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Posts Tagged ‘Livestrong’

Celiac Disease Tip: Gluten Free Diet plus Extra Vitamin B12

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011



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 TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMCeliac 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

  • CELIAC DISEASE TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMVitamin 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

  • CELIAC DISEASE TIP: GLUTEN FREE DIET PLUS EXTRA VITAMIN B12, WWW.B12PATCH.COMOnly 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.
  • Unless treated, vitamin B12 deficiency could escalate into severe neurological damage, dementia (Alzheimer’s disease), and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  (See B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate.)
  • 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.

Related reading:

Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

Gluten-Free Candy List for Celiac Disease, October 2011

Signs and Symptoms of 6 Types of Anemia Blood Disease


Celiac Disease: Gluten Free Diet

Low Serum Vitamin B12 is Common in Celiac Disease and is not due to Autoimmune Gastritis- Celiac.com

Vitamin B12 deficiency in untreated celiac disease- PubMed- NCBI

Gluten Sensitivity / Celiac Disease – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Information

What Do You Know About Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Image Credits:

graur codrinGrant Cochranepiyato, ambro

Boost Athletic Performance, Part 2- 12 Vitamins and Minerals

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011



The ABCs of the Best Vitamins for Energy: Learn which vitamins and minerals are best for keeping fit, building muscle, boosting energy, maintaining your immune system, and improving athletic performance.


#1: Vitamin A

Orange veggies (carrots, yams, etc.) that are high in vitamin A are excellent for maintaining good eyesight, but that’s not all.  Vitamin A also helps your body build protein, which is essential for strong, healthy muscles.  Vitamin A also helps your body store energy by aiding in the production of glycogen.


#2: Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Thiamine is one of the most important vitamins for generating muscle growth and boosting stamina during a workout.  That is because vitamin B1 helps your body to digest protein and deliver oxygen to your muscles through hemoglobin.

#3: Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Riboflavin’s impact on athletic performance is threefold:

  • Riboflavin helps to boost energy by converting glucose.
  • Riboflavin aids in extracting oxygen from fatty acids.
  • Riboflavin moves hydrogen ions through the Krebs cycle, which is essential for protein synthesis from amino acids and reproducing DNA.

#4: Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Of all the B complex vitamins, niacin is perhaps the most crucial for converting the calories from foods we eat into energy.  Niacin aids in metabolizing protein, carbohydrates, and fats, in addition to supporting your nervous system, supporting healthy hormones, and maintaining cholesterol in already healthy cholesterol levels.


#5: Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Pyridoxine helps your body digest proteins and carbohydrates.  The amount of B6 you need correlates with the amount of protein foods in your diet.

#6: Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is crucial for maintaining a healthy nervous system, sustaining cognitive functioning, and increasing stamina. Cobalamin benefits your body by aiding in the following biochemical functions:

  • Nervous system health: By protecting the myelin sheathe of your nervous system, vitamin B12 helps you maintain normal body coordination and movement.
  • Cognitive health: by assisting in red blood cell metabolism, vitamin B12 supports delivery of oxygen to the brain.
  • DNA synthesis: Vitamin B12 helps to protect cellular and tissue health.
  • Stamina: Vitamin B12 helps your body convert fatty acids into energy.


#7: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient that supports your immune system.  Because vitamin C dissolves rapidly in water and muscular tissue, athletes with the most muscle require more vitamin C than non-body builders, and must supplement their vitamin C intake accordingly.

The health benefits of the antioxidant vitamin C are numerous; they include:

  • Fighting against free radicals
  • Metabolizing amino acids, particularly collagen, a protein that is responsible for “gluing” muscular tissue with bone
  • Increasing oxygen intake by absorbing iron
  • Producing and releasing vital hormones, including testosterone


#8: Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body extract calcium from foods such as dairy products, salmon, and dark leafy greens.  Calcium helps your body produce strong bones, muscular tissue, and aids in muscular contraction.  Vitamin D also helps you digest phosphorus, which is also essential for proper muscular functioning, in addition to the synthesis of the energy molecule, ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).

#9: Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in wheat germ, healthy vegetable cooking oils, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, and many breakfast cereals.  Vitamin E benefits muscular health by reducing free radicals.

