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Posts Tagged ‘b12 deficiency’

Stomach Bloating from B12 Deficiency? Yes, It Happens.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013



If you suffer from constant lot of stomach bloating and other signs of indigestion, it can be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Your ability to digest vitamin B12 and use it to prevent pernicious anemia can be traced directly to the environment in your gut. Symptoms of stomach bloating can be the first clue in distinguishing why you’re suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, and how to prevent it.

Stomach Bloating from B12 Deficiency? Yes, It Happens.

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

When your digestive system is not working properly, then you’re not getting enough vitamin B12. That’s because unlike other vitamins, B12 cannot be absorbed from foods without the help of certain digestive enzymes that are produced by your parietal cells of the stomach.  

Gastritis (stomach inflammation) is one of several causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.

So even though you eat plenty of meat, chicken, and fish, you aren’t getting the vitamin B12 you need in order to survive. And it all stems from your gastrointestinal health.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Pernicious anemia occurs in the stomach

Intrinsic factor is one such protein that your body needs, both to extract cobalamin (vitamin B12) from food and to utilize it efficiently so that it reaches your blood stream.

But with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, or if there is any type of damage to your esophagus, stomach walls, or intestinal tract, then you run a high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, and possibly pernicious anemia.

So while people assume that pernicious anemia is a blood disease, it really begins in the stomach, with bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn.

Symptoms of stomach disorders

The following symptoms, if they occur often, may indicate a breakdown in your digestive system that requires immediate treatment in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and many other ailments:

  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Stomach bloating
  • Hardening of the stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • “Lump” in your throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Frequent burping
  • Flatulence

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache?

Comorbid illnesses

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are comorbid with vitamin B12 deficiency, as are many other autoimmune disorders and chronic pain conditions.

The following illnesses and health problems cause damage to the stomach that may also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Migraines
  • Celiac disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Diverticulitis
  • Esophageal stricture

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing stomach bloating and other signs of digestive disorders, but didn’t realize they were connected to 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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit

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Pernicious Anemia- What’s your Risk?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013



The risk for pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency is highest among the elderly, but a significant number of people begin to notice the first symptoms in their 30s, contrary to popular belief. Listed below are some common symptoms of pernicious anemia and explanations regarding your risk for developing pernicious anemia in middle age.

Pernicious Anemia- What’s your Risk?

What is pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia is the final stage of vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia used to be fatal until scientists figured out that death could be easily prevented by feeding patients high concentrations of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes many debilitating health problems, including chronic fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems – long before pernicious anemia sets in.  These symptoms can be quite misleading, leading to incorrect diagnoses.

What is Pernicious Anemia?

Stages of vitamin B12 deficiency

There are four stages to a Vitamin B12 deficiency that end in pernicious anemia:

  • Stage 1: Slowly declining blood levels of vitamin B12
  • Stage 2: Low cellular concentrations of vitamin B12
  • Stage 3: Increased homocysteine levels in the blood, and a decreased rate of DNA synthesis
  • Stage 4: Pernicious anemia

Illnesses that mimic pernicious anemia

Illnesses and other health conditions sometimes confused with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Alzheimer’s dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss, collectively referred to as “aging”
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
  • Learning or developmental disorders in children
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation (unregulated immune response)
  • Male and female infertility

These diseases produce signs and symptoms that also occur with vitamin B12 deficiency – but are rarely diagnosed as such!

Pernicious anemia risk categories

The following groups are at greatest risk for vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia:

  • Anybody with a family history for autoimmune disorders or pernicious anemia
  • Vegetarians and vegans
  • People aged 60 or over
  • GERD patients using PPIs or acid suppressing drugs
  • Diabetics using drugs like metformin
  • Patients of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac or IBS
  • Women with a history of infertility and miscarriage

Vegetarians and Vegans take note: Vitamin B12 is found ONLY in animal products! To prevent pernicious anemia, it is absolutely essential that you supplement with high doses of vitamin B12.

Treating pernicious anemia

If you think you might have a vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, you should pursue blood testing immediately. If you are vitamin B12 deficient, then the next step would be to identify the source of the deficiency.

