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What Causes Neuropathy—and How To Treat It

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There are a number of potential causes of neuropathy. Find out how to address the underlying cause of the problem for the most effective and longest-lasting change.

Revolution Health Radio podcast, Chris Kresser

This is an important topic and something that’s fairly commonly experienced. There’s not a lot of great information out there in the conventional medical world on how to troubleshoot neuropathy if you’re experiencing it.

In this episode, we cover:

2:28 Potential Causes of Neuropathy
5:44 Testing for B12 Deficiency
10:10 Four stages of B12 Deficiency
14:40 Five Potential Causes of B12 Deficiency
17:36 Treating B12 Deficiency 

Chris Kresser:  Hey, everyone. It’s Chris here. Steve is away. Unfortunately, he had a death in the family and Jordan is not available. So you’re stuck just listening to me go on and on for this episode. We’ll keep it relatively short, since listening to a monologue is never as interesting as a conversation.

But this is an important topic and I figured I would just go ahead and do it, because it’s something that’s fairly commonly experienced, and there’s not a lot of great information out there in the conventional medical world on how to troubleshoot this if you’re experiencing it. Let’s go ahead and listen to the question, and then we’ll get started.

Matt:  Hi, Chris. My question is, what sort of dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and possible supplementation would you recommend for neuropathy? As neuropathy can be associated with diabetes, B12 deficiency, toxin exposure, among other things, what tweaks would you make to your approach of those conditions, if neuropathy is also an issue? Similarly, if one just has idiopathic neuropathy, what recommendations would you suggest? Thanks.

Chris Kresser:  Again, great question. As is often the case, diagnosis is really key. In functional medicine, we always want to address the underlying cause of a problem. That’s what’s going to lead to the most effective and longest-lasting change and solution.

That’s the difference with the conventional model, which is often oriented more around symptoms suppression and disease management, irrespective of the underlying cause. For example, if you have high blood pressure, you take a medication to lower it. If you have high cholesterol, you take a medication to lower it. There’s oftentimes very little investigation into what the underlying causes of those symptoms or conditions may be.

Potential Causes of Neuropathy

With neuropathy, there are a number of potential causes, too many to cover in detail here. We’re going to focus on the ones that I think are the most common and most likely for listeners to be experiencing. Just to give you an idea of the many different things that can lead to neuropathy: we’ve got B12 deficiency; diabetes; toxic exposure, heavy metals; mold toxicity or something called chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), which I’m going to be talking more about in the future; liver-kidney disease; infections like Lyme disease; obstructive sleep apnea can worsen neuropathy. Then you have some drugs that have neuropathy as a side effect. Cardiac drugs for arrhythmias, certain antibiotics and antivirals that are used to treat HIV, some blood pressure medications, psychiatric drugs that are used to treat bipolar disorders, and anti-seizure medications.

To use a really simple example, if you’re taking one of these drugs and you have neuropathy, the simplest solution would be to talk to your doctor about finding another alternative treatment that’s not going to cause that kind of side effect. But for most people who are listening to this, I imagine that the cause of their neuropathy is something else.

B12 deficiency is, in my experience, by far the most common, and definitely the most common in my patient population. Statistically speaking, in the US, probably diabetes is the most common cause of neuropathy, because diabetes is just epidemic at this point. Then things like toxic exposure, mold toxicity, liver-kidney disease, and infections are probably less common causes.

Again, the most effective treatment here will depend on the cause. If blood sugar is the issue, diabetic neuropathy, then there is some evidence that a ketogenic diet may be helpful. There’s one account in the scientific literature of a complete reversal of diabetic neuropathy after two months of a ketogenic diet. The caveat is that the study was done in mice, not humans, so we can’t say for sure that that’s going to apply to humans. But we have enough research behind the effects of ketogenic diets in many other conditions with humans that I think it’s at least plausible.