#10: Biotin

Biotin is instrumental in digesting amino acids and increasing stamina.  Bodybuilders who consume raw egg whites may become deficient in biotin because of avidin, a naturally occurring protein in eggs.  In addition to developing biotin deficiency, athletes who eat uncooked eggs expose themselves to the risks of salmonella food poisoning.

#11: Electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, and chloride)

Electrolytes are essential for hydrating the body during excessive perspiring from exercise or exposure to extremely hot, dry weather.  Electrolytes include minerals such as sodium, magnesium, and chloride, the loss of which lead to dehydration symptoms such as muscular cramps, heatstroke, and mental disorientation.  Athletes should opt for drinking water fortified with electrolytes, as your body is unable to produce these minerals naturally.

#12: Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid that occurs predominantly in fish and poultry.  Creatine supplements help your body convert energy from phosphorus, and are popular among athletes who favor sports that require quick, intense bursts of energy, such as bodybuilding, sparring, kickboxing, or sprinting.


Related reading:

Boost Athletic Performance, Part 1- 4 Foods and Nutrients

6 Food Cravings that Signal Vitamin Deficiency

11 Easy Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Tight Food Budget


B-Vitamins and Athletic Performance

Top 10 Vitamins for Bodybuilders

Nutrition Supplement: Vitamins and Diet for Athletic Performance

What is the Krebs Cycle?

Does Niacin Give You Energy?

Adenosine Triphosphate

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, istolethetv

12 Fermented Foods that are Good for your Gut- Probiotics

Friday, July 22nd, 2011



Treat IBD naturally and deliciously by including these anti-inflammatory fermented foods in your diet.


There’s a war brewing in your tummy!

Whether you suffer from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you know that the best way to treat your tummy right is by following a diet rich in probiotic foods.

Probiotics are live microorganisms that occur naturally in aged foods, such as pickles and yogurt.  Consider them your allies in fighting your body’s war between good and evil! (bacteria-wise, that is.)

When it comes to promoting gastrointestinal integrity, the health benefits of probiotics are unrivaled.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

12 Great  probiotics

1- Yogurt

Yogurt is an old standby for people who understand the health benefits of probiotic foods, and for good reason.

Many brands of yogurt contain live cultures that keep your tummy calm and balanced, even after taking antibiotics.

Keep in mind that not all yogurts are alike- only the ones that are marked “active cultures” or “live cultures” on the label have potent probiotics.


2- Kefir

Kefir is a popular European drink that contains a mixture of goat milk and fermented kefir grains.  In addition to antioxidants, kefir is also rich in lactobacilli and bifidus bacteria.

3- Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a nourishing drink that adds creaminess and rich flavor to Ranch salad dressings, pancakes, and cornbread.  It is also an excellent source of probiotic cultures.

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

4- Sour cream

Sour cream is a fermented condiment that contains healthy bacteria.  Use it sparingly, as it is high in fat.

5- Miso

Miso is a traditional Japanese condiment that consists of a fermented paste produced by soybeans, barley, or rice.  It adds a salty, smoky flavor to soups and sauces.

6- Tempeh

Tempeh is an excellent vegetarian source of vitamin B12.  Produced from fermented soybeans, tempeh is a meatier alternative to tofu and makes a satisfying centerpiece in vegan main meals.


7- Natto

Natto is another soy product featured in Japanese cuisine, containing bacillus subtilis.  It has a pungent quality that true lovers of vegetarian cookery enjoy.

8- Sauerkraut

This fermented cabbage began its gastronomical career as a popular German condiment; today, hot dog enthusiasts all over the USA delight in topping their frankfurters with tangy sauerkraut.

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

9- Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment made of assorted pickled vegetables.  Like sauerkraut, kimchi contains fermented cabbage, in addition to onions, carrots, and garlic.

Unlike sauerkraut, kimchi has a hot ‘n spicy kick to it.

10- Kombucha tea

Kombucha tea, a health food staple that contains live cultures, is an ancient tonic that promotes healthy gut bacteria.

