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Vitamin B12 deficiency is not some strange, mysterious disease. It has been well documented in much medical literature. The causes and effects of vitamin B12 deficiency are well-known within the scientific community. But despite that Vitamin B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed.
In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is far more common than most people realize.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in 40%
The Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study suggests that 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma vitamin B12 levels in the low-normal range – a range at which many people still experience neurological symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and numb, tingling muscles.
Outright vitamin B12 deficiency was exhibited by 9 percent of the study participants and 16 percent exhibited “near deficiency”. Low vitamin B12 levels were as common in younger people as they were in the elderly, to the surprise of the researchers.
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, protect the nerves, synthesize DNA, and carry out other crucial functions.
The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day. But since your body can’t produce vitamin B12, it is necessary to supply it through foods containing vitamin B12 or vitamin B12 supplements.
Some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency that can be difficult to diagnose.
Vitamin B12 deficiency- off the radar
There are two reasons why a vitamin B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed. To begin with, most physicians do not routinely test for vitamin B12 deficiency, even in adults who are at high risk.
Second, the low end of the laboratory reference range for vitamin B12 deficiency is too low. Most studies underestimate the true levels of B12 deficiency. Many B12 deficient people have so-called “normal” levels of B12, enough to prevent death from pernicious anemia, but not enough to prevent debilitating symptoms associated with low vitamin B12 levels.
Digesting vitamin B12 is difficult!
Vitamin B12 absorption is a complex process and involves multiple steps. The malabsorption of Vitamin B12 can be caused by:
Intestinal dysbiosis (microbial imbalances)
Leaky gut, gut inflammation
Atrophic gastritis or hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)
Autoimmune pernicious anemia
Medications such metformin and PPIs (acid-suppressing drugs)
Extremely high alcohol
Exposure to nitrous oxide (during surgery or recreational use)
Diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency is relatively easy and cheap. Explain your symptoms to your doctor, and request a blood test to screen for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Usually, 1,000mcg doses of vitamin B12 taken biweekly or monthly will suffice, but it’s important to judge by your symptoms. You may need to take extra vitamin B12, in addition to what your doctor prescribes, as some medical insurance plans don’t cover the amount of prescription vitamin B12 shots needed to achieve full recovery.
Fortunately, vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, according to FDA guidelines, so you can take as much vitamin B12 as you think you need to increase your energy and improve your mood, without worrying about any harmful side effects.
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Vitamin B12 deficiency is on the rise in the US and many other developed countries. Why? Because modern dietary restrictions, bariatric surgery, and autoimmune disorders increase your chances of developing vitamin B12 deficiency anemia before you reach your senior years.
Where’s the B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that only exists in animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs. The richest sources of vitamin B12 are shellfish and organ meats.
Unlike other vitamins, B12 requires a cofactor for absorption; digestive enzymes that help your body break down and utilize the benefits of the vitamin. Without intrinsic factor or stomach acids, you cannot process the vitamin B12 you ingest from the foods you eat.
Without vitamin B12, your body can’t function properly. Vitamin B12 is crucial for building healthy red blood cells containing hemoglobin, which move oxygen to your brain, muscles, and organs.
Untreated, you may develop pernicious anemia, which causes symptoms such as extreme fatigue, depression, memory loss, disorientation, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities. Pernicious anemia can result from autoimmune disorders, or it can be caused by gastritis, damage to the stomach cells.
Vitamin B12 is also important for protecting the nervous system, boosting energy, sustaining a speedy metabolism, and delaying the effects of age-related dementia.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can creep up slowly, as your vitamin B12 levels decline over the course of years.
Vegans and vegetarians
Among young healthy individuals, vegans and vegetarians are the highest risk categories for vitamin B12 deficiency. Usually, after about two years of strict vegan dieting, vitamin B12 levels will begin to decline. For vegetarians that number may be larger, as cheese and eggs have small amounts of vitamin B12, although not enough to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.
Most people start noticing the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency around their 40s. This is because as you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food sources declines, as your body begins to slow down in producing stomach acids. By the time you reach middle age, you should receive regular blood test screenings for vitamin B12 deficiency.
