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Lightheadedness, spinning head, difficult to balance body while walking. Not sure if vitamin B12 deficiency is the real cause.

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Hi,
I am suffering with light headedness for last one year. It is not as if my head is spinning. It is just that I am finding it difficult to balance my body while I am walking. The problem becomes more severe when I am walking on super smooth and shiny surfaces and in the artificial lights. Doctor says it is because of vitamin B12 defficiency. Since yesterday I have started taking B12 shots. Not really sure if B12 is a real cause.

Please help.
SK
Posted Thu, 12 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 12 hours later
Hello

Thanks for posting your query.

From your description, it is possible that you are suffering from sensory ataxia. The problem can be in the peripheral nerves or in the posterior column of the spinal cord. Rarely, vestibular disorders can also cause a similar presentation. As a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can also cause similar manifestations, I would suggest that a trial of B12 supplements be done.

If no recovery is seen after 6-12 weeks of vitamin B12 supplements, you would need evaluation to exclude other causes of unsteadiness.

So I personally feel it is worth trying a course of vitamin B12 supplements before you proceed for detailed investigations like thyroid functions, electroneuromyography (ENMG) and magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan) of the spinal cord. You may also need an evaluation by an otorhinolaryngologist (ENT specialist) to rule out the possibility of vestibular problems.

I thank you again for submitting the query. I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Sincerely,

Dr Shiva Kumar R.
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Lightheadedness, spinning head, difficult to balance body while walking. Not sure if vitamin B12 deficiency is the real cause. 2 hours later
Thanks for the answer.

I would like to also inform you that for last five years I have intense pain near my tail bone area. The pain occurs only when I am sitting on the chair for too long or when I am getting up from the chair. When sleeping or walking this pain is not there at all. Can by condition of light headedness or unsteadiness while walking in any way related to this problem,

Thanks,
SK
 
 
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 12 minutes later
Hello,

Thanks for the query.

Coccydynia is associated with pain and tenderness at the tip of the tailbone between the buttocks. The pain is often worsened by sitting. Coccydynia is often caused by an injury, but it may occur seemingly spontaneously.

Coccydynia is commonly diagnosed based solely on the symptoms and the examination findings of local tenderness. Other conditions can be excluded by CAT scan or MRI scan. A well-padded seat when sitting and avoiding long periods of sitting whenever possible reduces pain. Some patients with persistent coccydynia are treated with local cortisone injection.

However I personally feel that there is no direct relationship with coccydynia and unsteadiness.

I thank you again for submitting the query. I hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries, I will be available to answer them.

Sincerely,

Dr Shiva Kumar R.
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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