And of course, all of the other things that we’ve talked about on the show and on my website and in my book about managing blood sugar, making sure you’re eating enough protein, making sure you’re getting enough exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise and strength training, can be helpful for improving metabolic health.  You want to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. We have tons of research now that shows how poor sleep contributes to diabetes and obesity. You want to make sure you’re managing your stress, reducing your intake of all of the highly-processed and refined foods that contribute to obesity and diabetes, and really focusing on real nutrient-dense, whole foods. We have all those basics. On top of that, doing a ketogenic approach for a period of time might be helpful, as the study I mentioned suggests.

Testing for B12 Deficiency

The next cause is B12 deficiency. We’re going to spend a little bit more time on this, because it’s much more poorly understood in general, even in the sort of functional, alternative medicine community I think.

I’ve written a couple of articles on B12 deficiency that you should definitely check out, if you haven’t already. If you just Google “Chris Kresser B12,” they’ll pop right up at the top. I go into some detail about the prevalence of B12 deficiency in various populations: omnivores, vegans, vegetarians. We talked about some really important information, not very well-known information about testing and diagnosis of B12 deficiency, which I’m going to kind of review here. Then we talked a little bit about treatment.

One of the most important things to understand about B12 deficiency is that the serum B12 is not a very reliable marker for diagnosing B12 deficiency. When you measure B12 in the serum, you’re measuring all of the different cobalamins. Cobalamins are all the different B12 compounds. That ranges from the most inactive forms of cobalamin, like cyanocobalamin, to the more active forms of cobalamin, like methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, which are referred to as active B12. That’s the type of B12 that can actually be delivered, get in the cells, and do what it’s supposed to do. Then there are intermediate forms of cobalamins, like hydroxocobalamin, which are not super active, but more active than something like cyanocobalamin.

When you measure serum B12, you’re measuring all of those different B12s. So it would be possible to have a normal or even high level of serum B12, and have most of that be inactive, and still be suffering from B12 deficiency, because you don’t really have enough of the active B12 that gets in the cells.

I’ve definitely seen that in my practice when I run B12 tests. Every patient that comes to my practice gets a blood test that includes B12. In many cases, we’ll also go on to do more advanced testing for B12 deficiency, which I’m about to tell you about. And I see many patients who have normal B12 levels in the serum, but have evidence of B12 deficiency using the more sensitive markers. So this is something that’s really important to understand.

What are those sensitive markers? Well, the most practical and most available at this time is methylmalonic acid, or MMA for short. You can test methylmalonic acid in the urine or the serum. Methylmalonic acid is an organic acid. It’s a by-product of normal cellular metabolism. It’s converted into succinic acid via a B12-dependent enzyme. That enzyme only can use active B12. So if methylmalonic acid (MMA) is elevated, it suggests there’s not enough active B12 to make that conversion. Therefore, it’s a sensitive indicator for active B12 deficiency.

Urine methylmalonic acid is thought to be more sensitive than serum methylmalonic acid as a marker, because MMA is more concentrated in the urine than it is in the serum. But there are a couple of caveats. Urine methylmalonic acid is not accurate in the case of kidney disease. So if you have kidney issues, it’s not a good marker for B12 deficiency. And serum methylmalonic acid is not accurate in cases of intestinal bacterial overgrowth, which we know is very common. In my patient population, intestinal bacterial overgrowth is far, far more common than kidney disease. In fact, in all the years that I’ve been doing this, I think I’ve only had a few patients with full-blown kidney disease. So I run urine methylmalonic acid as a result, because it’s much more reliable in my patient population.

There is another marker that’s even more sensitive for detecting B12 deficiency. That’s called holotranscobalamin (holoTC). HoloTC is composed of B12 attached to transcobalamin. This represents the biologically active part of B12 that can be delivered into the cells.

Four Stages of B12 Deficiency

There are actually four stages of B12 deficiency. I want to go over them with you, because it really highlights the importance of using this more sensitive testing and the limitations of using serum B12, and then also markers like hemoglobin and red blood cells—the markers of anemia—to detect B12 deficiency.

