Farrukh also reassured me that supplements or injectables of B-12 would resolve my symptoms if my levels turned out to be lower than the normal range. I am genuinely grateful that such help exists.
FAQ’s on B-12 Deficiency Answered by Your Doctors Online Team
What is B-12 Deficiency?
Vitamin B-12 is a nutrient that is essential for making the DNA(genetic material) of your cells in your body. Vitamin B-12 is also required to produce blood cells and the optimal functioning of the nervous system. Since the body doesn’t have B-12, a dietary intake of B-12 is necessary to prevent any deficiency. Vitamin B-12 can be obtained from animal-based foods such as eggs, poultry, meat, dairy products or supplements.
What are the symptoms of B-12 deficiency?
● Numbness and tingling
● Muscle weakness
● Mouth ulcers
● DIsturbed vision
● Mood changes
What are the common causes of B-12 deficiency?
Common causes of B-12 deficiency are listed below:
● Vegan diet
● Surgical removal of part of a stomach
● Autoimmune conditions(grave’s disease, Crohn’s disease)
● Pernicious anaemia
● Medications( Proton-pump inhibitors)
This is a type of anaemia that leads to Vitamin B-12 deficiency. This is caused by an autoimmune process that destroys the body cells that produce intrinsic factors. Intrinsic factor is required to absorb Vitamin B-12 in the small intestine, and the absence of the factor leads to B-12 deficiency. Therefore, vitamin B-12 supplementation in the form of capsules or injectables is required to manage the condition.
Investigations ordered to diagnose B-12 deficiency:
● Blood CBC
● Serum B-12 levels
● Folate levels
● Antibodies test(Antibodies to intrinsic factor are checked to rule out pernicious anaemia)
● Methylmalonic acid test( Levels are usually higher in case of B-12 deficiency)
How is B-12 deficiency treated?
A person can overcome a B-12 deficiency by modifying their diet and including B-12 rich food. Supplementation in the form of oral pills, injectables are other options depending on the severity of the symptoms.
Foods rich in Vitamin B-12 include:
● Dairy products
● Fortified cereals