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Archive for the ‘Autoimmune Disease’ Category

The Addison’s Disease-Vitamin B12 Deficiency Link

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012



What is Addison’s disease, and why is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency sometimes labeled Addison’s anemia? Here are some facts about B12 deficiency and Addison’s.


What is Addison’s disease?

Addison’s disease is a rare illness that destroys the adrenal glands. Since symptoms of Addison’s don’t manifest themselves until the adrenal cortex is nearly obliterated- by 90%- Addison’s disease is difficult to catch in time to prevent damage.

What are the symptoms of Addison’s disease?

Symptoms of advanced-stage Addison’s disease include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Salt cravings
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skin discolorations


What causes Addison’s disease?

Addison’s from autoimmune disorder is the most common type, but other rare forms of Addison’s disease occur around the world.

Causes of Addison’s disease include:

  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Fungal infection
  • Adrenal hemorrhage
  • Treatment for Cushing’s disease
  • Some hereditary diseases
  • Secondary Addison’s disease from pituitary gland tumor

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s

Most cases of Addison’s disease result from autoimmune disorder, and approximately half eventually develop other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid malfunctions.

Often, vitamin B12 deficiency also results from an autoimmune disorder- pernicious anemia, which occurs when the stomach is unable to produce or maintain the intrinsic factor enzyme that is necessary for vitamin B12 absorption.

About 5% of patients with autoimmune Addison’s disease may also develop vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Because of the strong link between vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia is sometimes referred to as Addison’s anemia.

Other conditions that correlate with Addison’s include:

  • Vitiligo (white patches on skin)
  • Celiac disease- gluten sensitivity disorder
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura)- low blood platelets


Symptoms of pernicious anemia

Blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency and intrinsic factor antibodies can determine if you have pernicious anemia.

Symptoms of pernicious anemia include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mental confusion (brain fog)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Muscle twitches
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor motor control
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Sore red tongue
  • Burning mouth syndrome

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Pernicious anemia treatment

To replenish vitamin B12 in your blood, a regimen of vitamin B12 injections, are necessary, per doctor’s instructions.

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with Addison’s disease and vitamin B12 deficiency?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease


Living with Addison’s Disease



8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012



Gastritis, the wearing down of your stomach lining, is sometimes caused by vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia.  Other illnesses or conditions related to chronic acid reflux, abdominal pain, bubbling indigestion, and stomach bloating from gastritis are listed below…

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

What is gastritis?

More than just a stomachache, gastritis is what happens when your stomach lining becomes severely damaged- worn away and inflamed.  Gastritis can be a chronic condition that worsens over time, or it can be sudden, because of a stomach infection.

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

The most common symptoms of gastritis include:

  • Chronic acid reflux, including at nighttime
  • Bloated stomach, even after light meals
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Hiccupping
  • Nausea
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Vomiting blood or dark grainy substance
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Black feces

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Eight ailments linked with gastritis

1) Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your stomach is unable to produce intrinsic factor, a necessary protein for digesting vitamin B12. 

While some health sites claim that pernicious anemia causes gastritis, it is most likely the other way around.  Stomach damage from gastritis causes you to be unable to make intrinsic factor in the small intestine’s ileum.

Without intrinsic factor, you develop vitamin B12 deficiency, which causes symptoms like fatigue, depression, anxiety, painful tingling in your hands and feet, and many kinds of nerve damage.

2) Autoimmune disorders

Other autoimmune disorders that are linked with gastritis are Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and lupus. (Also read Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease)

3) Alcoholism

Excessive alcohol use can, over time, cause severe damage to your many body organs, including your stomach.  Gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency are both caused by alcohol abuse.

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

4) Bile reflux

If bile from your liver rises into your stomach and esophagus, it can cause gastritis and esophageal damage.  Only surgery can reverse bile reflux and protect you from incurring damage to your stomach.

5) Stress

Anxiety, depression, and daily stress are harmful for both your body and mind.  Accumulated stress may cause gastritis from stomach ulcers.

6) Medications

Certain prescribed and OTC drugs can cause severe gastritis; these include sleeping pills and anti-inflammatory painkillers like aspirin.