Stage I and II of B12 deficiency is when the plasma and cell stores of B12 become depleted, and transcobalamin is reduced. That’s all that happens in stage I and II. Typically, there are no other noticeable signs or symptoms. That is what holotranscobalamin (holoTC) will pick up. So there’s no other way that we know of right now to detect B12 deficiency in stage I and II, other than holotranscobalamin.

Stage III characterizes functional B12 imbalance, which involves elevated homocysteine and blood methylmalonic acid. That’s where you can detect B12 deficiency using methylmalonic acid as a marker, in that stage III. That may manifest in some symptoms, but it’s often not obvious to either the patient or the doctor, that those symptoms are B12-related.

I mentioned homocysteine. This is another marker that can be used to detect B12 deficiency at an earlier stage than serum B12. Homocysteine requires B12 and folate to be converted back into methionine. So if you see elevated homocysteine, you can suspect either B12 or folate deficiency. It’s important to understand that homocysteine is not specific to B12. The elevated homocysteine could be more related to folate deficiency than B12, so you can’t use it as an exclusive marker for B12 deficiency. But used in combination with methylmalonic acid, it can be really helpful for detecting B12 deficiency at that earlier stage.

Stage IV of B12 deficiency is when the clinical signs and symptoms of it become evident. That’s when you start to see things like neuropathy, anemia, severe fatigue, and other symptoms that develop with B12 deficiency.

If you think about this, in the conventional model, most people won’t even end up at the doctor until stage III or IV, because that’s when the symptoms start to become evident. By then, B12 deficiency has already progressed to the later stages. If it’s stage III, the doctor runs a serum B12 test, it’s in the normal range, they’ll say, “Oh, this isn’t a problem. Nothing to worry about.” But if you run homocysteine or methylmalonic acid in that stage, you’ll actually be able to detect it before it progresses into that stage IV, where in some cases, the effects of B12 deficiency, neurological damage, can be irreversible. So it’s really, really important to intervene at an early point here.

So why not test holoTC, since it can detect stage I and stage II B12 deficiency? I would love to be able to test that. Unfortunately, it’s not a readily available marker right now. When I wrote the article that I mentioned earlier, Quest Diagnostics had listed it on their website. It’s listed as a test that’s available. But at least here in the Bay Area, it’s not yet available at any Quest lab location. I have yet to hear anyone that’s been able to reliably order it. Hopefully, that will change in the near future. For now, we can use methylmalonic acid and homocysteine to at least detect B12 deficiency that’s progressed to stage III. Fortunately, if you intervene at that point, it’s usually, in my experience, the symptoms of B12 deficiency, including neuropathy, are reversible at that point.

Potential Causes of B12 Deficiency

Let’s talk a little bit about what the potential causes of B12 deficiency are, because it is, as I mentioned, at least in my patient population, the most common cause of neuropathy.

One would be pernicious anemia. This is often missed, I find. I’ve diagnosed several patients with pernicious anemia that didn’t know that they had it. This is an autoimmune disease that involves destruction of the parietal cells in the stomach. The parietal cells are where intrinsic factor is produced. Intrinsic factor binds to B12. The complex of intrinsic factor in B12 is absorbed in the small intestine. If you can’t produce intrinsic factor because your parietal cells are being attacked by your immune system, then essentially, you can’t absorb B12 orally. So people could be eating meat and all kinds of B12-rich foods like liver and shellfish, and they can still be B12 deficient. That’s important to understand, because it’s definitely true that B12 deficiency is way more common in vegans and vegetarians. According to recent tests that have used these more sensitive markers like methylmalonic acid, about 83% of vegans are deficient in B12 and 68% of vegetarians are deficient in B12, versus 5% of omnivores. But an omnivore who has pernicious anemia, for example, could still have B12 deficiency.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and low stomach acid can both impair the absorption of B vitamins, including B12. So I see B12 deficiency in people with SIBO.

