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Posts Tagged ‘pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency’

Does Pernicious Anemia-Vitamin B12 Deficiency cause Hair Loss?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012



Don’t panic, but if you have pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, then you might also suffer hair loss.  And it’s not just a “guy thing”- even women may experience hair loss or whitening when pernicious anemia (or iron deficiency anemia) is present.  Here’s what you need to know about pernicious anemia, vitamin B12, and your hair.


Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia (PA)-vitamin B12 deficiency is a disorder that alters your red blood cells and lowers your oxygen supply to the brain.  Decreased oxygen in the brain causes telltale symptoms like fatigue, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

Other symptoms of pernicious anemia may include “pins and needles” or numbness in hands and feet, difficulty walking straight, decreased motor control, depression, anxiety, muscular pain, infertility, and vision problems.

For more on pernicious anemia, read Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency is sometimes caused by not eating enough iron-rich foods, but it can also result from severe blood loss, pregnancy, menstruation, or…autoimmune disorders, like celiac disease or…pernicious anemia.

Whoa!  Now I have iron deficiency, too?

Unfortunately, iron deficiency is a comorbid condition of pernicious anemia.  So if you’ve been diagnosed with pernicious anemia, because of either intrinsic factor autoimmune disorder or gastritis, then you run a high risk of also suffering from iron deficiency anemia.

Where’s the proof?

Findings from studies such as this JAMA report on iron deficiency anemia note a significantly strong correlation with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency causes many of the same symptoms as vitamin B12 deficiency- tiredness, moodiness, and general discomfort.

And yes, hair loss.

Iron deficiency symptoms include:

  • Rapid hair loss
  • Hair whitening
  • Dry hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Spoon-shaped nails
  • Nail discoloration
  • Frequent bruising
  • Pale skin
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weak muscles
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Brain fog
  • Headache
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sore tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Bizarre cravings for ice or dirt
  • Sudden weight loss

Iron or B12?

In the JAMA study, participants who received regular supplementation of vitamin B12 experienced significant and favorable results. It’s important to find out if your iron supplies are also low, so that you may begin the healing process and avoid any further hair loss.

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Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Read more about vitamin B12 and pernicious anemia

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease


Anemia and Hair Loss

Reversible Hyperpigmentation of Skin and Nails With White Hair due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Iron Deficiency Occurs Frequently in Patients With Pernicious Anemia

Image: mardy78

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

Monday, March 19th, 2012



Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a digestive disorder that causes stomachache, heartburn, and nausea.  Sometimes, IBS causes vitamin B12 deficiency; other times, IBS happens because of other comorbid conditions or bad eating habits.  In part one of Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts, learn how to treat IBS symptoms by changing your eating habits and making smarter lifestyle choices.


Symptoms of IBS

About 20% of Americans suffer symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which may vary in severity from uncomfortable to debilitating.  IBS does not cause any harm to your digestive system, nor does it lead to any life-threatening diseases.  Depending on what’s causing IBS, be it vitamin B12 deficiency or Crohn’s disease, you may have most or just a few of the following symptoms:

  • Heartburn that is not relieved by antacids
  • Acid reflux
  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Belching
  • Bloated feeling
  • Flatulence
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in stools
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

#1 Don’t do that!  Overeat

Indulging in large meals is the most common eating-related cause of IBS.  Your body needs only a small amount of food to be satisfied.  By eating more than your stomach can handle in one sitting, you cause stomach discomfort, acid indigestion, painful heartburn, and obesity.  Instead of eating a day’s worth of calories at once, break them down into several small meals throughout the day.

However, if you eat normal-sized meals, yet feel your throat closing up while eating, or if you have trouble swallowing food, then it might indicate pernicious anemia, which may be diagnosed with a vitamin B12 blood test.