11- Pickles

Dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, or half-sours: any way you slice them, pickled cucumbers are a tasty, crunchy source of gut-friendly probiotics.

12- Unpasteurized olives

Naturally fermented, unpasteurized olives have a unique, full-bodied flavor that is lacking in traditionally bottled pasteurized olives.  Like all olives, they are equally beneficial for heart health.


Related Reading:

15 Steps to Better Digestion

Crohn’s Disease Suggested Dinner Menu, plus Recipes

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

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

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


Top 10 Probiotic Foods to Add to Your Diet

Top Probiotic Foods You Are Not Eating | The Conscious Life

The Best Probiotic Foods | LIVESTRONG.COM

13 Natural Probiotic Food Sources

10 Fun, Easy and Cheap Summer Activities for Autistic Kids

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Stress-Free Trips for Children with Autism


Summer’s here. Now what?

It’s only the middle of the summer, and already your kids are climbing the walls looking for something to do.  If you are a parent of a child with autism, then you understand that your child finds comfort in structure.  If your son (or daughter) has spent the school year learning in a special education class geared towards children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), then he’s used to living by a rigid timetable with scheduled activities, naps, and mealtimes.  Your task is to provide a similar environment at home, while keeping up with your regular weekday routine, such as work, housekeeping, laundry, and local errands.  Support for Parents of Autistic Children

A little bit of structure can go a long way.

With a bit of planning, you can put together a day schedule of summer activities that meets both you and your autistic child’s needs.  Instead of planning long, overwhelming field trips that nobody will enjoy, take mini-field trips on assigned “family trip days.” Fill up the rest of your time slots with simple, inexpensive activities that are spaced far apart.  Allow for quiet spells, including your own “me” time.  Remind your child periodically what the agenda of the day is, in order to spare him of any surprises.  Have all your things ready the night before, including sunscreen, lunches and snacks, clothes, and craft materials, like paper, glue, markers, and child-safe scissors.

Here are 10 summertime activities that the whole family will enjoy:


  1. See a sensory-friendly movie at AMC. Going to the movies can be stressful with small children, especially if you have children with special needs.  Why pay all that money on movie tickets and popcorn, when you know the dark room, the scary trailers, and the loud noises frighten your child?  AMC Entertainment offers special movie showings for families with autistic children.  The lights stay on, the volume is child-friendly, and your children can get up, move around, and talk without being shushed by angry moviegoers.  It’s like home, only with a bigger TV screen.
  2. Visit your local science museum. Science and natural history museums offer many fun activities for children of all ages.  Yearly memberships are often inexpensive, and allow you the freedom to visit whenever you like.  In addition, you’ll receive notification of special events.  Ask your curator what the quietest hours are for the museum, and plan your visit accordingly.
  3. Get a pool membership. All kids love the pool, and autistic kids are no exception.  Visit your local city council for a list of recreational pools in your area, including swim lessons.  Take advantage of pool time to practice some aquatic therapies for children with autism.
  4. Explore nature. Go on a nature walk with your family.  Some parks feature special trails for the handicapped or stroller-bound.  Have a picnic lunch in a shady grove.  Collect pinecones, acorns, branches, and other natural artifacts, keeping away from poison ivy or state-protected wildflowers.  When you get home, prepare a nature craft for your kids to do while you wind down.  Give them some glue, strong cardboard, and glitter, and show them how to make a leafy collage of their park souvenirs.  Or, supply googly eyes and pipe cleaners, and see who can make the scariest pinecone creature.  6 Great Diets for Autistic Children
  5. 10 FUN, EASY AND CHEAP SUMMER ACTIVITIES FOR AUTISTIC KIDS, WWW.B12PATCH.COMMake a memory album. Bring disposable or digital cameras on all your ventures, and end each week by assembling photo album pages to go into your summer memory book.  Autistic children in particular will benefit from the visual reminder of all the fun things they accomplished.
  6. Visit your local library. Reading to your child is an essential tool for broadening their vocabulary.  Kids with ASD benefit greatly from story time, as it teaches them the words they need in order to better communicate.  Have an early dinner, and visit your library during the quiet evening hours.
  7. Play musical games. Music therapy is an essential part of special education classrooms.  All children, whether autistic or not, enjoy moving to background music.  Encourage your children to express themselves through dance by leading them in musical games, such as Freeze Dance or Musical Chairs.
  8. Make homemade play-dough. Autistic children require sensory experiences for brain development.  Commercial modeling clay can be expensive, so why not make it yourself?  The Ultimate Book of Kid Concoctions has dozens of simple science crafts you can do with your kids, including several formulas for play dough, including a scented clay made with applesauce, cinnamon, and white glue.
  9. Wash your car. Sometimes, what adults consider as chores can be fun activities for kids, and running a “car wash” is at the top of the list.  You supply the buckets, suds, and cloths, and your kids can go to town while you supervise in the shade.  Alert your friends and neighbors, and invite them to participate.
  10. Run in the sprinklers. If you water your lawn in the early morning or evening hours, send your kids outside to play tag under the watery sprays.  If you’re feeling adventurous, fill up a few water balloons and show them how to play Hot Potato.


