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Posts Tagged ‘heartburn’

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Thursday, October 20th, 2011



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.

Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

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, stomach cramping, 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.

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

2) Celiac disease

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.

Celiac Disease Tip: Gluten Free Diet plus Extra Vitamin B12

3) Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

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.

Fibromyalgia FAQs- 6 Need-to-Know Fibro Facts

4) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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.

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

5) Diabetes

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.

New Study: Diabetes Drug Metformin Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6) Psychiatric disorders

[clinical depression] [anxiety disorder]

Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are often misdiagnosed as psychiatric disorders, such as depression, anxiety disorder, manic depression, or paranoia.

Vitamin Deficiencies can drive you Crazy- Seriously! Part 1

7) Heartburn

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.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

8) Gastric bypass

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.

10 Mistakes Gastric Bypass Patients Often Make

9) Pernicious anemia

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.

Signs and Symptoms of 6 Types of Anemia Blood Disease

10) Cardiovascular disease

Vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and folate all work together in lowering your body’s level of homocysteine; an amino acid that scientists believe may contribute to heart disease and stroke.

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate

11) Thyroid disease

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.

12) Dementia

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.

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain


American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc.

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

Peripheral neuropathy- Mayo Clinic

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Thursday, September 8th, 2011



Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.


“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD.  People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.

That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family.  As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it.  Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.




IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:

1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”

Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.

Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD.  More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.

Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.

Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.

IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.

IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.

3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”

There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.

4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress.  And depression.”

It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Some scientists believe it may result from a virus. Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.

To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.

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

5) You have Crohn’s disease?  I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”

Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis.  If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.

6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”

See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.

Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.

7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”

Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.

Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications.  To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.


8) “You have Crohn’s disease?  That means you can’t have children.”

Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.

Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.

Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.


9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”

There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.

Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening.  While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.

Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.

Related reading:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info


5 Things You Need to Know About Colitis

Myths Revealed: Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nine Digestive Disease Myths

Common Digestive Problems Myths: IBS, Gas, Diarrhea, Heartburn, and More

Qualitative research in inflammatory bowel disease: dispelling the myths of an unknown entity

I Hate IBD- Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Crohn’s Disease Management: Stay in Control

Setting the Record Straight – The MYTHS of Crohn’s Disease

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Free Stock Photos

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet

Friday, July 1st, 2011



Avoid acid reflux and heartburn…for good! Follow this GERD diet.

The 20 Do’s and Don’ts of the GERD Diet- B12 patch

Most people get heartburn occasionally, but if  you experience acid reflux frequently, then you might be suffering from GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).

GERD is caused when the lower “gate” (sphincter) of the lower esophagus relaxes, thereby creating a regular flow of stomach acids through the esophageal tubes.

GERD has the potential to cause serious damage to your esophageal lining, vocal chords, lung tissues, and throat, in addition to creating ulcers.

How is GERD different from heartburn?

GERD is the clinical disease of chronic acid reflux, and heartburn is one of its symptoms.

The symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn- burning, painful sensation behind the chest, and feeling of a “bubble” behind the breastbone
  • Partial vomiting of sour bile into mouth
  • Throat pain while swallowing
  • Asthma-like symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and sore throat

Here are 20 Do’s and Don’t for managing GERD:

1- DO…Take vitamin B12 supplements.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common complication with GERD patients who take antacid medication.

A normal amount of stomach acids is healthy and beneficial for digesting foods, and your body cannot absorb vitamin B12 without them.

If you take prescription heartburn medication, then you run the risk of developing B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia, chronic fatigue, memory loss, and a host of other harmful symptoms.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms.

2- DON’T… Eat chocolate.

Chocolate is chock-full of ingredients that disagree with acid reflux- it’s highly caffeinated, contains theobromine, a bitter alkaloid, and it’s high in fat.  If you must have your chocolate fix, opt for lower-fat dark chocolate- at least you’ll be getting some antioxidants.

3- DO…Follow a low-fat diet.