Glutathione deficiency can lower B12 levels because one of glutathione’s roles is to protect B12 in the circulation. If it can’t protect it, then B12 gets damaged, and it can’t activate the cells as it should. So you could be glutathione-deficient if you have any kind of autoimmune disease, if you’re suffering from oxidative stress, if you’re not sleeping enough, if you’re not getting enough exercise or getting too much. Basically, anything that causes oxidative stress can deplete glutathione levels.

Then impaired methylation can cause B12 deficiency or interfere with B12 metabolism. We talked a lot about methylation on a recent episode, so I’ll just refer you to that.

Of course, inadequate dietary intake can cause B12 deficiency, which is why vegans and vegetarians have such high levels of B12 deficiency. There are really no adequate sources of B12 in the vegan and vegetarian diet. So if they’re not supplementing with B12 and preferably active forms of B12, then they could definitely have this problem.

Addressing B12 Deficiency

In terms of addressing this, if it is B12 deficiency and it is dietary intake, of course, adding animal foods that contain B12 to your diet is a good idea, if you’re open to that. I list what the highest sources of B12 are in the articles that I mentioned, so check that out. Shellfish, organ meats, and meats, red meat in general, are among the higher sources of B12. If you’re going to supplement with B12, it’s best to take an active form. So methylcobalamin and/or adenosylcobalamin, which is sometimes referred to as dibencozide, are the best forms of B12. If you’re dealing with pernicious anemia, SIBO, or low stomach acid, you’re going to have problems digesting capsules or tablets of B12. The best thing to do would be to use a sublingual form, so that the B12 gets absorbed that way and bypasses the digestive route. I think I carry a form of B12 in my store that I recommend, which is Jarrow Formulas sublingual lozenge of methylcobalamin.

There are studies that show that higher dose sublingual administration of B12 is as effective as injections in some cases. But what I’ve seen is that while most patients do well with B12 lozenges, sublingual form, some actually do better with injections, and they’re not comparable. So if you’re really dealing with pretty serious neuropathy, you’ve got B12 deficiency and have had it for a while, you’ve tried the sublingual lozenges and they’re not working for you, you may want to talk to your doctor about injections. You can get the active forms of vitamin B12 in injection. The typical injection that a doctor will prescribe will be the inactive form, cyanocobalamin. But you can get methylcobalamin injections. Those will generally be more effective.

There are some other supportive nutrients for B12 deficiency. Those include folate; trimethylglycine; vitamin B6, or the active form, which is pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P); and vitamin B2, or the active form, which is riboflavin 5’-phosphate (R5P).

If you’re dealing with a lot of oxidative stress and glutathione deficiency, then the antioxidants like vitamin A, E, and C, CoQ10, glutathione itself, selenium, which is important for immune regulation and glutathione production, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), and alpha lipoic acid (ALA) can all be really helpful in putting the brakes on oxidative stress.

I think we’ll stop there. I know that was a ton of information. I didn’t have Steve to interrupt me and help you to absorb everything. Hopefully, that helps those of you who are dealing with neuropathy, especially if it’s related to B12 deficiency.

We’ll talk to you next week. Steve will be back. Keep sending us your questions. We continue to get some really great questions and SI want this show to be all about you and what you want to know, so keep the questions coming in. We’ll talk to you next week.

91 Comments

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  1. I would be grateful for any information regarding treatment for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). Although it isn’t actually a neuropathy, it does share some similar symptoms. I couldn’t find any information in previous articles or the forum.

    • Hi Dee,
      I had a bout with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome due to a cast for a broken arm that was too tight. I was sent to a physical therapist that was familiar with treating CPRS. It took a number of sessions and work on my part to get my arm working again. I still have fingers that will not straighten out but otherwise all works well.