Related reading:

8 Great Tracking Devices for Autistic Kids, GPS+

10 Great iPad Apps for Autistic Children

Special Needs for Special Pets: Animal Therapy Success Stories


Autism: Summer Activities for the Autism Spectrum Crowd : Laura Shumaker : City Brights

5 Great Summer Activities To Do Outdoors With Your Kids | Autism Learning Felt

Leisure Activities For Kids With Autism | LIVESTRONG.COM

Activities For Kids With Autism | LIVESTRONG.COM

The Medford Sun – 10 inexpensive summertime activities for children with autism

6 Great Diets for Autistic Children

Monday, June 6th, 2011



What are the best diets for children with autism? Here are some gluten-free diet dips, plus 5 more great eating plans for kids with special needs.


Autism is a brain disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate feelings, desires, and needs. Autistic children are often referred to as “special needs,” because they require individualized attention.

One common symptom of autism is the tendency to suffer gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps and constipation. According to Livestrong, almost half of all children diagnosed with autism spectrum require a special diet, such as a gluten-free diet plan, to prevent stomach upset. Additionally, scientists have also noticed a decrease in some of the behavioral signs of autism in children who followed special diets.

Below is a list of 6 popular diets for children with autism which have been found to drastically improve their health:

1) Gluten-Free Diet (GF)

Gluten is a protein which occurs naturally in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Many individuals, in addition to children with Asperger’s syndrome or other forms of autism, have benefited greatly from removing all products which contain gluten from their diet. A wide range of bakery items, mixes, packaged snack foods and flours which are labeled gluten-free are available at most health food stores. Grains which do not have gluten are popcorn, brown rice and whole-grain corn meal.
2) Casein-Free Diet (CF)

Casein is a protein found all milk products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, cream and milk derivatives, such as whey. Many people who benefit from a dairy-free diet will often omit gluten as well.  The gluten free-casein free (GFCF) diet has helped children and adults manage allergies and promote intestinal health.

3) Body Ecology Diet (BED)

The Body Ecology Diet was developed to correct digestive flora when fungal infections occur in the gut.

Based on the theory that autism and a multitude of other health problems are caused by pathogenic organisms which escape the infected gut and attack the rest of the body, the BED diet incorporates a combination of cultured foods, healthy oils and reduced carbohydrates and sugars for generating good bacteria in the intestines.

4) Low Oxalate Diet

Oxalates are salts which occur in naturally in many vegetables, fruits and other plant-based food items, such as sweet potatoes, strawberries and chocolate. A low-oxalate diet is often prescribed for people who get kidney stones.

Many autistic children whose parents have restricted oxalates from their diets have experienced improved urinary tract health, clearer skin when eczema was a factor, better digestive health, and enhanced feelings of wellness.

5) Nutrient-Rich Diet

The inclusion of various vitamin-rich foods, supplements, healthy oils, lean proteins and dietary fiber has been used as an autism treatment for children with autism spectrum and Asperger’s, in addition to children with ADHD.