Once the source of vitamin B12 deficiency is identified, you can then begin vitamin B12 supplementation. The many, long-term or permanent vitamin B12 supplementation is required in order to prevent a relapse of symptoms.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

Image courtesy of Ambro/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Monday, September 9th, 2013



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.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

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.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Vitamin B12 is vital

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)

Also read 25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Treating vitamin B12 deficiency

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.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Monday, August 26th, 2013



Feeling blue? For many older adults, vitamin B12 deficiency and low vitamin B6 can cause depression, leaving you feeling down in the dumps. Before you rush off to the doctor for a new pill to ease your depression, CHECK YOUR DIET!! Here’s the scoop on B vitamins and depression in senior citizens.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are both essential nutrients for neurological health and emotional balance. As you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food naturally diminishes, leading to increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and also low vitamin B6.

Can Vitamin B12 help depression in seniors?

Study focuses on depression in older adults

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently featured a study in which it was discovered that higher intakes of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 were associated with a lower likelihood of depression in older adults.  Both vitamins B12 and B6 play critical roles in the production of neurotransmitters, or “chemical messengers” in the brain, including Serotonin, which is the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter.

Thus it makes sense that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 may be a cause or symptom of depression.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 feels good!

The subjects of the study were adults aged 65 years or older from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP). Their diets were evaluated for consumption of vitamins B12 and B6 over a period of seven years.  The incidence of depression was also noted. It appeared that for every 10 mg increase in vitamin B12, patients reported a 2% increase in overall good mood. The same effect on depression was also noted with each 10 mg increase of Vitamin B6.

Foods rich in B vitamins

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bran (rice and wheat), bananas, avocados, chicken or turkey breast, raw garlic, dried herbs and spices,  fish (such as tuna, salmon, and cod), liver, whole grains, beans, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seed (and techina).  Foods rich in vitamin B12 include fish, meat, liver, poultry, eggs and dairy.  Today many breakfast cereals are now fortified with vitamin B12 also.

Older adults at risk for B12 deficiency

Older adults tend to exhibit a higher incidence of both depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.   However, it has been noted that some adults, despite eating foods high in B-vitamins, continue to suffer a vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be related to limited stomach acidity in older people, which can prevent vitamin B12 from food from being absorbed into the body.  In other cases, the lack of intrinsic factor as we age, which impairs our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food and supplements, may be the cause of this inability to absorb Vitamin B12.

Treat vitamin B12 deficiency now!

When evaluating symptoms of depression in older adults, diagnosticians should evaluate their overall diets in order to rule out any vitamin deficiencies. Individuals aged 50 or older, especially vegetarians, will likely benefit from supplementing their diets extra vitamin B12, as well as eating fortified breakfast cereals or sprinkling nutritional yeast onto meals and snacks.

In this way older adults can simultaneously reduce the risk of depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

I Eat Healthy…So How did I Get Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

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What is Pernicious Anemia?

Sunday, August 18th, 2013



Pernicious Anemia, in a simplified definition is the loss of body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12. It is also the most common cause of adult vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is Pernicious Anemia?

Years ago, pernicious anemia was a major cause of death. The definition of “pernicious” is “having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way”. Thus, it was called “pernicious” because the condition would usually not be discovered until it was too late, and the individual with pernicious anemia would usually die.

Iron, Folate and Vitamin B12 are all needed to produce healthy red blood cells. The largest part of our blood is formed of red blood cells. A normal healthy person will have 600 red blood cells for each one white blood cell and 40 platelets. The main purpose of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Red blood cells need three essential ingredients to perform their main function. These three ingredients are:

  1. Folate – found in leafy vegetables and peas and dried beans. Also known as Folic Acid, and added to some foods.
  2. Iron – found in red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, and beans
  3. Vitamin B12 – is found naturally in meat, fish and dairy products including milk, butter and eggs. However, B12 is extracted from these foods via a very complex biochemical process, utilizing the gastrointestinal system.

