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Posts Tagged ‘low b12 vitamin’

99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Monday, December 9th, 2013



Still think vitamin B12 deficiency is something that can be ignored? If you have any of the most common symptoms- fatigue, depression, memory loss, painful “pins and needles” in the hands and feet- then you may be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more to pernicious anemia than beats the eye.

99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Vitamin B12- You need this!

Vitamin B12 is essential for so many primary biological functions that are necessary for survival- your nervous system, hormonal balance, cognitive functioning, metabolism, cell formation, to name just a few. It’s no wonder that when vitamin B12 levels are even marginally low, the results can range from annoying and disturbing to debilitating and catastrophic.

Pernicious anemia

In years past, pernicious anemia from severe vitamin B12 deficiency used to be fatal. Today, thanks to vitamin B12 supplementation, we are able to maintain normal levels of vitamin B12, even in spite of vitamin B12 malabsorption from autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses.

But until you learn to recognize the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you’re at risk for pernicious anemia and all the damage that it can cause throughout your system.

Symptoms of low B12

Here are 99 ailments that often occur in people with moderate to severe vitamin B12 deficiency, including comorbid conditions and direct symptoms.

  1. Symptoms of anemia- peripheral (megaloblastic) anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency
  2. Painful tingling and numbness in extremities (hands, fingers, toes)- paresthesias
  3. Peripheral nerve damage from demyelination
  4. Poor motor control in arms and legs
  5. Constantly dropping things
  6. Dizziness, poor equilibrium
  7. Gait disturbances, difficulty walking straight
  8. Vertigo, sensation of spinning when at rest
  9. Confusion
  10. Slow thinking, brain fog
  11. Difficulty remembering words or names
  12. Agitation
  13. Depression
  14. Chronic overwhelming fatigue
  15. Poor concentration, attention problems
  16. Difficulty completing tasks
  17. Mood changes
  18. Memory loss
  19. Unusual sudden anger
  20. Psychosis
  21. Age-related dementia
  22. Paranoia
  23. Hallucinations
  24. Anxiety attacks, panic
  25. Sore muscles, painful burning
  26. Tremors, trembling
  27. Frequent muscle fatigue
  28. Difficulty building muscle tissue, even with exercise
  29. Exercise requires several days of recuperation
  30. Neck pain
  31. Headaches
  32. Tight muscle pain in the arms and legs
  33. Joint pain
  34. Morning muscular stiffness
  35. Muscle spasms, twitches
  36. Tender spots as evident in fibromyalgia
  37. Bursitis- pain in elbows, shoulders, and hips
  38. Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods- pain in mouth, teeth
  39. Sore tongue, burning sensation
  40. Red tongue that is abnormally smooth, without texture
  41. Canker sores, mouth pain
  42. Sores at corners of mouth
  43. Dry mouth
  44. Altered sense of taste
  45. Unusual thirst
  46. Metallic taste in mouth
  47. Olfactory hallucinations
  48. Pain in bladder without uterine infection
  49. Stomach pain
  50. Nausea
  51. Constant bloating
  52. Difficulty swallowing food
  53. “Frog in throat” sensation
  54. Acid reflux, GERD
  55. Heartburn
  56. Flatulence
  57. Loss of appetite
  58. Constipation
  59. Diarrhea
  60. Esophageal ulcers
  61. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)f, Crohn’s disease
  62. Dairy sensitivity
  63. Unusual weight loss or weight gain
  64. Poor libido
  65. Hormonal problems
  66. Low sperm count
  67. Erectile dysfunction
  68. Infertility
  69. Post-partum depression
  70. Frequent miscarriage, early abortion
  71. Failure to thrive in infancy
  72. Language delays
  73. PMS, difficult menstrual periods
  74. Chronic yeast infections
  75. Early onset menopause
  76. Pale complexion
  77. Heart palpitations
  78. Shortness of breath
  79. Weak pulse
  80. Thyroid disorders- Hashimoto’s
  81. High levels of homocysteine
  82. Sensory issues- hypersensitivity to touch, scents, textures, tastes, bright lights  and noises
  83. Sleep problems, insomnia
  84. Sleep that does not restore energy
  85. Night terrors
  86. Vision problems- blurring, photosensitivity, poor night vision
  87. Optic neuritis
  88. Tinnitus – ringing in ears
  89. Hyperacusis- extreme sensitivity to sounds
  90. Low body temperature, always feeling chilled
  91. Neural tube defect in children
  92. “Electric shocks,” pain that shoots down arms and legs when you bend your neck
  93. Poor reflexes from impaired nerve cells
  94. Frequent bruising
  95. Constantly itchy skin
  96. Eczema
  97. Early graying of hair
  98. Hair loss
  99. Thin brittle nails with ridges

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

Sluggish? Confused? Maybe it’s the Cheeseburger.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

January 19, 2011- the Wall Street Journal just published a report on b12 deficiency and its accompanying symptoms.  Kudos to the WSJ for giving b12 deficiency the attention it deserves, as the symptoms of low b12 vitamin levels are still being misdiagnosed by physicians.

The Wall Street Journal article quotes Dr. Alan Pocinki of Washington, D.C., “B12 deficiency is much more common than the textbooks and journal articles say it is,” How right you are, doc. Over 60 years ago scientists first discovered a link between vitamin b12 deficiency and pernicious anemia, yet doctors still confuse red flag indicators such as numbness and tingling in the feet with the common side effects of type 2 diabetes. Likely they are unaware of the diabetes drug metformin-low b12 link.

The consequences of ignoring low b12 levels can be severe.  Warning signs often begin as premature hair loss, decreased appetite, dizziness and bouts of depression; untreated they escalate to chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia and short-term memory loss.  Finally, and unless given medical attention, vitamin b12 deficiency could result in irreversible neurological damage or pernicious anemia.

I’d like to take the WSJ author to task on a few issues, though, regarding her piece: first of all, what’s with the cheeseburger reference? So what if a cheeseburger contains 30% of the suggested b12 allowance? A plate of chopped liver contains 800% - more b12 than a person would need in an entire week, and it’s a lot healthier.  But I suppose that a close-up shot of freshly mashed beef liver wouldn’t have attracted the same kind of attention as a larger-than-life double-decker burger. Still, is she suggesting we all just go out and order a cheeseburger for lunch everyday in order to meet our b12 allowance?  What about stroke and heart disease? I’ll take low b12 over a heart attack any day. Not to make light of the seriousness of b12 deficiency, but let’s just keep things in perspective here.

As if that weren’t enough, she then cites Dr. Pocinki as saying that his “very lean” patients often suffer from b12 deficiency, as they lack the fatty tissues necessary to properly store b12 in their system.  Well, who says you have to store it? That’s what eating is for. You eat, your body gets the vitamins it needs and then…you eat again tomorrow.  No folks, if you aren’t getting enough vitamin b12 from your foods, and some of you who are on a vegan diet, take acid-blocking medicines and metformin or simply do not produce enough stomach acids aren’t getting your daily allowance of b12, then your only alternative is to supplement every day. Please don’t jump on the cheeseburger bandwagon.  Have a heart.

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