Children with autism who suffer vitamin B12 deficiency, for example, often feel fatigued, irritable and restless. Nutritionists who treat special needs children have noted a rapid improvement in mental clarity, energy levels and overall health with the addition of beneficial vitamin B12 supplements and omega-3 foods, such as salmon, flaxseed and walnuts, t0 their diet.

6) Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SC)

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet was originally developed for patients of Crohn’s disease and colitis, and is based on the premise that rotted, undigested carbohydrates sit in the gut and harm our immune system. The SC diet recommends restricting certain carbohydrates, while encouraging the consumption protein foods such as meat, fish and eggs, vegetables and fruit, and healthy oils, such as nuts and seeds.

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Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011



What should you eat if you have fibromyalgia? Find out why many fibro patients say “Yes” to gluten-free dieting.


Do you suffer from fibromyalgia, a nerve disorder which affects at least 5 million Americans today, most of which are women?  

As of yet, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, but you can find some relief by treating some of the symptoms- muscular soreness, headaches and exhaustion.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common side effect of fibromyalgia, can be alleviated by following a restrictive diet, so it should come as no surprise that many fibromyalgia sufferers have also found an increase in digestive health by following a gluten-free diet.

Gluten in diet

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains such as wheat, barley, corn, rye, spelt, Kamut and triticale. If you enjoy eating breads, pastas, cereal, sweets and other bakery goods, then you probably consume a lot of gluten in one day. Many food manufacturers are responding to the growing community of gluten-free dieters by producing gluten-free bread, cake mixes, soups and an assortment of other packaged goods.

Some people are either allergic to gluten or overly sensitive to it. It’s been estimated that roughly 1 out of 133 Americans are gluten intolerant, and if you’re one of them, then you might be experiencing chronic migraine headaches, digestive problems, fatigue and sore joints and muscles as a result of high gluten consumption. For many, switching to a gluten-free diet is beneficial.

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Where does fibromyalgia come into the picture?

Fibromyalgia patients have one thing in common with people who suffer gluten intolerance: a common list of ailments.

All may experience chronic digestive difficulties, bloating, headaches, sore joints, muscular pain, fatigue and trouble sleeping. Given the percentage of people who have gluten allergies or intolerance, it stands to reason that a significant amount of people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia might actually be suffering from an underlying sensitivity to gluten.

The only way to know for sure if gluten is responsible for your ailments is to cut it out of your diet. While the scientific research supporting the theory that gluten sensitivity can be linked with fibromyalgia symptoms is still lacking, a growing number of patients can attest to feeling healthier, more energetic and at ease as a result of making the switch to gluten-free.

Video: Healthy Food Choices: Gluten-Free Foods, LIVESTRONG

For more information, please read:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency






Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011



Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue affect 5 million Americans. While there are no cures for fibromyalgia, many sufferers benefit by supplementing with vitamin B12, which supports cognitive balance and boosts stamina.

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Point


May 12th was Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. If you suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, learn how vitamin B12 can help alleviate some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic neurological illness which causes excruciating pain and muscular weakness where no sign of injury or inflammation is apparent. Researchers are stumped as to the origin of this disease or how to cure it.

Chronic fibromyalgia pain is lifelong, and often takes a toll on job performance and relationships with friends and family. Medicine for fibromyalgia patients usually consists of pain medication, opiates or antidepressants.

Some common fibromyalgia symptoms are:

  • Chronic, widespread musculoskeletal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Chronic migraines
  • Numbness and tingling in hand, arms, legs and feet
  • Nausea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Sinus/allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing
  • Vertigo
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Altered taste perception
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Blurred vision
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Morning stiffness

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS is a neurological disorder which causes profound exhaustion.

Unlike ordinary tiredness which can be slept off, chronic fatigue is not alleviated by sleep. Chronic fatigue syndrome shares many of the same symptoms as fibromyalgia, such as insomnia, muscular pain, headaches, sore throat and short-term memory loss.

Non-drug alternatives for chronic fatigue sufferers may include stress reduction, vitamin supplementation and physical therapy.

The CFS-fibromyalgia link

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are both neurological conditions, and it is common for individuals suffering from chronic pain and fatigue to be diagnosed with both. Studies linking fibromyalgia with chronic fatigue have confirmed a strong correlation.