By the time you reach the age of 60, you should be extra vigilant in monitoring your vitamin B12 levels, as vitamin B12 deficiency may increase your chances of experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s disease dementia earlier than senior citizens who supplement with vitamin B12. Also read Vitamin B12, a Must for Senior Citizens
If you have autoimmune disorders, then you should get your vitamin B12 levels checked routinely, as your risk for developing autoimmune pernicious anemia is that much higher. Also, many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic those of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, celiac disease, and other autoimmune system disorders. So, to catch vitamin B12 deficiency early and prevent neurological ailments, it’s important to take regular blood screenings for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Certain medications interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12; these include metformin for diabetes, protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD or heartburn, and various other popular prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
Modern gastro surgeries that were previously unheard of have contributed to the rising rate of vitamin B12 deficiency. Patients of weight-loss surgeries (gastric bypass) and ilium removal or resectioning for Crohn’s disease are required to supplement with non-dietary vitamin B12 for life.
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The immune system is a complex network of cells, and when things go wrong- as with autoimmune diseases, allergies, or immunodeficiencydisorders- 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.
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)
Type 2 diabetes
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.
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.
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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.
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’sdisease, Crohn’sdisease, 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).
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:
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:
Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) originates in most protein foods, but even meat-eaters can get vitamin B12 deficiency. Absorbing vitamin B12 is a tricky process, and people who lack the intrinsic factor protein are unable to digest vitamin B12 from natural sources. Learning about B12 supplement absorption is essential for avoiding B-12 deficiency symptoms.
Vitamin B12- What is it?
Vitamin B12, a member of the B-complex family of vitamins, is a water-soluble protein. Most of the vitamin B12 that you eat comes from meat sources, as animal microorganisms produce it. Beef, liver, chicken, fish, and shellfish are some of the richest sources of vitamin B-12, in addition to eggs, cheese, and other dairy products. The only widely confirmed vegan form of B12 occurs in brewer’s yeast.
This is your Body on B12
The benefits of vitamin B12 for your body are expansive.
Vitamin B12 assists in producing oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 also protects the myelin sheathe, which protects your nervous system.
Vitamin B12 benefits cognitive functioning- Cognitive health treatments are essential for treating symptoms of autism, and to delay the early onset of dementia.
Supplementing with vitamin B12 boosts stamina, sustains the memory, enhances mental focus, and imparts feelings of well-being in individuals who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency causes depression, anxiety, fatigue, memory loss, and numbness/tingling in the extremities.
Vitamin B12’s journey through your body is a complicated, tricky procedure, and many things can go wrong.
1. When you consume dietary vitamin B12 (from food), it immediately clings to hydrochloric acid and pepsin, a gastric enzyme that your body makes- except for when it doesn’t. (More on this later.)
2. In your stomach, digestive acids separate vitamin B12 (cobalamin) from its protein part. Also in your stomach, gastric parietal cells produce a substance called intrinsic factor- a necessary glycoprotein for digesting B12.
3. Vitamin B12 combines with “R protein,” thus becoming B-complex. B complex, along with intrinsic factor, travels to the small intestine.
4. In the small intestine, R protein and B-complex separate. B12 then attaches itself to intrinsic factor.
5. The B12/intrinsic factor complex travels through the small intestine, finally arriving at the very bottom, where it reaches the terminal ileum. The ileum then absorbs the vitamin B12 and distributes it into your bloodstream, where it is then stored in the liver.
Things that can go wrong with vitamin B12 Absorption
Some people are unable to digest vitamin B12 properly from food, and must instead receive vitamin B12 injections, which go directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the need for digestion.
You don’t have intrinsic factor. Lack of intrinsic factor is an autoimmune response, in which autoantibodies destroy intrinsic factor proteins produced in the stomach. Since intrinsic factor is required in order to digest B12, the only way to avoid B12 deficiency is to bypass digestion by taking vitamin B12 supplements.
You are among the elderly. The majority of senior citizens don’t produce the amount of stomach acids needed to break down B12 for digestion. Even the minimum amount of vitamin B12 recommended by physicians is not enough to avoid dementia caused by B12 deficiency, so elderly individuals are a high-risk group. To prevent early-onset Alzheimer’s disease or neurological damage, transdermal vitamin B12 is advisable.
