by Cathy
(Port Elizabeth)

Hi Dr B, not sure if you remember me. I was a patient of yours for about a year before I left Hilton to come and live in PE a year and a bit ago. I lost my thyroid to cancer in 2010 and now my endocrinologist is telling me that my autoimmune disease has found a new host in my nervous system an I have been diagnosed with neuropathy. My hands and feet have been tingling badly since July last year.

A neurologist did a conductivity test and told me then my symptoms were all in my head! I know I am not 'nuts' anyway they now want me to go onto anti depressants or epileptic meds. Neither are an option for me. I found a homeopath and we are doing the gluten free and vitamin route.

A chiro is still working on my lower back and hips which continue to bother me. Any more advice that you could give me? I miss our chats. Keep well.

Of course, I remember you Cathy! How could I forget.

This does sound unrelated to your spine, and also unrelated to your mental state. What you feel is what you feel.

The difference between signs and symptoms is that the former have some objective findings, like loss of a reflex, but symptoms are what you report. At this stage there are no physical findings, but that doesn't mean the tingling doesn't exist.

I would start with a series of vitamin B12 injections. It's only absorbed if there are adequate levels of a substance called intrinsic factor being produced by the lining of the stomach wall. There's an autoimmune disease that attacks these cells. Lack of vitamin B12 certainly could cause these symptoms.

In it's full blown state it would certainly be detected by a full blood work up; the condition is called pernicious anaemia. In mild or early cases there may be no sign of altered blood cells.

The diagnosis is made from a full blood count, and examination of the red blood cells; in this condition they are larger than normal. Has this been done?

Pernicious anemia incidently often occurs after thyroid problems. Read it up on Wikipedia.

This is a long shot, and may not reflect your problem at all. But talk to your doctor about it.

I'm afraid that's all I have to offer; with these sorts of bizarre symptoms, I always suggest going back to basics. Look critically at your diet and make sure you are getting the right sorts of fats which line the nerves. Plenty of olive oil and avocados, and low polyunsaturated fats like sunflower oil. No margarine. Type butter is back into google and see what comes up.

Then omega 3 from fatty fish and freshly ground flax seeds. Nuts too.

When last did you have three consecutive weeks holiday? Stress finds the weak point. Taking walks? Apple a day?

Let me know what comes of all this. I hope I've contributed something.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to LOVE HATE.

Did you find this page useful? Then perhaps forward it to a suffering friend. Better still, Tweet or Face Book it.

Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?

Interesting questions from visitors

CLS writes:

Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.

You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.