Vitamin B12 will enter the stomach bound to proteins called “Intrinsic Factor”.  The Intrinsic Factor is then absorbed, along with the B12, by the Ileum which is part of the stomach in the small bowel. Without Intrinsic Factor, B12 cannot be absorbed into the body.  Thus, the inability of the body to absorb B12, is caused by a faulty digestive process, and not, as many people think, by a malfunction of the blood!

Healthy people will produce the gastric parietal cells to produce Intrinsic Factor.  However, if one’s digestive system is not functioning properly, their digestive system may fail to produce Intrinsic Factor, and thus fail to absorb Vitamin B12. This can then lead to a deficiency of Vitamin B12.

For some reason, some people produce something that kills off the Intrinsic Factor. It is called Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.  One of the tests used to diagnose Pernicious Anemia is the test for Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.  If a patient tests positive for the antibodies then he or she is diagnosed as having Pernicious Anemia.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Medical conditions in which this type of self-destruction occurs are classified as Auto-Immune Diseases.

Pernicious Anemia is typified by a number of symptoms.  The most common symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • fogginess of thought
  • poor concentration
  • short-term memory loss
  • confusing behavior
  • nominal aphasia (forgetting names of objects or ideas)
  • clumsiness and/or lack of coordination
  • brittle nails; dry skin
  • mood swings, bouts of unexpected crying,  heightened emotions

Some neurological symptoms include the following (and usually indicate severity of the disease):

  • Imbalance
  • dizziness, faintness
  • frequently bumping into or falling against walls
  • general unsteadiness, especially when showering and dressing
  • inability to stand up with eyes closed or in the dark
  • numbness/tingling in the extremities
  • Tinnitus – ringing or buzzing in the ears

If you experience many of these symptoms you should see your local doctor. Ask for the Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibody Test.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Image courtesy or dream designs/freedigitalphotos

Boost your Metabolism with Vitamin B12

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013



If you’ve been feeling tired and mental unfocused lately, you may just need to give your metabolism a boost with some extra vitamin B12. Difficulty losing weight, brain fog, and extreme fatigue are all signs of a sluggish metabolism that can be helped by replenishing your body’s healthy stores of vitamin B12.

Boost your Metabolism with Vitamin B12

Why B12?

Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients for allover health; it helps to boost energy, promote cellular activity, protect the nervous system, and delay many of the effects of aging.

For metabolism, vitamin B12 helps by enhancing cell growth, enabling your body to build DNA more efficiently, in addition to sustaining red blood cell production needed for oxygen.

Hypothyroidism and vitamin B12

If you suffer from slow metabolism due to hypothyroidism, then you may be more prone to vitamin B12 deficiency than people without thyroid disorders.

And the symptoms of hypothyroidism- chronic fatigue, brain fog, and slow metabolism- actually mimic typical signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it all that much harder to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency in people with underactive thyroids.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

The standard dose is 1,000mcg of vitamin B12, to be taken as advised by your physician, or as needed.

Vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, and many studies confirm the healthy benefits of taking mega-doses for energy, good mood, and fit thinking skills.

If your vitamin B12 levels are very low, then you may need to take weekly supplements for a while, and then continue with monthly doses of vitamin B12.

Read more about vitamin B12 dosage.

Boost your metabolism with these tips.

In addition to taking vitamin B12 for energy and maintaining a healthy weight, you should also follow these simple guidelines for metabolic integrity:

  • Eat a healthy balanced breakfast every day, in order to prevent going into metabolic starvation mode.
  • Eat small regular meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism running smoothly.
  • Exercise every day for at least thirty minutes, and you’ll be rewarded with hours of increased energy for the rest of that day.
  • Drink cold water throughout the day, not just to prevent fatigue from dehydration, but also because ice water increases energy and promotes a healthy metabolic rate.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

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Vitamin B12 Injection Pain- 7 Helpful Tips

Monday, June 17th, 2013



Nobody loves getting injections, but if you need regular vitamin B12 supplements, then you’re all too familiar with vitamin B12 injection pain. The dull throbbing and soreness, side effects of prescribed intramuscular (IM) injections can last forever, even if you self-inject vitamin B12 in the comfort of your own home. Listed are some helpful tips for reducing localized muscular pain and irritation caused by vitamin B12 injections.