You take heartburn medication. As with the elderly, people who have GERD, or others who frequently take medicine for acid-reflux, including pregnant women, are susceptible to B12 deficiency.
You have had your ileum removed.Gastric bypass patients are at high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as are other patients of gastrointestinal surgery, such as sufferers of Crohn’s disease. Unfortunately, many surgeons neglect to warn their patients about complications regarding vitamin B12 deficiency, and many bariatric surgery patients don’t find out about it until the symptoms- depression, fatigue, brain fog- become too hard to ignore.
You are a vegan. The vegan diet is largely devoid of B-12 sources, so unless you are a vegetarian who eats eggs, fish, or dairy, then you must take regular vitamin B12 supplements in order to avoid B12 deficiency.
You are diabetic. Metformin, a diabetes drug, interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12.
You have an autoimmune disease. Many autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are highly correlated with B12 deficiency. Scientists are unsure as to the exact cause, but they have noted a decrease in symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, and depression with the inclusion of vitamin B12 supplements.
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.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with so many types of autoimmune disease; it’s almost like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Guess what vitamin B12, IBS, cardiovascular disease, and many kinds ofchronic disease have in common…
B12 deficiency- why worry?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient, one of many B vitamins, that is crucial for optimum health. If you don’t get enough vitamin B12 from meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, from B12 shots, then you could suffer severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which includes symptoms such as short-term memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. People who are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are vegans, patients of gastric bypass surgery, diabetes sufferers, individuals on heartburn medicine, and anybody with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with many autoimmune diseases.
Here are 12 illnesses that are“6 degrees” away from vitamin B12 deficiency:
1) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a digestive disease that includes illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of many IBD symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea, stomachcramping, nausea, heartburn, and constipation. IBD can cause severe damage to the intestines, including the colon. People with inflammatory bowel disease have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food, which is why they must take regular vitamin supplements. Because their illness occurs in the digestive system, many IBD patients take vitamin B12 shots in order to avoid B12 deficiency, as vitamin B12 pills are ineffective.
Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the digestive system with the consumption of gluten. Celiac disease symptoms include indigestion, diarrhea, malnourishment, and nausea. Gluten intolerance symptoms occur whenever a celiac disease patient consumes a product containing gluten, a protein that occurs in wheat, rye, and barley. Because of their difficulty digesting vitamins, celiac disease sufferers should supplement regularly with non-oral forms of vitamin B12.
Auto [fibromyalgia symptoms] [symptoms of fibromyalgia]
Fibromyalgia symptoms strike 1 in 50 Americans. Many people don’t realize that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and “fibro fog” (disorientation). Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also exhibit signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another autoimmune disease, similar to fibromyalgia, which is closely linked with vitamin B12 deficiency. Scientists have noted an extremely high correlation between all three conditions- fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and B12 deficiency. Symptoms of CFS are extreme tiredness upon waking up in the morning, fatigue following minimal physical exertion, achy joints, and fibro fog.
Diabetics who take the drug metformin are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, say scientists. Scientific studies linking low B12 levels with long-term usage of metformin indicate a 77% chance of developing peripheral neuropathy.
Stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamin B12 naturally from food sources. That is why people who take heartburn medication frequently, such as people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or pregnant women, must take care to avoid B12 deficiency.
Some weight loss surgery procedures involve removing the terminal ilium, a part of the digestive system that is responsible for absorbing vitamin B12. For that reason, patients of bariatric surgery are strongly advised to supplement with non-oral vitamin B12.
Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by pernicious anemia, a condition that distorts your red blood cells and inhibits absorption of vitamin B12. Causes of pernicious anemia include autoimmune disease and gastritis.
Autoimmune thyroid disease, also called Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. There is an unusually high correlation between instances of autoimmune thyroid disease and pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Because some of the symptoms of thyroid disease mimic pernicious anemia, many doctors overlook the possibility of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 helps to sustain cognitive health. In many studies, scientists have noticed that elderly individuals with low levels of B12 are more likely to suffer from early onset dementia than elderly individuals who maintain adequate levels of vitamin B12.
