Q&A: What Can I Do About Stiff, Painful Fingers?

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Filed Under: Q&As, Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 04/23/2014

Two years ago, I had a heart attack. Since then I’ve tried to "clean up my act." However, I have one problem that still bothers me—my fingers are always painful and stiff and I often feel a tingling sensation. On some days the same problems seem to extend up into my hands, elbows, and even shoulders. What do you think?

If you have a history of heart disease, I would suggest adding a B-complex to your multivitamin program. It should contain vitamins B6, B12, choline, and folic acid, all of which can lower homocysteine levels.

Here's why. Medical literature has shown that the typical American diet is lacking in vitamin B6, and a B6 deficiency can disrupt adrenal function and throw the balance of intracellular and extracellular potassium out of kilter. When that happens, problems such as numbness and tingling in the extremities, respiratory weakness, abdominal distention, muscle spasms, angina pain, arthritis, neuritis, and even heart attacks can result.

One of the most important studies ever on how to prevent heart disease provides a simple method of using vitamins like B6 to dramatically reduce the risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis. The gist of the study revolves around homocysteine, an amino acid that can severely damage arteries and cause atherosclerosis.

Several things can cause elevated homocysteine levels, but the primary cause is a deficiency in one or more of certain B-complex vitamins. So, check your multivitamin to be sure it includes B-complex vitamins. Or, if you want to play it safe, you can do as I do: Take an extra 100 mg tablet of vitamin B6 each day.

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