Vitamin B12 Injection Pain- 7 Helpful Tips

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia or as a result of bariatric surgery, then you must supplement with vitamin B12 regularly in order to prevent debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, depression, muscle pain, memory loss, and other signs of cognitive and neurological breakdown.

Vitamin B12 injections are not for the faint of heart, though, as they must be inserted in thick, deep muscular tissue in order to work.

1- Ice the injection site

Before injecting with vitamin B12, apply ice to your thigh, hip, or groin- wherever you plan on inserting the needle. If the B12 shot is painful, then your muscles impulsively flex as a reaction to the needle’s insertion. By numbing the skin at the injection site first with ice or topical creams, then you reduce some the bruising and soreness that come with weekly or monthly vitamin B12 injections.

2- Vary the injection site

If you receive vitamin B12 injections often, then it’s important not to use the same location on the body as your injection site two times in a row. Alternate between right and left, and experiment with popular points for injecting vitamin B12, such as the thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, or upper arm.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- Best Body Parts

3- Relax

This may be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you’re usually nervous about sharp needles, but it really does help to sit in a comfortable position before submitting to a vitamin B12 shot, and force your muscles to relax as the needle goes in and the thick fluid enters your muscular tissue.

4- Ask for help

It’s okay to pass the needle to somebody else, even if you’ve opted for vitamin B12 self-injections. Ask a close friend, companion, spouse, or relative to learn how to administer vitamin B12 shots, or at least hold a mirror for you while you give yourself the injection, and rub out the pain afterwards to prevent bruising and other painful side effects.

5- Distraction helps

If your child requires vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis, then keeping her mind occupied on something else for just a few seconds can help to reduce the fear and the pain. According to a study on injection pain in children, putting on some music, handing her a toy, or telling a story are proven methods for enhancing injection pain relief.

Preparing your Children for Shots- 6 Tips to Ease the Pain

6- Talk to your doctor

If the vitamin B12 injection site hurts for more than a few days, then visit your doctor. Warning signs of intramuscular injection damage include redness, increased swelling, fever, and warmth of the skin at the injection site.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings

7- Consider alternatives

If you can’t hack the pain, then know that there are alternatives to vitamin B12 shots.

Some vitamin manufacturers offer gentle, non-dietary forms of vitamin B12 that don’t require injection with sharp needles, yet contain the same 1,000mcg dose of essential vitamin B12 nutrients.

Alternative vitamin B12 supplementation is also a healthy, safe way to boost energy levels between vitamin B12 injections, when your doctor doesn’t prescribe enough vitamin B12 to alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, painful numbness and tingling, and memory problems.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Shots- Side Effects

Itchy Skin Patches from Vitamin B12 Shots


Vitamin B12 Injections Side Effects

Tips to ease injection site soreness

A Guide to Post-Injection Muscular Pain

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos

25 Causes of Dizziness and Lightheadedness

Monday, May 20th, 2013



Dizziness and lightheadedness can make you feel faint, like you need to pass out. Causes of dizziness, including vertigo- that whirling sensation you may experience while sitting still- may include anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency or low iron, heart disease, or one of several other conditions that share symptoms of nausea, fatigue, and loss of balance.

25 Causes of Dizziness and Lightheadedness

Is it dizziness or vertigo

Many people confuse vertigo with standard dizziness. This is an important distinction, because actual symptoms of vertigo may indicate a serious underlying health risk, such as tumor or stroke.

With dizziness, you may feel faint, unsteady, and slightly nauseas while walking around. Usually, lying down will relieve dizziness and lightheadedness, but not always.

Conversely, vertigo makes you feel dizzy while standing still. If you’ve ever spun around in a circle and stopped abruptly, you’ll recognize the feeling of vertigo that occurs, that sensation of your surroundings tilting and whirling around you, making it hard to stand still, or walk without falling down.

If you experience constant wooziness, fatigue, nausea, or vertigo, then it’s important to see your doctor immediately, so that he can rule out rare life-threatening causes of dizziness and lightheadedness.