7) Chronic vomiting

Gastritis may happen because of frequent vomiting from bulimia, migraines, or other chronic conditions that irritate the stomach.

8) Bacterial infection

Helicobacter pylorus (H. pylori) bacteria dwell in your stomach lining.  Unless it is treated with antibiotics, bacterial infection from H. pylori may cause gastritis and stomach ulcers.

Take action

Vitamin B12 shots

Get routine supplementation of vitamin B12, which are available by prescription in vitamin B12 shots.  In addition to the B12 injections, over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 is beneficial to boost vitamin B12 levels and prevent relapse symptoms like fatigue, nerve pain, and stomach cramps.


For chronic heartburn and gastritis, your doctor may prescribe strong antacids. 

Please note that protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency

If you choose to use PPI’s over an extended period, then you may need to supplement with vitamin B12 in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency.

(Read Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – B12 Deficiency and 5 other Health Risks)


Change your diet

In addition to taking medications for gastritis, a simple change in diet is also healthful when bloated stomach, acid reflux, heartburn, and abdominal pain occur.  Avoid eating very spicy foods, choose healthy cooking oils, and take probiotics that contain “good bacteria.”

Eat slower

Learn to eat like the Italians!  Sit down at every meal, practice mindful eating, and savor every bite slowly and deliberately.  Chewing slowly and efficiently is essential for preventing gastritis symptoms like indigestion and nausea.


For gastritis caused by H. pylori infection, you will need to take a strong regimen of antibiotics and probiotics to prevent stomach irritation.

GI Surgery

If gastritis is occurring because of a life-threatening condition, your doctor might recommend surgery to correct the disorder.  Bile reflux patients and Crohn’s disease patients are candidates for gastrointestinal surgery.

(Please read Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings)

Please tell us…

Do you have pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency?  Do you continue to suffer from gastritis symptoms, even though you take vitamin B12 shots regularly?

Do you feel that your doctor addresses all your illness symptoms- fatigue, brain fog, nausea, stomachaches, diarrhea, and frequent “pins and needles?”

Do you have any questions, comments, or suggestions?  Please feel free to use the comment box below.

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and gastritis:

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle


Gastritis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and More


smoking2much, delphaber, Simon Howden, Ambro

Is an Allergy also an Autoimmune Disease? When the Immune System goes awry

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012



The immune system is a complex network of cells, and when things go wrong- as with autoimmune diseases, allergies, or immunodeficiency disorders- the results can be debilitating at best…or deadly, at worst.  Sometimes, telling the difference between various immune disorders can be confusing.  Like, what’s the difference between gluten hypersensitivity and celiac disease? Find the answer below…


The immune system

Your immune system is a busy place- it’s made up of your lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, bone marrow, and parts of your digestive system.  The immune system’s main purpose in life is to protect your body from dangerous antigens, which could be anything from bacteria  to viruses and toxic chemicals.  (Sometimes, even somebody else’s blood or saliva can be labeled by your immune system as an antigen.)

Once your immune system picks up the scent of an antigen, it goes into attack mode, producing antibodies to destroy the “alien invader.”   Not only that, but your immune system also sends white blood cells to gobble up the offending flu virus, germ, contaminant, or mutant cell.

Except when it doesn’t. Because sometimes, the immune system doesn’t react the way it’s expected to.  When that happens, it’s called an immune system disorder.

There are many types of immune disorders, including allergies, autoimmune diseases, and immunodeficiency disorders.


Allergy and Hypersensitivity

When your immune system has an inappropriate response to a perfectly safe substance, then that is called an allergic reaction, or hypersensitivity.  An example of an inappropriate reaction can be an overreaction to laundry detergent.  With chronic allergies, your immune system is trigger-happy, reacting to numerous stimuli by producing histamines, causing uncomfortable and sometimes fatal allergic reactions like swelling, hives, congestion, diarrhea, vomiting, and headache.

People don’t usually inherit specific allergies.  Still, if your parents (or at least, your mother) suffer from allergies, then you are likely prone to allergic reactions, as well.