      I also found soaking my arm in Epsom Salts helped. The therapist suggested alternating between hot and cold water but I thought the Epsom Salts worked better.

      As I understand it, movement is the only thing that will fix CPRS. If you have the typical pain associated with it, I realize this is very difficult but necessary. Get on it now if you haven’t already. I was fortunate to not have the pain. Only a feeling of mild sunburn on the skin.

      I also read that once you have it, you always have it, meaning I think that it can come back. I have not experienced a return and mine was maybe 6 or 7 years ago. Also I read about a group of doctors who got together to brainstorm about why some people get CPRS. They had various ideas but one said she thought it was an autoimmune disease. If she is right, maybe my primal/paleo diet has kept it at bay.

      I hope some of this helps.

      • My daughter was misdiagnosed with RSD when she in fact has Lyme Disease and its coinfections as well as exposure to mold in our house.
        We live in a new house and never imagined we had mold. We found in attic and basement. Due to Lyme controversy I would go to a ND rather than an MD and use IGENEX lab in CA for Lyme testing. It’s expensive bu t traditional medicine has historically failed those dealing with RSD or Lyme or Mold, so it saves time, money, and complete frustration. Best of luck.

  2. Metformin is one of the drugs that make B12 hard to absorb. Is it any wonder diabetics are one of the populations with high PN?

  3. I developed neuropathy (burning & tingling & shooting electric shock type of pains) after a very stupid doctor told me to take silver pills. I’m guessing that the silver killed all of my beneficial bacteria because I had terrible gut issues after that, exhaustion, muscle spasms, and a long lasting (4 years soon) neuropathy.

    How is it that some people can take colloidal silver and it doesn’t hurt them? Look what it did to me. I’ve been giving myself B12 shots and was gluten-free for a couple years. The neuropathy is very very very slowly going away.

  4. Is it considered neuropathy if only a single nerve is affected? I have neuropathy of the median nerve on the right side. It started with shoulder blade weirdness, which feels like something moving under the skin, or like a TENS machine.

    At night, I get terrible burning of the right hand and first three fingers, and the hand and fingers sprain easily. Sleeping position does not matter, but it is alleviated by standing or sitting up. I also notice it gets worse on windy, or damp days, or maybe coincidence, mold spores are high. On sunny days, I don’t get it at all.

    My chiropractor thinks it’s carpal tunnel from using a computer, but can’t explain the weather factor. Any ideas?

    • You can try taking Europharma, Terry Naturally, P5P with Magnesium. My husband had trigger fingers. He had steroid injection a year ago & the pain was gone. The pain came back one year later and the doctor didn’t want to inject his fingers again. He tried P5P & Magnesium for a few weeks and the pain is gone.

  5. Could you clarify why MMA test is not accurate if the person has SIBO? and in what direction (high/low) does distortion from SIBO show up on MMA?

  6. What do you know about Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)? It’s used experimentally for many diseases with excellent results. I’ve studied it and it seems to help a lot of people.
    What’s your opinion on this?
    Thanks so much.

    • I don’t know if Chris will respond to you or not, but he gave a long talk about it last week on the autoimmune summit with Dr Amy Myers. He seems to be a big believer in its benefits and low risks for many conditions. I believe he said his wife has Graves and has been taking it for years.

    • I use LDN for treatment of rsd/crps. It is an absolute godsend. Cannot recommend it enough. I wasn’t sure how well it was working and my Rx lapsed for a month. Well I felt awful. Doesn’t work for everyone but its worth a try. Also give it time… It helped so gradually in increments.

      • I use LDN for treatment of rsd/crps. It is an absolute godsend. Cannot recommend it enough. I wasn’t sure how well it was working and my Rx lapsed for a month. Well I felt awful. Doesn’t work for everyone but its worth a try. Also give it time… It helped so gradually in increments.

      • It is pretty reasonably priced too. Call around to diff pharmacies. I have mine shipped to me.