Below are 25 causes of dizziness, including chronic conditions and rare illnesses.

1- Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

Dizziness and fatigue are some of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia. Lightheadedness due to low vitamin B12 levels may result from peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), low red blood cell count, hypoxia (decreased oxygen), and cognitive mood disorders.

Symptoms include loss of balance (ataxia), brain fog, dizziness, disorientation, memory loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, difficulty holding an upright position, and numbness or tingling sensations in the arms and legs.

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

2- Iron deficiency anemia

In addition to vitamin B12 deficiency, other forms of anemia, including low iron may be causing frequent dizziness and lightheadedness.

3- Chronic subjective dizziness

Chronic dizziness is a term that doctors use when they are unable to find the exact cause for faintness, fatigue, nausea, and vertigo. People with chronic subjective dizziness may be hypersensitive to bright lights, movies, and dizzying images.

4- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)

Low blood sugar may cause a shock to the system that results in fatigue, dizziness, and weakness.

5- Multiple sclerosis (MS)

A demyelinating illness, multiple sclerosis damages the nervous system, causing impaired muscle control, instability, and many other severe handicaps.

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

6- Parkinson’s disease

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include muscle stiffness, tremors, dementia, anxiety, depression, and loss of balance.

7- Low blood pressure (hypotension)

Shock from sudden low blood pressure, particularly when you get up too quickly from a seated or lying position, may cause dizziness.

8- Internal bleeding

Rarely, dizziness and lightheadedness that doesn’t go away may indicate hemorrhage or internal bleeding.

9- Heavy menstruation

Heavy blood flow during menstrual periods may also cause extreme dizziness, nausea, and weakness.

10- Allergies

Sometimes, dizziness may result from a seasonal or food allergy.

11- Flu

Colds and flu are common causes of sudden dizziness, wooziness, and fatigue.

12- Dehydration

If you feel dizzy during hot, dry weather seasons, or after exercising, then you may be experiencing severe hyperthermia, or dehydration.

13- Anxiety

Dizziness, heart palpitations, fatigue, and nausea are common symptoms panic attacks, anxiety, or depression.

14- Hyperventilation

You may be breathing too fast, or too deeply, without even realizing it. Some people experience frequent dizziness and lightheadedness caused by hyperventilation from stress or sitting hunched over.

15- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)

Dizziness or faintness may result from decreased blood flow to the heart caused by arrhythmia.

16- Drugs and alcohol

Illegal drug use and excess alcohol are common causes of vertigo, dizziness, and fatigue.

17- Medications

Certain medications may cause side effects of dizziness; these include medications for heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, and seizures.

18- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

One of the most common causes of severe vertigo, BPPV causes dizziness and head-spinning sensations when you sit up suddenly or turn over on your side while lying down.

19- Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease occurs with excessive buildup of fluid in your inner ear, and causes tinnitus (ear ringing) and dizziness.

20- Ear infections

Inflammations of the inner ear, including labyrinthitis and other ear infections often cause constant dizziness and loss of balance.

21- Migraines

Excruciating headaches aren’t the only symptoms of migraines- other signs include neck stiffness, eye pain, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, and severe fatigue.

22- Vertebrobasilar insufficiency

Rarely, dizziness may be the result of insufficient blood flow to the brain.

23- Acoustic neuroma

Another rare cause of dizziness and lightheadedness, vestibular schwannoma is a noncancerous (benign) growth on the vestibular nerve.

24- Stroke

Dizziness, paralysis, disorientation, fatigue, and loss of speech are some symptoms of stroke.

25- Brain tumor

If dizziness, tiredness, memory loss, and other qualifying conditions persist, your doctor may order an MRI exam in order to rule out rare brain tumor.

Your turn!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Eyes Jerking around- What causes Nystagmus?

Hypothyroidism…or Vitamin B12 Deficiency?


Dizziness: Lightheadedness and Vertigo – Topic Overview

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Low Blood Platelets (ITP)

Monday, April 16th, 2012



We know that vitamin B12 deficiency wipes out red blood cells, but less is known about its impact on blood platelets. Many scientists attribute ITP to autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia.