Things people are allergic to:

  • Pets
  • Food
  • Medicine
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Insect bites

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when your body attacks healthy cells in your body, mistaking them for antigens.  There are over 80 kinds of autoimmune diseases, and they can affect any part of your body. Symptoms of autoimmune diseases often come and go; flare-ups cause debilitating chronic pain, and brief periods of remission offer some respite.  While the disease itself can’t always be cured, the symptoms can be treated.

Common autoimmune diseases:

  • Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Rheumatoid arthritis


Immunodeficiency disorders

Unlike autoimmune diseases or allergies, where the immune system is intact (albeit malfunctioning), immunodeficiency disorders occur when certain parts of the immune system are missing or deficient.  Usually, an immunodeficiency disorder involves insufficient or malfunctioning white blood cells, or not enough antibodies.

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is an example of an immune deficiency disorder caused by a human immunodeficiency virus- HIV.  Some immunodeficiency disorders are inherited, as well.

AIDS with B12 Deficiency

What’s the difference between an allergy, and autoimmune disorder, and an immune deficiency?

When you have allergies, it is because your body overreacts to otherwise harmless stimuli, causing uncomfortable and sometimes harmful symptoms.

When you have an autoimmune disease, your body essentially attacks itself, causing damage to your digestive system, respiratory system, or muscles, for example.

An immunodeficiency disorder is when your body stops protecting you from foreign stimuli like viruses, toxins, bacteria, or tumors.

Did you figure out the difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease?

With celiac disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that causes serious harm to your digestive system.  People who have celiac disease must cut all gluten products from their diet.  If eating starchy bread, cakes, or crackers gives you a stomachache, that doesn’t mean you have celiac.  You might have gluten intolerance, which means that your body produces histamines whenever it detects gluten in your system.

If you liked this article, then show us some love!  Share this with friends, and leave your comments!

Read more about autoimmune disorders here:

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable


Autoimmune Diseases

Immunodeficiency disorders


Images, from top:

Esther Gibbons, taliesin, jeltovski,  Trygve.u

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012



Many studies show similarities between the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency and multiple sclerosis (MS).  There is also a very high rate of B12 deficiency among people diagnosed with MS.  How, then, does one differentiate between pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency) and multiple sclerosis?


What is MS?

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects your central nervous system- your brain and spinal cord.  It typically strikes young adults between the ages of 20-40, most of them women.  

The exact cause of MS is unknown, but most scientists believe it is an autoimmune disorder.  With multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune reaction attacks myelin, a fatty substance that insulates your nerve fibers responsible for transmitting messages to the rest of your body.  

Signs of demyelination are random lesions, or plaques (sclerosis) in the brain and spinal cord, in multiple areas, thus the term “multiple sclerosis.”

What is B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when your body is unable to maintain sufficient stores of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in the blood.  There are several reasons this may happen, such as not eating food sources of vitamin B12 (meat, fish, and milk), or having a gastrointestinal disorder that interferes with vitamin B12 absorption. 

With pernicious anemia (PA), your body cannot make intrinsic factor (IF), a protein necessary for digesting vitamin B12, due to an autoimmune disorder.  

Among its many other benefits, vitamin B12 is essential for building up the fatty myelin sheath.  One of the symptoms of PA is demyelination, the same type of brain damage that occurs with MS.

*Multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 deficiency- pernicious anemia are both autoimmune disorders.

*Multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia both involve damage to the nervous system’s myelin sheath.

What are the symptoms of multiple sclerosis?

The earliest symptoms of MS may include:

  • Muscular weakness in one or more limbs
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Loss of balance
  • Vision problems or eye pain
  • Slurred speech

As the disease advances, symptoms worsen, including:

  • Chronic fatigue, despite getting plenty of rest and not overexerting yourself
  • Hypersensitivity to heat, such as hot showers or baths
  • Muscular spasms in the legs and arms
  • Bladder or bowel control problems
  • Lightheadedness, or vertigo caused by nerve damage
  • Cognitive impairment- “brain fog,” slowed thinking, lack of concentration, or memory loss
  • Vision problems- blurring or graying of vision, or temporary blindness in one eye
  • Painful “pins and needles” sensations, numbness, itching, or burning
  • Speech and swallowing problems caused by damaged nerves
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty walking without stumbling, caused by muscle weakness, spasticity, or loss of balance from vertigo
  • Paralysis

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

The most common symptoms of B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Painful “pins and needles” or numbness in hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen red tongue
  • Burning mouth sensation
  • Difficulty walking without stumbling
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Shortness of breath

*Multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia both cause nerve damage, including painful tingling or numbness in the hands and feet and impaired gait.

