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Posts Tagged ‘B-12 deficiency’

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Monday, June 10th, 2013



About 40% of us have vitamin B12 deficiency, but most don’t even know it…and neither do our doctors. Until we start experiencing crushing fatigue, nerve pain, and memory loss, vitamin B12 deficiency slips completely of the doctor’s radar.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

The vitamin B12 deficiency crisis

Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients for human health, but we are only able to store it in small amounts. According to Dr. Donald W. Jacobsen, a world-famous cell biologist who has studied vitamin B12 deficiency for several decades, every single cell in our body requires vitamin B12 for survival.

Yet, many of us don’t have nearly enough, due to escalating risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency that correlate with modern lifestyle changes and comorbid health conditions.

Dr. Jacobsen also names FDA recommendations as part of the B12 deficiency problem, as the suggested minimum of 160-250 picomoles per liter of blood is hardly sufficient to prevent chronic ailments, such as fatigue, depression, muscle pain, dementia, and heart palpitations.

Unless caught in time, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy), increased risk for heart disease and stroke, dementia, and bone loss. And the vitamin B12 levels that most doctors are told to use as their reference guide is simply not enough.

Because once the symptoms of vitamin B12 have set in, you may already be in dire need of immediate replenishment.

See this: Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

In numerous studies, prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked with:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Brain shrinkage
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Muscular weakness
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue

Diagnosis and treatment

A blood test may indicate severe vitamin B12 anemia, a potentially lethal, debilitating condition, but not necessarily borderline vitamin B12 deficiency that nevertheless causes a series of ailments. For that reason, it’s important that your doctor take into consideration any symptoms you have that may indicate the need for more vitamin B12 in making a proper diagnosis.

Since vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, many patients find the most benefit when they take extra vitamin B12, including vitamin B12 shots complemented by additional doses of non-dietary vitamin B12.

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Like this? Read more:

Anemia Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos

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

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