  7. I have peripheral neuropathy caused by Cipro. I have been giving myself cyanocobalamine shots for several years and was encouraged to switch to the more active forms found in the sublingual tablets. I found that the coldness in lower legs and arms reappeared after several months. I’ve now gone back to the cyano– shots and the coldness seems to be disappearing. Taking LDN seems to help with the vestibular and balance problems as well as the associated tendon rupture throughout my entire body. I would discourage all from every touching, let alone taking, a fluoroquinolone antibiotic.

    • The same happened to me after taking Cipro. I do daily cyanocobalamin shots as well. I have tried hydroxocobalamin and methylcobalamin injections but cyano seems to work the best for me. My serum B12 was always “normal” so it took me 5 1/2 years to figure out the B12 connection. Finding the book “Could it Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnosis” saved my life. This lead to me being hypothyroid and Addison’s Disease as well.

      • Hi,
        Where do you obtain these shots from and what is the dosage? If your b12 comes back normal and your MD won’t treat normal blood levels .

  8. I too wanted to get my 2 cents in and thank you also for tackling a difficult and diverse set of conditions. I have a rare hereditary sensory neuropathy with no specific prognosis. While I didn’t have a lot of relief with the ketogenic diet (I tried it for about 2 months) I have found that taking fish oil and a paleo diet have helped my pain management a lot. For a 34 year old male – this means a whole lot more positive outlook on life. I’ll be interested to hear more!

  9. My wife acquired peripheral neuropathy six years ago which grow more and more severe. The doctor at the health care centre worked for some month to find the cause but did not go for an evident glucose test for diebetes. All of a sudden it struck my wife that she might have diabetes and started to investigate on her own – all signs were there and the final convincing thing was when I brought her at box of nice Swiss chocolate back from a trip. After a few pieces and during the following night her peripheral nerves were hurting so she just wanted to go to the emergency room at the hospital and have her arms amputated as she expressed it to me on the following day.

    Anyway, the immediately decided to cut all carbs from one day to the other with amazing health benefits. First her IBS problem she had carried for 30 years disappeared in THREE DAYS. Her dark vision which had made her unable to drive the car in darkness returned in about half a year. She had been diagnosed with glaucoma but of that were no more signs. In one year all of her neuropathy had disappeared.

    • What do you mean by ‘cut all carbs’? vegetables have carbs, too. Could you please be very specific as to what was cut. Her results are fascinating!

    • I sure would have her test for celiac. Neuropathy is fairly common among celiac a and really fits the rest of her story. Good wishes!

  10. On cause of neuropathy that you have left out is gluten/wheat. The connection between the brain/nervous system and gluten even when there is no evidence of celiac disease, is well documented

    I have severe crippling small fiber peripheral neuropathy. When I stopped eating gluten 12 years ago I saw great improvement. It took another 5 years for me to transition to a paleo template so most of the improvement was from gluten removal. My pain level slowly decreased from a 10 to 0. It use to be that I had to sleep with my feet dangling off the side of the bed because of pain. I now sleep with my feet under the covers. I still have some residual numbness, but my feet don’t slow me down anymore.

    I know others who have found great relief or total reversal of peripheral neuropathy with a gluten free diet. If you want to see some of the articles go here. https://sites.google.com/site/jccglutenfree/theneurologicalmanifestationsofgluten

  11. Hi, just to add to the topic, I have multiple sclerosis. When I’m over heated or fatigued, stressed too, I can suffer neuropsthay anywhere in my body. Lately it’s in my feet, but it move to my head and face like tic-de-la-rue. It’s as if I’m sunburned beneath my skin. I most prominently will get it in my legs. When I increase my B12, and especially my B6 dosages, along with D3, I get alleviation…..acetominaphen used wisely helps too. Turmeric, chamomile, and ginger in my diet also help….along with a high chlorophyll intake in my diet as well. Thanks!