*Multiple sclerosis and vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia both cause cognitive impairment, like brain fog, memory loss, and low concentration.

Which tests diagnose multiple sclerosis?

There is more than one test used to confirm MS, and your doctor will need to use the process of elimination to exclude other illnesses.  Some common tests and indicators are:

  • MRI scan indicating at least two incidences myelin damage- scar tissue (lesions)
  • Neurological exams
  • Blood tests
  • Spinal tap
  • Evoked potentials, an electrical test of your nervous impulses

Which tests diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency?

Only one test is required to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency- a blood test indicating low blood serum levels of vitamin B12.  Patients of pernicious anemia require routine blood tests in order to monitor their B12 levels.

What’s the best treatment for multiple sclerosis?

There is no cure for MS, but various medications are helpful for dealing with the symptoms.

  • Some prescribed medicines work by controlling your body’s autoimmune response, thus reducing the frequency and severity of MS symptoms.
  • Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a controversial surgery used to treat debilitating tremors in people with MS. Complications may include paralysis, loss of vision, or loss of speech.
  • Alternative medicine options that benefits MS patients include physical therapy, exercise like yoga or tai chi, acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, massage, and vitamin supplementation.

What’s the best treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency?

There are many kinds of B12 supplements on the market, but it’s important to be certain if you are able to digest vitamin B12 in the stomach. If you lack intrinsic factor, or if you’ve had gastrointestinal surgery like gastric bypass, then you will not benefit from dietary forms of vitamin B12.

  • Physicians normally prescribe a series of B12 shots for patients with pernicious anemia.  These vitamin B12 injections require a prescription, and not all health care providers cover extensive supplementation of vitamin B12 shots.
  • Sublingual vitamin B12 pills that dissolve under the tongue are another option, although they are not very effective, and they often require dosages of three times per day.

Read more about vitamin B12 symptoms:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Sore Burning Tongue, Dry Mouth, and Weird Tastes- What’s the Cause?


Multiple sclerosis

Vitamin B12, demyelination, remyelination and repair in multiple sclerosis

WebMD Multiple Sclerosis Guide – Better Information for Better Health

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011



What causes Leaky Gut Syndrome? Scientists aren’t positive- could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, or any number of autoimmune disorders.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), also called intestinal hyperpermeability, is a breach in the barrier that lines the intestinal tract.  Leaky Gut causes damage to your digestive system, making it difficult for your body to digest nutrients, in addition to “leaking” bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles from your intestines and into the rest of your body.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

What causes Leaky Gut?

Scientists aren’t clear what exactly causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, but they have noted some strong correlations; conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and gluten intolerance have a cyclical relationship with LGS, causing symptoms that cause further damage to the intestines, thus making Leaky Gut Syndrome even harder to control.  Leaky Gut could result from a chronic disease, or it may signal the onset of life-threatening illness such as AIDS.

AIDS with B12 Deficiency

What are the symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Doctors are hesitant to diagnose Leaky Gut Syndrome; it hasn’t yet been fully accepted as part of conventional medicine, and there are multitudes of seemingly unrelated illnesses that are theorized as being linked with Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Not surprisingly, most doctors choose to treat each symptom separately, and rarely get to the root of the illness that might be LGS.

Below are some common symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Multiple joint pain
  • Muscular soreness
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Skin rash
  • Chronic allergies

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

What diseases and are associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome?

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, or pernicious anemia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic depression
  • Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Hives
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis
  • Unexplainable infections
  • AIDS

What can I take for Leaky Gut Syndrome?

