Nutritional neuropathies occur as the result of poor nutrition, particularly if there is a deficiency of certain B vitamins. All of the B vitamins are important for normal nerve function. Thiamine (B1) is commonly found in enriched breads, pasta, and cereal. Thiamin deficiency may occur in alcoholism, anorexia, or bulimia.

Neuropathy can also occur in people who are deficient in Vitamin B6 or Vitamin B12. Vitamin B6 is found in meat, beans, greens, fish, and whole grains. Vitamin B6 deficiency is uncommon, but can occur as a side effect of certain medications such as the antibiotic, isoniazid.

Vitamin B12 is commonly found in meat and dairy. Its deficiency can be caused by poor absorption of food from the intestine. It is also found in people with pernicious anemia.

People with neuropathy caused by the above vitamin deficiencies often complain of decreased sensation or pins and needles in their hands and feet. They may have problems with balance and their reflexes are often diminished.

Not only can deficiency in these B vitamins lead to neuropathy, but excessive amounts of B6 and B12 vitamins can lead to neuropathy as well. Therefore, people should be careful with the amount of supplements they use.

Return from Nutritional Neuropathies back to Peripheral Neuropathy Types