  12. Just thought I’d throw in my 2 cents (my anecdotal evidence in treating a lot of PN successfully for over 10 years).

    I’ve found the most effective thing in my practice is to treat the low back and piriformis – loosening the tight muscles around the lower spine/sacrum, and the piriformis muscle itself using deep tissue massage (and acupuncture).

    Despite the cause (although I usually see diabetics), I’ve found this to provide almost immediate relief. Add in the supplementation as you talked about (I like to use Chinese herbs also) and a full cure is often possible.

    In my experience supplementation by itself is at best a really slow road and at worst not effective.

    • Doug, Are you aware the metformin that so many diabetics are taking can cause very low B12? There are also numerous drugs like PPIs, too,

      I sure hope so.

    • You can bet that chemo restricts your B12 absorption.

      AND it is unlikely to hurt. Get the methylcobalamin sublingual form. If one brand does not seem to work, try another. Chris said he sells Jarrow brand.

    • I am undergoing chemo and neuropathy in my hands is a side effect. My oncologist recommended 1000mg of B12 once a day and 100mg of B6 twice a day. I noticed a huge improvement after doing that. He also recommended taking glutamine.

    • I am 84 years old started in my 60s having night sweats as time went on I had surgery for breast cancer followed by 6 years of tamoxifen; then shingles, both causes nerve damages I now have numbness in both feet blue toes and pain I cannot find a doctor that can help me,altho I have been given Tramodol for pain and Lyrica for the nerves. I have now been on Lyrica for year, and it takes time to get adjusted to the system and now with the 2 medications, I am doing so much better on the 2 medications But the dampness of rain and snow ,yes I do sit in bed with pain in both feet , then heat as hot as i can sure helps. always take B12 .and there is a special test for it not just the little blood test given at the doctors office, please pressure the doctor to get the test for you. my daughter was near bed rest till she found out and it was inherited from me too. hope this helps someone there

  13. Hi Chris!
    My mom developed neuropathy after cancer treatment. It’s been 4 years since the treatment and she still have it. Is there anything she can do to help with the pain? She also have corpal tunnal and rheumatoid arthritis.
    Doctors told he, it will go away but it didn’t.

  14. I am 69 year old woman who has been sick for years. It started with the birth of my daughter, with thyroid issues. I had surgery it grew back and had radiation.I developed balance issues, panic attacks and allegies. I had allergies injections , treatment for candida infections, supplements for defiencies. My doctor was Sherry Rogers one of the first in alternative health issues. I injured my back, developed raynaurds disease , and arthritis. I in the last years developed numbness and pain in my feet, so bad I can’t wear shoes. With the lower back problems I have ,osteo arthritis knees and now my feet, I am home bound and depressed.My blood sugar usually is around 80s. , so why neuropathy in my feet. I have leaky gut from candida, I think. My sister died with scleroderma when she was 46. I have high levels of different auto immune levels like RA , ana told I have auto bodies to different auto diseases. My feet feel like they are thick rubber bands that are tight and my feet feel heavy and get edema. I am in chronic pain all the time and have given up hope. I was always taking care of everyone now I can’t take care of self. I developed ulcer on my leg and it became infected,.it took along time to heal.
    I have had iron issues when younger and had been on b12 Shots. I started taking sub linqual ones and my doctor didn’t like my levels being up around 1000. I am back to taking them without her knowing. She also put me on V it d which was really low. The pills made me really sick and depressed . I couldn’t take them. I took sub linqual ones which brought my levels up to the 40s. The latest is I developed problem with my ears feeling like my head is under water. I ended up ERand was put on amoxicillion for ear infections.They wanted to put me on cipro, but I think it caused the neuropathy in my feet when I was on them before. I am sorry this is so long, but I believe all diseases have a root cause and am looking to find out the root of mine. I think my thyroid has always been a main root and still is. My morning temps are usually around 96 or 97. I would appreciate any in put, I feel like its to hard to get out of bed anymore.

