Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Can you stand on one leg and close your eyes without falling over

Hi and wonder if anyone can help, recently seen on this site reference to B12 deficiency which showed [ Trying to stand on one foot with the eyes closed] I tried this and found it near impossible to keep my balance.

I suffer from nosebleeds all my life and learned to accept that.

Has anyone else similar please

Ro

23 Replies
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Hi rosebush1953 The fact that you can't "stand on one foot with the eyes closed" doesn't necessarily mean that you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency or Pernicious Anaemia. That will only be determined by a doctor running blood tests.

However here is a comprehensive list all in one place. If you are really worried go and see your doctor.

1.1 General Symptoms

The following general symptoms are common in those with PA:

 The Strange Tiredness

 Fog days, where you have difficulty in thinking clearly

 Weakness

 Fatigue

 Upset stomach

 Abnormally rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) and/or chest pains

 Abnormal yellow colouration of the skin (jaundice)

 Heightened sensitivity to hearing, smell, and taste

 Vision distortion, e.g. seeing stars, or double vision

 Breathlessness

 Headache

 Cankers (ulcers) in the mouth

 Sleep disorders

 Intolerance to loud sounds, flashing lights

 Intolerance to crowded malls (needing personal space)

 Tinnitus – ringing in ears

1.2 Neurological Symptoms

The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

 Numbness and tingling of the arms and more commonly the legs

 Difficulty walking

 Loss of balance

 Hands feel gloved with loss of sensitivity

 Loss of vibration sense, having to look down to see where you are walking

 Unable to close your eyes and stand on one foot

 Night vision

 Memory loss

 Disorientation

 Dementia

 Extreme mood changes

 Short term memory loss

Some experience many of these symptoms and some none of them. It depends on how quickly the PA is treated and on how well managed it is.

1.3 Gastrointestinal Symptoms

The gastrointestinal symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

A sore tongue

 Appetite loss

 Diarrhoea and/or constipation

 Stomach pain

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Hi and thanks for the quick reply, I recently found my right ear gave off a rush of Air which was very pronounced afterwards felt nothing unusual and no discharge.

For the last two years or more felt as if I was wearing a hat [something constrictive] and told my GP and now waiting the result.

Thanks

Ro

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Appreciate any help

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Problems with ears may cause balance problems.

I'm not a medically trained person - your doctor is.

I wish you well

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Hi and thanks for the quick reply, I have just had a head scan and waiting any day now for the results, my ear recently gave off a large hissing sound with no discharge so will tell my GP

thanks for your help

Ro

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Yes I am waiting for the results of a very recent head scan, so will go from that.

Thanks

ro

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In my non medical opinion I would think the inability to stand on one leg with eyes closed comes under neurological symptoms. It sounds like Ataxia whereby the cerebellum is possibly damaged. There is the other test - walking heel to toe with eyes closed.

I have been practising yoga since the 70's and teaching for six years. Standing on one leg and doing the Tree asana used to come easily - sadly not anymore. Not sure of the cause - I have Hashimotos as well as a B12 issue - both can be connected to ataxia. Gluten ataxia also another issue. 😊

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Hi and thanks for the quick reply and I have tried the heel to toe walk and keep falling to one side so will read up on Ataxia

Thanks

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Me too 😊

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healthunlocked.com/ataxia-u...

Also found this :-) Lots more on the net ....

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A good place to start reading about ataxia is the support group Ataxia UK ataxia.org.uk

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You need to see a neurologist. There are many possible causes for the balance problems you describe. Some are more serious than others. Some are easily fixed or are temporary, others are permanent.

I can't stand on two legs with my eyes closed, especially if I tilt my head back. My own ataxia isn't caused by my B12 deficiency, so I know it's only going to get worse. Luckily it will do so fairly slowly.

For a while I thought it may have been gluten ataxia. But my neurologist (at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery) says there's no such thing. Only one person in the world believes in it and nobody else can replicate his work.

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Perhaps an MRI of brain would show some damage.

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I had a CT scan and an MRI when they were checking out my neuroendocrine tumours, brain is intact.

The nerve conduction studies were pretty conclusive. A total absence of any Sensory Nerve Action Potential in my lower legs. But no effect on motor responses.

Nobody is sure why, but it's almost certainly because I am too tall - academic.oup.com/aje/articl...

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Hi and thanks for the reply, I am expecting the results back this week from my head scan so will go from there, I suffer from nose bleeds as did my mother and other family members, this often causes anaemia which brings its own issues.

Thanks for your information

Ro

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Hi and thanks for the reply, I have just had a head scan and should get the answers very soon, sorry to hear that you have Ataxia

will keep everyone posted

Cheers

Ro

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An old Dr used to say the nosebleeds relieved pressure in the brain. My left nostril occasionally bleeds.Somewhat high BP.

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You've tried holding your nose and getting both ears to pop? If one doesn't go easily it might be a bit bunged up. Balance issues are usually ear related.

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Balance is a complicated process that works using input from ears, eyes and proprioception sensors (the system that tells your body where it's bits are without looking) that is processed by the brain.

If the system in the ears goes wrong then it can be quite horrible (as testified by anybody who experiences the 'whirling pits' when drunk). But it can work OK if one of the other two fails (otherwise we would all fall over with eyes closed).

With neuropathy the proprioception system in the legs fails. Normally the eyes and ears can cope with this. But remove input from the eyes as well and the brain cannot maintain balance.

A more common, and more serious, ataxia is found when the processing centre in the brain is damaged. That sounds terrible.

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Hi and thanks for the email, all sounds very scary so will wait to find out what they find

Cheers

ro

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thanks I have tried this

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Hi.

I had my B12 deficiency completely under control, and I could stand on one leg in the shower again!

Within the past 6 months though, I have had the balance problems, dizziness, tinnitus, and nearly all my B12 deficiency symptoms (both physical and neurological) return.

I tried daily SI with 1ml cyano, with zero effect!

I have now just been diagnosed with high hematocrit levels and hypertension. The symptoms are nearly the same as B12 deficiency.

Only a suggestion to anyone who may also have thought (like me), that the B12 injections have stopped working, that there are other health problems that can cause almost identical B12 deficiency symptoms!

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Sorry to hear symptoms back again

Ro

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