If you are diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome, your doctor might advise one or more of the following:

  • Glutamine
  • N-acetyl cysteine
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12 supplements

Long-term lifestyle changes are effective at preventing further occurrences of Leaky Gut Syndrome, including restrictive diet for Leaky Gut, probiotics, alcohol moderation, and weaning off non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Read more about autoimmune diseases and vitamin B12 deficiency:

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Dressing after Crohn’s Surgery- 5 Post- Ostomy Fashion Tips

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety


Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

What Is Leaky Gut?

Autism and GI Problems

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011



Is there any connection between lupus and vitamin B12 deficiency? That’s a question asked often both by people with low B12 and diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms, and it’s important to know how to tell the difference.


Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

What is lupus?

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to your muscles, bones, organs, and skin tissue.  Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells tissue, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain.  Damage to your system may include kidney damage, heart attack, lung damage, joint pain, and blood diseases such as anemia (more on this later).


100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Even if you eat plenty of sources rich in vitamin B12 (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk), your B12 levels may be at risk if you have had bariatric surgery, take antacid medicine for acid reflux, are among the elderly, have a gastrointestinal autoimmune disease like Crohn’s or celiac disease, or if you are a diabetic taking metformin.

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

How does lupus mimic vitamin B12 deficiency?

Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it difficult to determine low B12 levels without taking a vitamin B12 blood test.

  • LUPUS AND VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY- WHAT’S THE CONNECTION? WWW.B12PATCH.COMCognitive functioning and mood disorders. Anxiety, depression, headaches, and short-term memory loss are symptoms common to both lupus patients and vitamin B12 deficiency sufferers.
  • Chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue shares a comorbid relationship with lupus and B12 deficiency.
  • Nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes neurological damage such as aching joints and arthritis-like muscular pain.  Lupus causes swollen joints, arthritis, and inflamed joints.
  • Shortness of breath is a symptom of low B12 and lupus.
  • Hair loss. B12 deficiency may cause premature hair loss and greying.  Hair loss is also a symptom common to lupus patients.
  • Mouth ulcers are typical for vitamin B12 patients and lupus sufferers.
  • Skin rashes are a side effect of chronic B12 deficiency.  Likewise, lupus patients suffer skin rashes across the cheeks and nose (malar rash).
  • Anemia. One of the most highly correlated symptoms shared by vitamin B12 deficiency patients and lupus patients alike is the susceptibility to anemia.  Left untreated, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage, red blood cell depletion, and cognitive impairments. More than half of all lupus patients suffer from blood disorders like anemia.
  • Heart disease. Lupus and pernicious anemia patients alike are at high risk for contracting heart disease.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a risk factor for lupus patients and individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Read more about B12 deficiency and autoimmune diseases:

Vitamin B12 and your Bones- Osteoporosis from B12 Deficiency

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info

7 Celebs with Lupus


Lupus Hope- Get Your B12 Levels Checked!

Lupus Foundation of America- Blood Disorders

Vitamin B12 For Lupus & Crohn’s Disease- LIVESTRONG.COM

What is Lupus?

Image credits, from top:

Ton Haex, taysm, grietgriet

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011



Being tired all the time is a symptom of B12 deficiency, but it can also signal hypothyroidism (low thyroid), a thyroid disease that occurs with low B12 levels.  Because hypothyroid symptoms are similar, vitamin B12 deficiency often goes undetected.


B12 deficiency causes fatigue, depression, and other mood disorders often associated with an underactive thyroid. If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroiditis, then it’s also important also to recognize the symptoms of B12 deficiency, and know whether you might require more vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) that occurs in the thyroid gland, causing inflammation, and reducing its ability to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones.
Hashimoto’s disease is one example of thyroiditis that causes low thyroid levels.  

Sometimes, thyroid treatment for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), such as radioactive iodine or surgery, can backfire, causing underactive thyroid symptoms.

