Numbness and Tingling

What are Numbness and Tingling?

From time to time, we've all experienced that pins-and-needles sensation from sitting too long in one spot or from sleeping in an awkward position, or an electric shock sensation when we move the wrong way, but sometimes nutritional deficiencies can cause constant feelings or frequent episodes of numbness and tingling. Let's take a look at some possible causes.

Numbness and TinglingWhat helps Numbness and Tingling?

• Deficiencies of calcium and magnesium can cause these sensations. Recommendation: Take a combination calcium and magnesium supplement (or separate tablets) providing 1000 mg of calcium and 500 mg of magnesium daily. If your symptoms have not responded within 2 to 4 weeks, deficiencies of these minerals probably were not the cause.

• Deficiency of linoleic acid, the raw material essential fatty acid from which your body makes the prostaglandin messengers, can cause numbness and tingling. Recommendation: Increase your intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats by using olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, dietary linseed oil, and safflower oil in cooking and dressings. And to further improve your response to essential fatty acids, begin with the proper macronutrient framework. To that nutritionally sound base add supplemental gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) and EPA fish oil in a ratio of 1:4 (GLA:EPA) 1 to 3 times daily. The EicoPro essential fatty acid product manufactured by Eicotec, Inc., of Marblehead, Massachusetts, contains ultrapure sources of linoleic acid and fish oils already combined in the proper ratio. If you cannot get that product, you can purchase linoleic acid in a product called evening primrose oil at most health and nutrition stores, and EPA fish oil as well. Because it is not as pure a form, the milligram dosing will be different. You can make a reasonable substitute by combining evening primrose oil capsules with fish oil capsules plus vitamin E. Take 500 mg of evening primrose oil (a source of linoleic acid in capsule form), plus 1000 mg EPA fish oil, plus 200IU vitamin E 1 to 3 times a day. (Warning to diabetics: EPA fish oil can cause blood sugar fluctuations in some diabetics. Carefully monitor your blood sugar if you use this supplemental oil and discontinue its use if your blood sugar becomes difficult to control.)

• Deficiencies of the vitamins of the B-complex can cause numbness and tingling, since these vitamins all play important roles in normal nerve function. Recommendation: Take 100 mg B-complex daily. Plus, additional supplementation with the following B-group vitamins may also help:

• Pantothenic acid as calcium d-pantothenate 150 mg per day; 50 mg vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) per day; 25 to 50 grams thiamine (vitamin B,) per day; 100 mg niacin (vitamin B3) per day; 2 to 5 mg folic acid per day; and 1000 micrograms vitamin Bl2 weekly to monthly.

Numbness and Tingling Herbal remedies

• Numbness and TinglingTo supplement your calcium intake, use pigweed, the best plant source for this nutrient. Other plants that contain calcium include stinging nettle, marjoram, red clover, thyme, basil, celery seed, dandelion, and purslane.

• Purslane is also high in magnesium.

• Get your GLA from black currant oil or evening primrose oil.

Dosages may vary, depending on the duration and severity of your symptoms. Follow package directions, or consult a qualified herbal practitioner.

What makes Numbness and Tingling worse?

Mercury toxicity can cause numbness and tingling, and although you aren't likely to be supplementing your diet with mercury, the levels of mercury and other heavy metals have increased in some cold-water fish. Some fish oil supplements may contain unacceptable levels of mercury and other heavy metals, because their manufacturing process does not remove these toxic compounds from the oil. If you supplement with fish oil for this or other indications, we encourage you to purchase these oils from Eicotec, Inc., of Marblehead, Massachusetts. Their patented process ensures removal of heavy metals.



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