Numbness Ended ~ Vitamin B12 Works
How do you get rid of numbness, especially dangerous numbness in feet?
Surprisingly, eating Swiss cheese, the kind that comes in chunks rather than thin, pre-sliced slices, helps. Why? Because Swiss Cheese has live B12 making bacteria. In fact, they are responsible for the holes in Swiss and Jarlsberg cheeses.
Before I knew about reintroducing vitamin B12 making bacteria into my digestive system, the numbness ended in my feet after my doctor prescribed regular, monthly B12 shots and showed me how to give them to myself. One shot a month is about equal to one sublingual 1,000 mcg. Methylcobalamin lozenge used daily.
I regained more feeling after my neurologist recommended an extra B12 shot when I was under stress. I was under a lot of stress at the time, so most months I had two, maybe three shots. That would be equal to two or three 1,000 mcg Methylcobalamin lozenges per day.
Before the B12 shots/replacement the bottoms of my feet were no longer ticklish. My feet as a whole didn’t have much feeling. For instance, while cleaning up near the chicken coop I accidentally jammed a stick into my foot. I noticed because the impact tripped me, but it didn’t hurt so I didn’t pay much attention.
Within a few days my foot was swollen and I could barely walk. I soaked my foot for six to eight hours a day in Epsom salts, which I refreshed with hot water so it stayed warm. I also used a hydrogen peroxide solution for soaks.
It took three days, but the swelling went away, for which I was thankful. After that, I bought flip-flops with a bed of rubbery little “nails” sticking up, into the soles of my feet. I hoped the somewhat sharp rubber would stimulate the soles of my feet and cause feeling to return.
Since the flip-flops were uncomfortable, I was encouraged. When the soles of my feet became ticklish again, I felt certain that the stimulation and B12 shots had been effective.
The way I think it worked was that the B12 shots helped the nerves, and then by walking on a sort of sharp surface I built up my sense of feeling. Today I use methylcobalamin lozenges instead of shots. Lozenges are just as effective as shots.
From 2012 through 2017 people searched “numbness” less frequently in November. Is that because numbness ended during November in each of those years? I can’t help but wonder if, instead, it’s Thanksgiving changing the focus.
However, other than for the month of November, searches using the term “numbness” had an overall increase of about 25% from 2015 through February 12, 2017, with Americans being the most likely to search using the term “numbness”, according to Google Trends. This interests me because so many people come to my site using the search terms “numb” and “numbness.” Some searches use the specific question, “Can you get rid of numb feet?”
Let’s take a look at what Merck has to say about numbness:
Numbness refers to the partial or complete loss of sensation. It can be a symptom of nervous system dysfunction. People with numbness may be unable to feel light touch, pain, temperature, or vibration or to know where parts of their body are (position sense). When people do not know where parts of their body are, they have problems with balance, coordination, walking, and driving, and they are more likely to fall.
Many people mistakenly use the term numbness when they have abnormal sensations such as tingling, prickling, or a pins-and-needles sensation or when a limb feels weak…
If numbness has been present a long time, particularly in the feet, it can lead to other problems. People may have difficulty walking and driving and may be more likely to fall. They may not notice infections, foot sores (ulcers), and injuries because they cannot sense pain as well… Read more.
The numbness that most affected my life was in my feet. They were no longer ticklish and when I accidentally jammed a stick near the chicken coop into my ankle, I barely felt it and paid no attention. Similarly, some years later I accidentally jammed a darning needle into my big toe, barely felt it, and ended up with tetanus.
Toxins and Numbness
From my home with the chickens I moved into my condo, which, unbeknownst to me, had been built over a full outdoor toilet pit. Shortly after moving I noticed it was increasingly difficult to move my toes. I would concentrate on trying to move my toes while I watched television. I felt that by working my toes I would increase their mobility, sort of the way the flip-flops had helped.
Instead of improvement, however, my balance problems increased and I had a lot of wheezing and memory problems, so I went to my doctor and to the neurologist. I felt they should increase the amount of B12 they prescribed because the amount they had prescribed wasn’t helping any more. They were, however, adamant that once B12 was being administered neuropathy, i.e. numbness, did not get worse. They completely discounted what I was experiencing.
If I had known about the hydrogen sulfide from the outdoor toilet pit under my bedroom, I could have explained, but I didn’t. It took quite a long time to discover the pit.
Based on what was evident, the nurse practitioner at my doctor’s sent me to a podiatrist. The podiatrist tested my feet, and sure enough there was not much, if any, feeling. And, I couldn’t flex my toes. He pointed out that my toes were beginning to curl from the lack of muscle/nerve health. He said that unless I started exercising I would lose more and more muscle function.
I had been walking to the library, post office and farmers’market before my numbness and balance problems increased. Once I started falling I was afraid to walk and limited my outings to places like the grocery store or Wal*Mart where there are carts to hang on to.
Shortly after my visit to the podiatrist I saw the Gazelle Edge on telly. It looked perfect because I could hold on to the handles while using it. So, I bought one and the exercise was great. I lost several inches, but my numbness and falling problems got worse.
It was two years before I found out my condo was built over an old outdoor toilet pit.
I’d had what I thought were small “sink holes” in my garden, which I had filled. I had no idea that they were from the privy pit subsiding. Eventually the subsidence made my sewer pipe break. New sewage added to the old created a lot of hydrogen sulfide. That made my feet to be so much more numb.
The first nerve hydrogen sulfide affects is the olfactory. It deadens it. After that you can’t smell well enough to identify the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide.