Why am I always tired?  Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Symptoms of low thyroid include:

  • Empty facial expressions
  • Husky, gravelly voice
  • Chronic fatigue, tiredness
  • Sluggish, droning speech patterns
  • “Brain fog,” or confusion
  • Depression
  • Uncontrolled weight gain
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Puffy, bloated face
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Sparse hair, including eyebrows
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Muscular pain
  • Feebleness
  • Slow resting heart rate
  • Orange-colored skin on the hands and feet
  • Heavy menstrual periods in women


Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is responsible for making red blood cells, controlling DNA synthesis, regulating the nervous system, and improving cognitive functioning.  Without proper levels of vitamin B12, you may suffer neurological damage, dementia, or heart attack resulting from elevated homocysteine levels.

Low B12 symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue, tiredness
  • Anxiety
  • Short-term memory loss
  • “Brain fog,” or confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Neurosis
  • Altered taste perception
  • Swollen, red tongue
  • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Awkward hand movements
  • Loss of balance
  • Clumsiness and stumbling
  • Sleep problems


Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Thyroid disease and low B12 levels

In a study conducted in Sapir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel, patients with autoimmune thyroid disease received blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Researchers noted a significantly high percentage of people with AITD who also had vitamin B12 deficiency caused by pernicious anemia, a disease that inhibits proper absorption of vitamin B12.

Another study conducted in Pakistan by Aga Khan University produced similar results; namely, a 40% prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency among patients with hypothyroidism.

Hypothyroidism treatment

If you are a patient of hypothyroidism, then physicians strongly recommend routine blood testing for vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of thyroid hormone levels.

Read more about B12 deficiency:

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders


Prevalence and evaluation of B12 deficiency in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease- PubMed NCBI

Hypothyroidism- PubMed Health

Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism- PubMed NCBI

Hypothyroidism & Vitamin B12 Deficiency- LIVESTRONG.COM

Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism

Image credits, from top:

vitasamb2001, jscreationzs, Ambro

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Friday, October 28th, 2011



Celiac disease and vitamin B12 deficiency are interrelated, but many celiacs are unaware of the high risk for developing vitamin B-12 deficiency. Like celiac disease, vitamin B12 deficiency is sometimes an autoimmune disorder brought on by pernicious anemia.


What is vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B12, “cyanocobalamin,” is an essential nutrient that occurs in protein foods, such as beef and chicken liver, oysters, shrimp, cheese, yogurt, and eggs. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, and is stored in the liver

B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell production, for protecting your nervous system, for supporting cardiovascular health, and for sustaining normal cognitive functioning, such as memory, thinking skills, and logic.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency?

If you are unable to sustain sufficient amounts of B12 in your liver, then you may start to feel tired, depressed, and disoriented.  You might notice a numbing or tingling sensation in your hands and feet, described as “pins and needles.” 

You might also notice that you have a hard time remembering important dates or meetings, or finding the right word while talking to somebody or sending an e-mail.

(Read Feed your Brain Something You’ll never Forget)

Some side effects and/or complications that may arise unless you receive treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Distractedness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Loss of physical balance
  • Tingling-numbing in extremities
  • Red, swollen tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Malnourishment
  • Anemia
  • Increased risk for heart disease or stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Liver disease
  • Dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Severe neurological damage


What is celiac disease?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.  Celiac patients and others with gluten intolerance must avoid all products containing gluten- baked goods, packaged snacks, and a long list of food additives- in order to avoid symptoms.

Celiac disease is one of many autoimmune diseases that occur with vitamin B12 deficiency.  With celiac, patients who eat any foods containing gluten experience painful symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and achiness.  That is because their immune system identifies gluten as a threat, and begins to attack traces of gluten in the digestive system, causing severe damage to the intestinal tract. 

Why are celiac disease patients at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?

Scientists don’t claim that celiac disease is an outright cause of low vitamin B12, but they have noted a strong correlation- enough to warrant extensive research and recommendations.

In order to digest nutrients such as vitamin B12 properly, you need to have a healthy digestive system.  People with autoimmune diseases that cause gastrointestinal damage, such as Hashimoto’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and celiac diseases, are unable to absorb nutrients from dietary sources because of damage to their stomach linings, small intestines or colon.  