    • I have a lot in common with you! I am only 20 and the pain in my feet drives me crazy. Ive also taken cipro in the past, had low vit d. I had hypothyroid and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. My feet are killing me. I have a yest overgrowth/candida. My holistic practitioner doesnt know whats causing this. Like someone else said in the comments, gluten sensitivity could be a cause. Another symptom i have is pain where my liver is. I wanted chris to talk about that more. If anyone can help at all, please please reply to my comment with advice. Ive been suffering with this for quite some time and just dont know how to treat it. Perhaps i will start taking b6 and b12. but i feel like the liver pain is connected to the numb/painful feet.

      • Low vitamin D is absolutely and can cause neuropathy. After labs I’m on 50,000 iu once a week for 12 weeks. My b12 was 340. Considered in acceptable range but I’m not sure about that. I have neuropathy with bad burning in one foot all way up my leg to my hip I hope the vitamin D helps. Any comments appreciated. Michael

  15. Hello,

    I would really love to meet with a talented homeopathic MD like yourself, however I live in Chicago so I won’t be able to come see you Dr. Kresser. Do you have any good recommendations for MD’s in the Chicagoland area that I can see?

    Thanks!

  16. Chris, I’d like to know more, as I have peripheral neuropathy, and have had it since my teens, some 36 years now. I’m wondering about the role of omega-3s, given their very high concentration in nerve sheaths. I’m stepping up my bone broth intake.

  17. Chris, I am a vegetarian, and I persistently have high levels of B12, usually around 1200-1300. My doctor is not concerned, but I am wondering how this could be. The supplements I take are biotin, folic acid, glucosamine chondroitin, ginger, turmeric, bilberry, lutein, vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium. could any of these be causing these high levels of B12? Is it cause for concern?

    • hi Bee are your liver function tests normal? The excessive B12 could be from your liver. Mine are about at the same level but i take 10 mg of sublingual a day. It drops, once i stop taking the supplementation.

      it’s unlikely that you have any of these diseases if you are feeling otherwise healthy, but you might want to get tested in this direction, if there are no other dietary sources where you could be getting the B12

      from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14636871

      Elevated levels of serum cobalamin may be a sign of a serious, even life-threatening, disease. Hematologic disorders like chronic myelogeneous leukemia, promyelocytic leukemia, polycythemia vera and also the hypereosinophilic syndrome can result in elevated levels of cobalamin. Not surprisingly, a rise of the cobalamin concentration in serum is one of the diagnostic criteria for the latter two diseases. The increase in circulating cobalamin levels is predominantly caused by enhanced production of haptocorrin. Several liver diseases like acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and metastatic liver disease can also be accompanied by an increase in circulating cobalamin. This phenomenon is predominantly caused by cobalamin release during hepatic cytolysis and/or decreased cobalamin clearance by the affected liver. Altogether it can be concluded that an observed elevation of cobalamin in blood merits the a full diagnostic work up to assess the presence of disease.

      • Yes my liver function tests are normal. I brought that exact same article you quoted to my doctor and asked about it and she said no, you don’t have any of these things otherwise your other test numbers would be off. The weird thing is, I used to supplement with a B complex, but I discontinued it, and the B12 number hasn’t gone down. I wonder if it stores in the blood?

      • please help me. i am looking for ANY sort of clue to help me get to the root cause of my problems. i have numbness in my feet as well as pain/achiness in my liver area. i have yeast overgrowth that i just started treating. im really really hoping i dont have some sort of liver disease. i also have symptoms of stiffness and muscle aches along with fatigue. had gut issues and food sensitivities that im now treating. i dont know if the liver stuff is connected to that or if it will go away on its own or not. you seem to know a lot about this stuff. is there any way you can help me

        • You had mentioned being on cipro. All your symptoms relate to toxicity from it. If you have not yet discovered this facebook group please see:: fluoroquinilone toxicity. You will get many answers if you are still dealing with this.

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