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How are numbness in fingers and feet treated ?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1851 Questions
I have a vitamin b12 level of 341, however I am tired, have tingling in numbness in fingers and feet, white dots on my arms (loss of pigmentation) and I think I have b12 deficiency, although my level if fine. I am very worried about the numbness in extremity. I am 40 year old female with no previous history. I have taken antacids for the last 10 years and suffer from extreme heart burn, although I have stopped taking them due to my understanding that it may cause inability to absort b12, although my level is 341?? I am terribly confused. I am on oral contraceptives and still miss my period every other month. I also get this electrical feeling in my head which is not painful, just gives me a hollow feeling.
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ashish Mittal 1 hour later

Thanks for your query.

It is nice to see such a detail and precise description of problem in spite of having so many problems.

Important points of your query:
•     Long duration symptoms.
•     Current symptoms: tingling in numbness in fingers and feet, worry related to problem, heartburn, white spot on body and strange symptom of hollow and electrical feeling in head
•     Normal B12 level
•     Currently on OC pills

Based on your symptom, I can think of the following possibilities:

•     Vitamins deficiency specially B12: Levels are normal in your case
•     Nerve compression in spinal cord: It will not explain strange symptom of hollow and electrical feeling in head
•     Diabetes: Your physician must have ruled it out.
•     In last somatoform disorder which can explain all your symptoms, except white spot on body.

Points in favour of somatoform disorder in your case:
•     Presence of multiple symptoms, even in presence of normal physical and laboratory exam (I assume from your query)
•     Age of onset and sex: it is commonest in middle age female
•     Presence of strange or pseudo neurological symptoms: hollow and electrical feeling in head
•     Symptoms personal, social or occupational life of patient

Somatoform disorder occurs because of stress or unconscious conflict and can lead to depression which may exacerbate current symptoms.

Following steps will be helpful in your case:
•     Take psychiatrist consultation so that he can start treatment after your assessment.
•     Try to maintain personal and social life in your usual self.
•     Do aerobics, meditation and yoga
•     Take multivitamins capsule as possibility of other vitamins and micro nutrients difficult to rule out and there is no side effect with them.

Hope this answers your query. In case of any doubt, I will be available for follow ups.

Wishing you good health.

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