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Posts Tagged ‘Hypothyroid’

Hypothyroidism…or Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Monday, May 6th, 2013



An alarming number of patients suffering low thyroid- hypothyroidism- may actually have underlying anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, according to studies. How can you tell the difference between low vitamin B12 and low thyroid?

Hypothyroidism…or Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

In a study focusing on vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism, scientists noted that nearly 40% of patients receiving treatment for low thyroid functioning also had significantly low levels of vitamin B12.

Thyroid and vitamin B12- what’s the link?

Researchers from the Aga Khan University in Pakistan observed 116 patients of hypothyroid and tested them for signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. They found that 46 patients with low thyroid disorder also had significantly low levels of vitamin B12.

  • Many, but not all, hypothyroid patients with vitamin B12 deficiency reported symptoms that were consistent with low vitamin B12 levels- extreme fatigue, memory loss, painful numbness and tingling in the extremities, weak muscles, and slow reflexes.
  • Other hypothyroid patients also reported similar symptoms, but had normal levels of serum vitamin B12.
  • Still, telltale symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency were not always prevalent, despite blood test results indicating severe depletion of vitamin B12 in the blood supply.
  • After receiving vitamin B12 supplementation for six months, both groups of hypothyroid patients, those with vitamin B12 deficiency and those with normal vitamin B12 levels, noticed a decline in symptoms related to vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

It’s uncertain exactly why hypothyroid patients are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, but it may result from two risk factors:

  • Anti-thyroid antibodies: Sometimes, pernicious anemia, a common form of vitamin B12 deficiency, occurs because of an autoimmune dysfunction. History of autoimmune disorders therefore increases your risk of developing intrinsic factor antibodies that lead to pernicious anemia.
  • Gastrointestinal disorders: Digestive problems, comorbid with thyroid disorders, often interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, resulting in depletion of vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

Why do we need vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is crucial for many important biochemical functions, including maintaining nervous system integrity, producing red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen, converting carbohydrates into energy, and metabolizing DNA.

Initially, when vitamin B12 levels drop, you may notice symptoms such as tiredness, depression, anxiety, and “pins and needles,” including painful numbness and tingling in the arms and legs.

Over time, your stores of vitamin B12 can slowly deplete to a dangerous low, increasing your risk for progressively debilitating ailments, such as dizziness, heart palpitations, extreme fatigue, brain fog, muscle pain, and difficulty controlling arm and leg movements.

Some of these symptoms may mimic signs of low thyroid, so it’s crucial to get tested for vitamin B12 deficiency often, especially if you already battle with hypothyroidism.

To treat vitamin B12, you may require a regimen of non-dietary supplements consisting of at least 1,000mcg of vitamin B12.

Your turn!

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Like this? Read more:

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain


Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism.

Image courtesy of keerati/freedigitalphotos.net

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011



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


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

What is hypothyroidism?

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

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

Why am I always tired?  Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Symptoms of low thyroid include:

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


Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

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

Low B12 symptoms include:

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


Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Thyroid disease and low B12 levels

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

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

Hypothyroidism treatment

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

Read more about B12 deficiency:

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders


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

Hypothyroidism- PubMed Health

Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism- PubMed NCBI

Hypothyroidism & Vitamin B12 Deficiency- LIVESTRONG.COM

Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism

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vitasamb2001, jscreationzs, Ambro

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