What is ITP?

Thrombocytopenia is a blood platelet (thrombocytes) deficiency. When you get a cut on your finger, thrombocytes are the blood cells that stop the bleeding by forming a plug to heal the wound. 

Thrombocytopenia can be acquired from bone marrow disease, or it may have an unknown cause, as in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).

How did I get ITP?

  • Scientists believe that ITP is an autoimmune disorder, noting a correlation with autoimmune diseases, such as pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency and lupus.
  • Sometimes, children get ITP after having a virus like the flu.
  • Alcohol abuse is also thought to cause ITP.
  • ITP may also be connected with an infection or tumor.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

What are the symptoms of ITP?

Low blood platelet production results in many telltale symptoms, including:

  • VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND LOW WHITE BLOOD PLATELETS (ITP)Excess bleeding that doesn’t heal
  • Bleeding from gums or nose
  • Internal bleeding resulting from injury
  • Abnormally heavy bleeding following dentistry or surgery
  • Heavy bruising not related to serious injuries
  • Rash-like red dots on the lower legs caused by bleeding
  • Bloody urine or stools
  • Unusually heavy menstrual periods

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Treatments for ITP

Very often, ITP will cure itself.  Children who get ITP usually see an increase in blood platelets after several months.

With chronic ITP, your doctor may recommend:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG)
  • Thrombopoietin receptor agonists
  • Vitamin B12 supplementation (with pernicious anemia)
  • Routine vitamin B12 blood tests along with platelet testing
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Avoiding blood thinners whenever possible
  • Avoiding rigorous exercises like football, soccer, and sprinting
  • Checking wounds frequently for possible infections

Please tell us…

Have you noticed symptoms like frequent bruising or cuts that don’t heal?  Have you tested for both iron deficiency anemia and vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

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:

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

6 Food Cravings that Signal Vitamin Deficiency

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency


The relationship between idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and pernicious anaemia

Amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia of nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)


Victor Habbick, Ambro, luigi diamanti

I Can’t See Clearly with B12 Deficiency- Double Vision and other Eye Problems

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012



So, do you think you know all the symptoms of B12 deficiency?  Well, one overlooked sign is eye problems like double vision, blurry vision, and nystagmus.  Here are some common vision problems that accompany B12 deficiency.


Myelin and optic neuritis

Myelin is a fatty substance that sheathes and protects your nerve cells, including the ones that control your eyesight, sense of smell, taste perception, hearing, and touch.  Demyelinating diseases like pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and diabetes may result in permanent nerve cell damage.

Optic neuritis (demyelinating optic neuritis) is irritation of the optic nerves that occurs when myelin is damaged or completely lost.

Vision symptoms from optic neuritis can include blurring and blind spots. You also may notice distorted vision, reduced color vision and pain when you move your eyes. These types of symptoms may precede vision loss due to optic neuritis.

Symptoms of optic neuritis include:

  • Temporary vision loss in one eye
  • Altered sensitivity to light
  • Partial color blindness
  • Painful eye movements

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate


Vitamin B12 and myelin

Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients for your nervous system, as it helps to maintain the myelin coating that protects your nerve cells.  Insufficient vitamin B12 causes a slow erosion of myelin, as evidenced by delayed or malfunctioning nervous impulses.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms often include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Eye twitching
  • Painful tingling or numbness (pins and needles) in your hands and feet
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Sore muscles
  • Weakness
  • Breathlessness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Acid reflux
  • Diarrhea


Eye problems with B12 deficiency

In addition to optic neuritis, other vision problems that may be related to vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Partial blindness
  • Tunnel vision (peripheral vision loss)
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Oculomotor nerve palsy
  • Nystagmus

Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms

Please tell us…

Do you have vitamin B12 deficiency, including vision problems that you didn’t realize were related?

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 B12 deficiency symptoms:

Undetected Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Why is B12 off the Radar?

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?


Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Vision

B12 Deficiency affects your vision and eyesight

Optic nerve atrophy

Vision problems

Images: amyelyse, sufur, Jeroen van Oostrom

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