  • About 75% of all fibromyalgia patients experience extreme fatigue.
  • 94% of individuals diagnosed with chronic fatigue also report suffering from extreme muscular pain.
  • Studies linking the two conditions together have also noted that women make up the majority of both fibromyalgia pain sufferers and chronic fatigue patients.

Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts

Vitamin B12, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue

Numerous studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with increased risk for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

While nobody claims that vitamin B12 deficiency causes fibromyalgia, experts have nevertheless noticed improved cognitive and metabolic health when vitamin B12 shots are administered to sufferers of fibromyalgia.

Scientists have also noted low vitamin B12 levels where fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue occur, in addition to elevated levels of homocysteine, another common factor in chronic pain and vitamin B12 deficiency, and a possible risk for heart attack and stroke.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are similar to many  symptoms associated with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, including:

  • exhaustion
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • muscular soreness, and
  • numbness or tingling in hands and feet.

For that reason, nutritionists advise vitamin B12 as one of the most crucial supplements for sufferers of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Like this? Read more:

B12 Deficiency can really Get on your Nerves

Teens are No Stranger to Chronic Fatigue

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Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

Monday, May 9th, 2011



B12 vitamins are essential for health hair, strong nails and clearer skin, according to certain studies. Learn how vitamin B12 supplements can prevent age-related hair loss and premature whitening.


Vitamin B12 info:

Vitamin B12 is found in many high protein foods; great sources of B12 are lean beef, chicken, shellfish, eggs and dairy products. Vitamin B12 benefits the nervous system, red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Several studies have linked vitamin B12 deficiency with unhealthy hair, skin and nails.

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Some red flags which might indicate B12 deficiency symptoms are:

Look at your nails. Can you see the white moons, or have they disappeared? What about your hair; have you noticed any premature hair loss or graying?

You might not be getting sufficient vitamin B12 in your diet. Research proves that B12 is one of the best vitamins for hair, skin and nails.


Vitamin B12 hair facts

A large percentage of individuals who have low B12 levels also suffer from premature hair loss; premature streaks of white hair are another symptom. Health experts explain that it’s your body’s way of warning you to increase vitamin supplements; vitamins that are good for your inner body are also good for external skin, hair and nails.

Another B vitamin, biotin, has also been proven to reduce hair loss from aging. Biotin is essential for developing hair follicles, boosting hair growth, and generally building strong hair, skin and nails.

Read more about vitamins for hair: B Today, Hair Tomorrow

Vitamin B12 for skin

What is your skin trying to tell you about your B12 levels? Case studies have linked low B12 with skin lesions; hyperpigmentation and vitiligo are common causes of darkening or lightening of the skin, and often signal a deficiency of vitamins which are good for the skin.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and skin.

Vitamin B12 and  fingernails

Poor fingernail health is another common sign of vitamin B12 deficiency; symptoms include ridged nail surfaces and disappearing of the “moon” at the cuticle. Not getting enough of the B vitamin, biotin? Brittle nails mean you need to supplement with more vitamin B complex.  Spooning of the nail bed means you need more iron and yellow nails signal lack of vitamin E.

Read more about taking vitamin B12 supplements for health: B12: Celebs Say it’s the New C

Vitamin B12 is among the best vitamins for hair growth, strong nails and vibrant skin. B12 supplements are available in the form of vitamin B12 shots or B12 pills.


WebMD, About.com, PubMed, LIVESTRONG, FYI Living

Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

Sunday, May 8th, 2011



Did your recent lab work point to vitamin B12 deficiency? A low vitamin B12 blood test is serious. Symptoms of B12 deficiency can include nerve damage, loss of red blood cells, and mood disorders.


What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient which your body extracts from food sources such as lean meats, dairy products, eggs and fish. Vitamin B12 is necessary for producing plenty of red blood cells, maintaining a healthy nervous system, regulating homocysteine levels and monitoring DNA synthesis. A blood test which results in low B12 levels means that some of these vital bodily functions could be malfunctioning.

What causes low B12 levels?