For them, malabsorption often leads to anemia, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, and peripheral neuropathy in the hands and feet (thus the tingling and numbness).

Parasitic Worms for Crohn’s Disease- Friendly Gut Bugs

Celiac disease patients, and others who can’t absorb vitamin B12

Besides celiac disease, other factors can make it difficult for your body to absorb enough vitamin B12:

  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inability to produce intrinsic factor, a necessary protein for B12 vitamin absorption
  • Gastrointestinal surgeries (gastric bypass, IBD surgery) that involve removing your ileum, a part of your small intestine that helps you digest vitamin B12 from food
  • Long-time usage of heartburn medications
  • Following a vegan diet



Does following a gluten-free diet cure vitamin B12 deficiency?

Not entirely; according to research by the University of Edinburgh, people who suffer celiac disease, but do not receive treatment, have a 41% chance of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. 

In celiac patients who started following a gluten-free diet, most of their symptoms disappeared.  However, a significant amount of celiacs continued to suffer neuropathic symptoms such as tingling and numbness, and those side effects did not disappear until they brought their vitamin B12 levels back to normal with routine vitamin B12 supplements.


Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings


Anemia-B12 Deficiency- University of Maryland Medical Center

Celiac Disease & Vitamin B12 Deficiency- LIVESTRONG.COM

Vitamin B12 deficiency in untreated celiac disease- PubMed – NCBI

Images, from top: Artis.Rozentālsphotostock, rmkoske, Cooking Gluten Free

How to enjoy Major League Baseball on a Gluten-Free Diet

Monday, October 24th, 2011



Don’t let celiac disease or other food allergies like lactose intolerance keep you from enjoying major league baseball.  Yummy gluten-free dietmenus for gluten intolerance are available at most ballparks. Find your favorite gluten-free beer, hot dogs with tapioca-rice hot dog buns, and more.  Before you sit down to enjoy the game, check out this gluten-free food list for baseball fans.


Major League Baseball gluten-free food list:

Gluten-Free Hot Dogs, Chicken, and Veggie Dogs

  • Minnesota Twins Big Dog
  • Chili Cheese Dog
  • Dugout Dog
  • Kinnikinnick Tapioca-Rice Hot Dog Buns
  • Bun-less Grilled chicken
  • Bun-less Hot Dog
  • Veggie Dogs
  • Veggie Kabobs
  • Pork Chop on a stick
  • Shrimp Skewers
  • Turkey Leg
  • Bull’s BBQ food

Gluten-Free Side Dishes

  • Loaded Nachos
  • Crab Cakes
  • Asian Noodle Salad
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Carrots with Ranch Dressing

Gluten-Free Beer



Gluten-Free Snack Foods

  • Cracker Jacks
  • Angie’s Kettle Corn- gluten-free and nut-free
  • Carmel & Cheddar Popcorn Mix
  • Gluten-Free Nut snacks
  • Noah’s Pretzels: Gluten-Free Pretzels
  • California Chips



Gluten-Free Candy

Gluten-Free Desserts

  • Fruichi Smoothies
  • Talenti Gelato
  • Kozy Shack gluten-free puddings and gel snacks
  • Lifeway Frozen Kefir-  gluten-free and 99% lactose-free
  • Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and brownies

Word to the Wise

Before you purchase anything from a gluten-free hot dog stand, or other concession cart, make sure that the food they’re offering really is celiac disease-friendly.

  • Only buy prepared food from vendors that are exclusively gluten-free, as opposed to simply offering a few menu items for people with gluten-intolerance among other non-elimination diet snacks.
  • Ask the food servers if they know what a celiac disease diet is, and the risk involved with gluten cross-contamination.
  • Packaged foods (gluten free chocolate chip cookies, potato chips) are okay, as long as you are the first person to open them.

Related reading:

Gluten-Free Candy List for Celiac Disease, October 2011

Gluten-Free Fall Food- 6 Easy Celiac-Friendly Recipes

15 Gluten-Free Glitterati, from Aniston to Zooey


Take Me Out to the Gluten Free Ballpark 2011

ARAMARK’s Gluten-Free Menus a Big Hit at Major League Ballparks

Find Gluten-Free Food at MLB Parks

Gluten Free Concessions at the Stadium- Can We Eat That?

