Ganglion Cyst Vitamin Deficiency: Is There A Link?

In this article, we will understand Ganglion Cysts and Vitamin Deficiency. We will explore their nature, causes, and symptoms. Additionally, we will understand whether there is a the potential link between these two medical conditions.
Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a BSc Biomedical Science student at the University of Westminster, London.

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What are Ganglion Cysts?

Ganglion cysts are non-malignant, jelly-like lesions that may grow on a tendon of a joint, most frequently on the wrist or hand, but they may be found on the ankle, foot or other parts of the body. They may be only as small as a pea or as large as a golf ball, with consistency ranging from soft to firm [1].

These turn out to be filled with a gelatinous goo and grow from a joint capsule or tendon sheath via a stalk [2]. They can be painless or, if they massage a nerve, give rise to feelings of tingling, numbness or pain. They can grow slowly or rapidly, but the most afflicted tend to be between 15 and 40 years of age, and women are also particularly susceptible. Such cysts tend to be less than 2.5 cm across [3].

Ganglion cysts are non-cancerous, most disappear without treatment, and they generally won’t lead to devastating outcomes other than perhaps some pain or loss of motion based on their location and size [1]. Occasionally, they can compress nerves to cause neurological symptoms, as well [2].

What is Vitamin Deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency refers to a health condition when your body doesn't receive enough vitamins due to bad nutrition and disease resulting in a variety of health issues depending on which vitamin is deficient. For example, when your body doesn't have enough Vitamin D, it can lose bone density. It can cause diseases such as osteoporosis and fractures. The extreme of it can lead to disease where children get "rickets" and adults get "osteomalacia" where the bones are soft and weak, and their muscles are weak too [4].

Vitamin B12 deficiency is largely due to autoimmune disorders, malabsorption, or dietary inadequacy – that is, people who don’t eat fortified grains or take supplements, such as strict vegetarians and vegans. A lack of Vitamin B12 can cause anaemia, nerve damage, cognitive difficulties and other health problems [5].

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What Causes Vitamin Deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency is caused by a wide range of factors. The possible most common cause is low dietary intake. The deficiency of vitamin B12 sometimes occurs in people on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. This is because there are only limited amounts of this vitamin in plant-based foods. Vitamin B12 is almost exclusively found in animal products including meat, fish, poultry and dairy foods [5].

The deficiency of vitamin D can be caused by low intake in the diet or poor exposure to sunlight. Other causes of Vitamin D will include malabsorption problems, problems with liver or kidney function that prevent the conversion of Vitamin D to its active form, and ageing will reduce skin vitamin D production. Several medications including weight loss drugs will decrease your body’s ability to convert or absorb Vitamin D [4].

Deficiency in certain vitamins could be due to lifestyle factors: not eating enough and getting sufficient sun exposure either due to lifestyle or geographical reasons can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. This can promote symptoms such as fatigue, anaemia, and poor wound healing [4].

Ganglion Cyst Vitamin Deficiency

Is there a relationship between Ganglion Cysts and Vitamin Deficiency?

Ganglion cysts are non-cancerous lumps that tend to form on the tendons or joints of your wrists or hands, or your ankles or feet. The cause and mechanism are not exactly known, but they are believed to happen secondary to injury, trauma, or repetitive use of a joint [1].

Vitamin D has several effects on the body, affecting bone health, immune function, and the growth of nerves [1]. These serve as the foundation for the hypotheses explored by researchers who reported – without concrete evidence – that Vitamin D can influence neuronal health and growth. For instance, one study reported that Vitamin D deficiency in rats led to ‘sensory and sympathetic denervation (loss of connection) of the synovium’ (a thin membrane that lines the spaces in joints) [6], and another reported an association with thinner retinal ganglion cell complex (an integral part of the nervous system) among older adults [7].

Nevertheless, although these studies point out what a fruitful avenue of research on vitamin D might turn out to be for nerve health in general, none directly links a vitamin D deficiency to the occurrence of ganglion cysts. None of the studies support the idea that a Vitamin D deficiency or any other Vitamin Deficiency can cause Ganglion Cysts either. Therefore, depending on the current body of scientific literature, the development of ganglion cysts may not be directly linked to a vitamin deficiency.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it’s critical to maintain adequate levels of all vitamins (including vitamin D) for optimal health. If you think you may have a vitamin deficiency or ganglion cyst, see your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, to discover if there is a genuine relationship between Ganglion Cysts and Vitamin Deficiency, more research is needed to be conducted.

Greta Daniskova

Greta Daniskova

Greta is a 2nd-year student currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. Currently, in her second year of undergraduate studies, she exhibits a keen interest in the dynamic field of healthcare. With a focus on understanding the intricacies of human biology and disease mechanisms, Greta is driven by a desire to contribute to advancements in medical research and patient care.