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 (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
Vitamin 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
Only 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.
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.
Gluten FreeDiet-Safe Halloween Treats-Before buying Halloween treats for kids with Celiac disease symptoms, see our gluten-free candy list for October 2011. Following a gluten-free diet couldn’t be easier, even if your family suffers from autoimmune disease or gluten allergy.
Gluten Intolerance Symptoms
People with Celiac disease or other gluten intolerance symptoms must follow a gluten-free diet. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, is a common ingredient in most baked goods, snacks, and other packaged foods. Symptoms of Celiac, an autoimmune disease, include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Look no farther than the Jelly Belly candy display for the tastiest candy corn! Jelly Belly makes delicious assorted jellybeans and other candy confections that are (mostly) gluten-free, dairy-free, gelatin-free, vegetarian, and OU Kosher. For a list of Jelly Belly products to avoid this year, see Avoid these NOT Gluten-Free Halloween Candies, below. Get their Halloween Fun Pack for $4.99.
Gluten Free for Chocolate Lovers
The following chocolate bars and chocolate confections are safe for people with gluten intolerance and wheat allergies:
Baby Ruth bars
Butterfinger Original only
Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins
York Peppermint Patties
3 Musketeers bars
Gummy Candies, Jelly Beans, and Chewy Candies- Nom, Nom!
These stick-to-your-teeth candies are soft, chewy, and sticky-sweet. Best of all, no gluten!
Black Forest Gummies, including Gummy Werewolves and Gummy Vampires
Mike and Ike
Peeps Ghosts Marshmallow Candy
Starburst Fruit Chews
Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Lollipops and Hard Candies
Which lollipops are okay for kids with Celiac disease? These hard Halloween candies are guaranteed to be free of gluten.
Charms Flat Pops
Spangler Dum-Dums and Saf-T-Pops
Lifesavers individual flavors
Avoid these NOT Gluten-Free Halloween Candies:
Chocolate Bars to Pass on
Nestle 100 Grand Bar
Nestle Crunch Bar
Original Milky Way Bar
Butterfinger: Butterfinger Crisp Bar, Butterfinger Giant Bar, Butterfinger Snackerz, Butterfinger Medallions, Butterfinger Jingles, Butterfinger Hearts, and Butterfinger Pumpkins
Hershey’s Symphony Bar
Hershey’s Almond Joy
Don’t Chew on These
Wonka Nerds (most flavors)
Jelly Belly- assorted bridge mixes, chocolate malt balls, and licorice buttons and pastels contain gluten.
If you read Part 1, Five Reasons to Go Bento on Gluten Free, then you already know that bento boxes are God’s gift to gluten-free dieting. Now, what are you going to do with that information? To start you off on the road to happy bento boxing, here are some tips from the experts:
Bento Lunchbox Tips
1- Make it gluten-free! Fortunately, bento box lunches marry well with gluten-free dieting. That’s because staple bento lunch ingredients include gluten-free foods like rice, eggs, and fish, in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables. Your only challenge- finding gluten-free soy sauce.
2- Make it fun!Buy a bento box that matches your child’s personality. Bento box themes range from Pokemon, space robots, and sports to panda bears, puppy dogs, and everybody’s favorite, Hello Kitty.
3- Make it hot or cold! Cold bento lunches are a snap to put together, but don’t forget those chilly winter school days! Many bento boxes come with insulation to keep your cold salads crisp, and your warm chowders steamy.
4- Make it personal!Let your kids help you put together their lunch ingredients. You supply the fixins, like carrot sticks, rice balls, tuna salad, boiled eggs, and cut fruit. Your kids can assemble the whole kit and caboodle.
5- Make it awesome!You don’t need to be a master at food artistry to concoct some cool-looking sides with real “wow!” appeal. Use common tools like cookie cutters, egg slicers, ice cube trays, and ice cream sandwich molds to whip up some unique, whimsical snack creations. Add sliced nori for “eyes,” or design healthy edible decorations out of egg sheets. Let your imagination run wild!
6- Make it economical! Bento lunch meals are cheap because they utilize inexpensive, basic staples like rice, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. Bento lunches are also practical, in that they use up leftovers and other single-serving snacks.