After living in the hydrogen sulfide (at low levels, but 24-7) for two years I could no longer feel my kitty licking my toes. I’d have no idea she was doing it unless I looked up and saw her.
I was distressed to learn about the hydrogen sulfide but I thought that since the nerve damage from living in hydrogen sulfide were similar to those from low B12, that if I had extra B12 shots, I’d be much improved if not fine. Well, that didn’t work. A few extra B12 shots did not make me Fine. Though, I continue to think that if I’d had a lot more B12 over the whole period that there would have been a lot less nerve damage.
LOTS more B12
The nurse practitioner I saw while I was having the privy pit excavated gave me a prescription for more injectable cobalamin. She also gave me Celebrex to reduce the swelling.
Later, by this time I was living in my townhouse, a holistic doctor prescribed a B12 shot a day. The prescription was for 12 bottles of cobalamin, each containing enough for 30 shots. The prescription was good for a year. But, I wasn’t sure she meant to prescribe so much. She hadn’t said it, after all, she’d just written the prescription that equaled a shot a day for a year.
Being doubtful, I had maybe two shots a week. The idea of more than that was beyond my grasp.
After I’d been having the extra B12 for awhile, the hair on my arms began to grow back, but my toes were unchanged. I still had balance problems and was still still bumping into door frames and the walls of my hallway.
Things got worse before numbness ended
When I accidentally got a darning needle jammed into my toe it hurt when it hit the bone, but I didn’t have any pain from the part that broke off in my toe, so I didn’t know it was there and I didn’t do anything about it until I was giving myself a B12 shot one morning and my toe was glinting in the sunshine. It wasn’t my toe glinting, of course, it was the broken bit of needle.
I got the broken bit out and soaked my foot in Epsom salts the way I’d done when I’d hurt my foot years earlier. I also took vitamin C. My foot didn’t swell and I didn’t have a fever, so I didn’t worry. I’d checked the internet to read about tetanus, and nearly everything said that you’d have swelling and a fever. Well, I had tetanus. BAD disease. Just really BAD. You can read my tetanus journal if you want to get some idea of what it is like.
The second worst thing about having tetanus was the way it made my right thigh hurt where I have peripheral neuropathy. It was just sooo bad. The pain was screaming bad. Not as bad as the tetanic seizures in my back, but the next worse thing.
I got the idea that I should have a B12 shot a day since there was increased pain where I had peripheral neuropathy. I knew peripheral neuropathy was a symptom of B12 deficiency and I had accepted the fact that I would have it for the rest of my life according to more than one doctor. Up until this point, however, the worst my peripheral neuropathy had ever been was to feel like a third degree sunburn.
What was different about the increased pain with tetanus, and why I say it was screaming bad, is that it would suddenly feel as if hot, molten glass, molten but still sharp, had been shot into my thigh, like from a shot gun where there would be lots and lots of entries.
It took a month, or two, maybe longer, but the sudden, extreme pain went nearly away, and it seemed as if the peripheral neuropathy was better, too. There wasn’t as much of a numb, wooden feeling as there had been.
When I was saw the homeless doctor, after the court foreclosed my townhome, he prescribed enough Metronidazol to kill the clostridia bacteria and quite a lot of any blood infection I had, if that was what as causing red lines under my toe nail.
After I was better and could stand up straight – tetanus bent me over because it tightened the muscles in my stomach, not the ones that make you look good, but the ones that move food around for you – the homeless doctor prescribed B12 for a shot a day for three months. (Sublingual Methylcobalamin is just as effective as shots, and a LOT nicer.)
Well, that made this huge difference. I could actually move my toes again, just like normal. They just moved perfectly easily and smoothly. Only then huge new stresses came up, and the improvement vanished.
It was the summer of 2005 that my toes were so good. The summer of 2006 they were not good, but, I was glad my peripheral neuropathy in my thigh had not been sunburn-bad.
I still get flashes of that pain when there’s a lot of stress. For instance, the court foreclosed my condo and ordered its sale without any notice to me. That’s after I remediated the pit completely. I found out that a Realtor in the same company where I had my condo listed, Sotheby’s, bought my condo at a foreclosure sale. I didn’t get any notice of the foreclosure or the sale. That’s major distressing.
Nerves regenerate – Numbness Ended
My thigh has feeling now. It no longer feels wooden when I touch it. My feet have feeling, too. So, I know feeling can come back. I think B12 in sufficient amounts will allow the nerves to regenerate or heal ~ I’m not sure what they do, but I am sure they do something of that nature.
I am also certain that stress works against the healing. One weekend, for instance, I had a tingling in my foot that wasn’t good. I think it was from worry about the loss of the condo. I thought I could get my Chapter 13 reopened and get the condo back, but the judge denied my motion. After I read the order a few more times and found writing on the back of each sheet and saw that the judge was saying I could file an adversary proceeding. I was so relieved and I felt so much better. Literally much better.
But I worry the adversary proceeding may not go as well as the one I did years ago. It should, but you know how sometimes things you think will go one way, really go another? That’s what I started thinking and the tingling feeling came into my left foot and was pretty bad. Not quite to the point where it feels like frost bite… but uncomfortable.
It was about this time I started taking serrapeptase, which was so helpful that I still take it.
I hope this helps anyone who has questions about numbness and whether there is hope of regaining feeling. Numbness ended in my feet, except high levels of stress periodically bring the numbness back.
The Thermography image originally came from the Charleston Integrative Medicine.