Fatty foods slow down digestion, increasing your chances of suffering a gastrointestinal backlash.  Follow a light diet, and you’ll feel lighter, too.

4- DON’T…Eat fried foods. Oily foods are at the top of the no-no list if you have GERD, and fried foods are the oiliest of the oiliest.  Save yourself from the pain, and experiment with roasted potatoes, eggplant, carrots, zucchini, or kohlrabi.  Roasting brings out the natural flavor, and requires less oil.

5- DO…Avoid caffeine.

A small cup of coffee every morning is fine, even if you get chronic heartburn, but a tall mug of latte every three hours is pushing it.

6- DON’T…Eat starchy carbohydrates.

Starchy, high-sugar vegetables are difficult for your body to digest, resulting in large amounts of undigested carbs.  Carbohydrates that sit in your stomach end up contributing to excess stomach acids, a sure-fire way to cause acid reflux.

7- DO…Eat sauerkraut.

Aged, fermented foods like pickles, kimchee, and sauerkraut have a stabilizing effect on the tummy, according to many health experts, when eaten in moderate amounts.

8- DON’T…Consume alcohol.

Although alcohol is not an acidic substance, it does have a loosening effect on the esophagus’s lower valve that controls gastric acid flow.

9- DO…Take probiotics supplements.

Probiotics promote healthy bacteria, a veritable army against heartburn, diarrhea, and many other stomach problems.

Probiotics are a main ingredient in yogurt and kefir, but if you can’t handle dairy products, then opt for probiotic supplements and tonics.

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

10- DON’T…Indulge in fatty dairy products.

Sour cream, soft cheeses, ice cream, and whole milk these all contribute to GERD symptoms.  Opt for the lower fat versions, if dairy is what you crave.

11- DO…Exercise portion control.

When dining out, ask for a to-go container as soon as the food reaches your table.  You’ll be less tempted to overindulge if you divide your meal in half before you start eating, and save the rest for later.

12- DON’T…Drink acidic fruit juice.

Orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade, and tomato juice just add fuel to the fire.  Also, avoid tomato-based sauces, as their acidic content aggravates heartburn symptoms.

13- DO…Keep a food diary.

Let’s face it- not everybody can keep a mental log of everything he ate this past week, let alone since breakfast.  Keeping track of your eating habits in a food journal is the only way to manage your heartburn triggers.

14- DON’T…Drink bubbly drinks.

Remember the volcano science projects you used to do as a kid- the one where you put baking soda inside a papier-mâché “volcano,” poured in a solution of vinegar and red food food coloring? Well, imagine that in your stomach…

15- DO…Avoid processed foods.

Overly processed, refined foods lack the fiber needed to travel through your digestive system efficiently.  Choose whole foods- brown rice instead of white, whole sugar instead of white, and you’ll also get more vitamins, to boot.

16- DON’T…Eat fatty meats.

Stay away from fatty beefsteaks, beef jerky, and pork.  Leaner meats like ground turkey breast, skinless chicken, and trimmed beef chuck are healthier for the heart, less likely to cause heartburn, and higher in vitamin B12.

17- DO…Drink apple cider.

Apple cider is a natural alternative that balances stomach fluids, even if you have GERD.

Drink a few tablespoons of organic apple cider added to an 8-ounce glass of water, every day after meals.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

18- DON’T…Fall asleep after a meal.

Your body needs time and energy to process a meal.  While physical activity is excellent for pushing food through your system, lying on the couch has the opposite effect.  Sit down for dinner early, and make a habit of going out for a neighborhood stroll afterwards.

19- DO…Exercise regularly.

Light aerobic exercise increases your metabolism, ensuring that your food digests quicker and more efficiently, as opposed to sitting around in your stomach collecting acids

20- DON’T…Sleep on your right side.

Use the force of gravity to your advantage.  If nighttime heartburn is an issue, then sleep on your left side, and your stomach acids will stay where they belong.


7 Foods That Cause Acid Reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What Is GERD? Pain, Symptoms, Causes, Remedies, and More


Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux & GERD

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