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Joint Pain and Vitamin B6 Deficiency


Have you ever had feelings of numbness, swelling, or weakness in your extremities? Vitamin B6 deficiency has been linked to various conditions such as shoulder and leg pain, swollen hands, tennis elbow, carpel tunnel syndrome, and some forms of arthritis. Arthritis and carpel tunnel are chronic conditions that can affect not only the hands, but wrists, forearms, elbows, and shoulders as well. Many times, the conservative course of treatment involves reducing inflammation and imrpoving ergonimics, but how often does it include checking vitamin levels?

Numbness and tingling in the extremities has been clinically connected with low levels of vitamin B6. Low B6 has also been linked to elevated C-Reactive Protein levels. When CRP levels are elevated, it is due to inflammation in the body. This could be inflammation in any part of the body, but it will clinically corolate to joint pain and swelling, especially in those arthritis and carpel tunnel situations.  Another marker to elevate with a B6 deficiency is homosysteine. Homosysteine is an amino acid that requires B vitamins to help clear free radicals from our system. When levels of B  vitamins are not adequate, homosysteine will be left unconverted in our bloodstream. This can cause damange to the tissues, cells, and entire vascular system.

So how does a drop in B6 lead to all this? Well, B6 is a key compoment in the formation of connective tissue. When it’s levels decline, bone and tissue formation is not at optimal function, this forming weaker joints. Combine this with the increase in CRP and homosysteine levels (inflammation), and it can lead to chronic joint issues.

What are the next steps if you think you or someone you know may have a B6 deficiency? We can run a few simple blood tests to find out your levels and provide you with proper supplementation as needed.