Batter Up! Gluten-Free at the Ballpark

Calling for gluten free options at Metro Bank ballpark


Celiac Disease Tip: Gluten Free Diet plus Extra Vitamin B12

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011



Sufferers of celiac disease follow a gluten free diet, but many don’t add vitamin B12. People with autoimmune disease or gluten intolerance getB12 deficiency more often than not, according to health experts.  Doctors advise sufferers of digestive diseases or pernicious anemia to supplement with B12.


Celiac disease facts:

“Alternative Names: Also classified as a disease of nutrient malabsorption, celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten-sensitive enteropathy.” –DiagnoseMe.com

  • CELIAC DISEASE TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMCeliac disease (Gluten Enteropathy) is a digestive disease that causes severe damage to the small intestine’s lining.
  • Celiac disease is also an autoimmune disease.  When any food containing gluten enters the body, the body proceeds to attack its own digestive system, harming the inner lining of the small intestine.
  • Gluten is a protein that occurs primarily in wheat, rye, and barley.  All baked goods, snacks, or condiments that contain gluten are hazardous to patients with celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease patients have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food sources, particularly vitamin B12, which can lead to severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Some symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, stomach cramping, nausea, flatulence, blood in the stool, pernicious anemia caused by B12 deficiency, and stunted growth.
  • There is no confirmed cure for celiac disease.  Physicians recommend lifestyle changes, such as following a gluten-free diet and supplementing with vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency: What’s the connection?

“Since most B12 in our diets comes from animal products, vegans are at risk for B12 deficiency. Crohn’s and celiac disease, weight loss surgery, and chronic alcoholism can all interfere with a person’s ability to absorb enough of the nutrients they need. Seniors have more problems with nutrient absorption and malnutrition as well.”  –WebMD

  • CELIAC DISEASE TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMVitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that occurs naturally in protein sources such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk products.
  • Your body needs vitamin B12 for the nervous system, building red blood cells, mental clarity, maintaining metabolism, and preventing dementia.
  • According to one study, celiac disease patients run a high risk of developing vitamin deficiencies.  Out of over 400 celiac disease patients, 12% suffered folate deficiency and 5% were deficient in vitamin B12.  Among men, 33% had iron deficiency, while 19% of women had low iron levels.
  • Scientists conclude that damage to the small intestine in celiac disease patients prevents them from properly absorbing nutrients, thus causing severe malnourishment.
  • Scientists also speculate that following a gluten-free diet might also contribute to vitamin deficiencies, adding that many gluten-free products lack sufficient B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, fiber or vitamin D.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms and treatment

  • CELIAC DISEASE TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMOnly a blood screening for low B12 can confirm if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Some symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, depression, psychosis, memory loss, brain fog, tingling or numbness in the hands and/or feet, altered taste perception, and loss of balance.
  • Unless treated, vitamin B12 deficiency could escalate into severe neurological damage, dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  (See B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate.)
  • In some cases, following a gluten-free diet is effective at maintaining vitamin B12 levels.
  • For people who exhibit celiac disease symptoms in addition to symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors advise immediate supplementation of B12.
  • Vitamin B12 supplementation can include weekly B12 injections, and may follow up with sublingual vitamin B12 tablets.
  • For many, B12 shots cause bruising, and are extremely painful, as they require insertion into thick, muscular tissue. A popular option is to supplement with an alternative weekly over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplement, which administers the same amount of vitamin B12 as the B12 injections, without the pain, and doesn’t require prescription.

Related reading:

Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

Gluten-Free Candy List for Celiac Disease, October 2011

Signs and Symptoms of 6 Types of Anemia Blood Disease


Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet

Low Serum Vitamin B12 is Common in Celiac Disease and is not due to Autoimmune Gastritis- Celiac.com

Vitamin B12 deficiency in untreated celiac disease- PubMed- NCBI

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Information

What Do You Know About Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Image Credits:

graur codrinGrant Cochranepiyato, ambro

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