IS YOUR NEUROLOGIST CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR VITAMIN AND MINERAL LEVELS? · Parkinson's Resource Organization

IS YOUR NEUROLOGIST CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR VITAMIN AND MINERAL LEVELS?

Category: Newsworthy Notes

When’s the last time they took a blood test? Is it possible that any of the symptoms that are considered Parkinson’s are really coming from vitamin or mineral deficiencies? How about hormone imbalances? For instance: What a Vitamin B12 Test might show A vitamin B12 level test measures the amount of B12 in the blood. B12 is an important vitamin for various basic bodily functions, such as brain health, blood cell production, and correct nerve functioning. Having Low B12 levels can lead to serious nerve damage and deteriorating brain functions. Deficiency of vitamin B12 in a new, breastfeeding mother puts children at a greater risk for neurological damage and developmental problems (Harvard). The test is pretty simple—it just requires getting your blood drawn. It only takes a few minutes, but can provide extremely valuable information about the presence or absence of this critical vitamin in your body. A doctor might recommend a B12 test if you have symptoms such as:

  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Problems with balance
  • A racing heart
  • Confusion
  • Dementia
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite

Most of which happen in people with Parkinson’s disease. Because so many people with Parkinson’s are treated for acid reflux, a B12 test will determine if some of these medications interfere with healthy B12 levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency, if it goes on long enough, undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to permanent damage of the brain and the spinal cord that can affect people’s ability to move, walk and think clearly. Vitamin E Evaluations are useful for:

  • Individuals with motor and sensory neuropathies
  • Premature infants requiring oxygenation
  • Persons with intestinal malabsorption of lipids

Vitamin E contributes to the normal maintenance of biological membranes of the vascular system, and the nervous system, and provides antioxidant protection for vitamin A. The level of vitamin E in the plasma or serum after a 12- to 14-hour fast reflects the individual’s reserve status. Currently, the understanding of the specific actions of vitamin E is very incomplete. Deficiency of vitamin E in children leads to reversible motor and sensory neuropathies; this problem also has been suspected in adults. Deficiencies of vitamin E may arise from poor nutrition or from intestinal malabsorption.Vitamin E toxicity has not been clearly established. And Vitamin B6 helps the body to make antibodies. Antibodies are needed to:

  • Fight many diseases
  • Maintain normal nerve function
  • Make hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues. A vitamin B6 deficiency can cause a form of anemia and break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need. Keep blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges. Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water so the body cannot store them. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a regular supply in your diet. Vitamin B6 is found in:

  • avocado
  • banana
  • legumes (dried beans)
  • beef
  • pork
  • nuts
  • poultry
  • whole grains and fortified cereals
  • corn.

Large doses of vitamin B6 can cause:

  • Difficulty coordinating movement
  • Numbness
  • Sensory changes

At the same time, deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Mouth and tongue sores also known as glossitis
  • Peripheral neuropathy

We already know a lack of iron can drag a person down. Experts say numerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to fatigue. If left unchecked, the same deficiencies that make it hard to keep your head up can lead to long-term health consequences including impaired brain function. You need to explore all possible explanations for your fatigue. This is for ongoing feelings of exhaustion to worries about muscle fatigue being more pronounced or prolonged than might be expected from physical activity. Some of the most common causes of fatigue – and easiest things to test for – involve deficiencies in three minerals and two vitamins; Iron, lack of magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12 and folic acid. All of them can be corrected through proper supplements or through dietary changes.

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Updated: August 16, 2017