There are many factors which can cause your B12 levels to dip dangerously low; these include:

  • Lack of intrinsic factor, a protein which is necessary for proper digestion of vitamin B12 from natural food sources
  • Long-term use of heartburn or antacid medication
  • Following a vegan diet, which excludes foods which are rich in vitamin B12, such as beef, chicken, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs and fish.
  • Gastrointestinal conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or gluten intolerance
  • Weight loss surgery, such as gastric bypass surgery.
  • Read Anorexic British Teen Regrets Gastric Bypass Surgery

My lab test results indicate vitamin B12 deficiency. Should I be worried?

Due to the fact that it dissolves in water, your body is not able to hold vitamin B12 in the system for long; vitamin B12 must be constantly replenished through protein-rich foods or vitamin B12 supplements, in order to avoid becoming deficient in B12.

Regular lab blood testing is crucial for catching vitamin B12 deficiency before it has a chance to create any lasting impairment. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to life-threatening illness and irreversible damage. These include:

  • Increased risk for heart attack, due to elevating levels of homocysteine
  • Dementia
  • Irreparable nerve damage
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Read AIDS with B12 Deficiency

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Some low vitamin B12 symptoms are often misdiagnosed as diabetes, mental illness or thyroid disorder.

Below is a list of common symptoms caused by vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Aggression
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
  • Difficulty maintaining balance while walking
  • Altered taste perception
  • Dizziness while sitting upright
  • Read: B12 Deficiency can really Get on your Nerves


If you are not able to utilize sufficient stores of vitamin B12 naturally, then you must supplement regularly in order to avoid B12 deficiency.

For chronically low B12 levels, doctors have often administered vitamin B12 injections until symptoms abate.

Sublingual tablets are also often prescribed as a preventative measure, but recent studies indicate that under-the-tongue B12 supplements are not the most effective sources of B12, as they are not wholly digestible.

Also read:

New Study: Diabetes Drug Metformin Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12: Celebs Say it’s the New C



AIDS with B12 Deficiency

Monday, May 2nd, 2011



How vitamin B12 can help individuals with HIV AIDS

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is the final stage of HIV infection; its symptoms can vary according to the severity and stage of the condition.  The AIDS virus works by slowly multiplying and destroying the immune system, leaving the patient at risk for developing chronic illnesses and infections, including several gastrointestinal diseases which can lead to symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.


What are the symptoms of AIDS?

Some common symptoms of AIDS are swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, rapid weight loss, mouth sores, fever and respiratory illness.  After a few years, AIDS patients are at high risk of developing tuberculosis and many other life-threatening illnesses.

What does vitamin B12 do?

Vitamin B12 is used by the body to produce red blood cells and maintain a healthy nervous system; it is also essential for synthesizing DNA and managing your metabolism. Certain conditions can inhibit the body’s ability to properly digest and utilize vitamin B12 naturally from food sources; these symptoms include chronic diarrhea, excessive vomiting, Crohn’s disease, inflammation of the esophagus and other gastrointestinal diseases. AIDS patients are at high risk for developing any of these conditions, putting them at high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Also read: Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

The most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Depression
  • Altered taste perception
  • Aggression
  • Difficulty maintaining balance while walking
  • Sleep disturbances

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe neurological damage.

For more information on avoiding B12 deficiency, read Benefits and Sources of Vitamin B12, and How to Avoid Deficiency

Why do AIDS patients need vitamin B12 supplements?

Vitamin B12 is necessary for blood cells distribution, neurological functioning, and cognitive health.  AIDS patients are not able to absorb vitamin B12 naturally from food, so they must replenish their supply of  B12 constantly through supplements, since the body is unable to store vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, for very long.

Vitamin B12 supplements are available over the counter or online. Some vitamin B12 deficiency patients are prescribed with rounds of injections which must be inserted in the thick, muscular area below the buttocks. Often, sublingual  tablets are prescribed as follow-up treatments, but new studies indicate that vitamin B12 pills are not the most effective source of B12, as the body does not digest them well.

Also read:

B-Gone, Heart Disease

Happy Ten Billionth, iTunes: Apple’s 10 Best Health and Medical Apps

Source: Livestrong, Mayo Clinic

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