#2 Don’t do that!  Rush through meals

Do you give yourself a long time to enjoy a meal? If not, you may be causing severe indigestion.  While you eat, your stomach sends messages to your brain, signaling you when it’s time to stop eating.  Once your stomach is comfortably full, you feel satiated.  However, it may take as long as 20 minutes the message to come full circle.  So by eating in a hurry, you don’t give yourself a chance to stop eating in time to avoid overeating and indigestion.  Instead, eat slowly, put your fork down between bites, and pay attention to your stomach signals.

#3 Don’t do that!  Eat processed foods

Processed foods are the source of many gastrointestinal ills.  What are processed foods?  Anything food that’s been stripped of its nutritional value through processing, resulting in a nutritionally-devoid, hard-to-digest product may, over time, cause stomach upset, bacterial infections, vitamin deficiency, and obesity.  Anything containing white flour, white rice, white sugar, or many food additives may cause IBS symptoms.


#4 Don’t do that!  Eat trigger foods

Certain trigger foods may exacerbate IBS or illnesses like Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia.  Likely food triggers are fried or fatty foods, spicy dishes, caffeinated beverages, carbonated drinks, alcohol, fruits with small seeds, chocolate, corn, and dairy products.  All of these may cause acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.

#5 Don’t do that!  Drink during meals

Having a sip of mineral water between bites may seem like a good idea for weight control, but it also causes indigestion.  Every time you wash down your food with liquids, you dilute essential stomach acids, thereby reducing their potency and triggering heartburn, acid indigestion, and tummy aches.  Instead, drink down a large glass of water before eating- you’ll digest your food better and feel full sooner!

#6 Don’t do that!  Mindless eating

Another mistake people often make is eating in front of the television, while reading, standing at the buffet table, or worse yet- while driving your car.  Eating on “autopilot” causes you to eat too much, too fast, and makes it almost impossible for you to recognize feelings of satiety.  As a rule, always eat white seated at a table, minus the TV or computer screen.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

#7 Don’t do that!  Lie down after eating

Your metabolism doesn’t function well in sedentary mode; for that reason, it’s important to avoid slumping on the couch after a meal.  For better digestion, plan light workouts like walking for an after-meal activity.

#8 Don’t do that!  Medications

Lay off medicines that can worsen heartburn and acid reflux, such as sleeping pills.  Also, overusing acid reflux meds for heartburn can increase your risk for bacterial infections, in addition to interfering with vitamin B12 absorption.

#9 Don’t do that!  Stress out

Stress is a common cause of stomach problems.  For people with IBS, anxiety, fatigue, and anger can cause muscle spasms in the colon.  Incorporate exercise, relaxation techniques, and vitamin therapy into your daily regimen for optimum psychological health.  If necessary, antidepressants prescribed by your doctor may be helpful.

Sometimes, extreme stress, depression, and anxiety correlate with severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Other mental disorders correlated with B12 deficiency include paranoia, hallucinations, and unusual aggressiveness.

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Top 20 Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Do’s and Don’ts- Part I: Don’t do that!

#10 Don’t do that!  Smoke

Not only does smoking cigarettes damage your lungs, it also affects your digestive system, causing acid reflux and esophageal damage, as well.  Improve your chances of living a long, healthy life- ask your doctor for advice on quitting smoking, for good.

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing unusual stomach problems, such as feeling uncomfortably full after eating light meals, waking up in the middle of the night with acid reflux, or chronic diarrhea?

Have you had your vitamin B12 levels tested?  Gastrointestinal disorders sometimes lead to vitamin B12 deficiency, so people with GI issues are recommended to get their vitamin B12 levels checked routinely.

As always, we welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions.

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends and family on Facebook or Google+!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and IBS

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings


Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Indigestion: MedlinePlus

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Indigestion – Self help


Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot, euthmanSean Rogers1, stevendepolo

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

Monday, February 20th, 2012



If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, then check your vitamin B12 levels often.  One side effect of Crohn’s is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to Crohn’s symptoms like stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Not surprisingly, there are several reasons why vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with Crohn’s disease.  Here are the four top reasons to check your vitamin B12 levels if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

1- Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease, sometimes called ileitis, is an illness of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that damages the bottommost part of the small intestinal, the terminal ileum.  Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include chronic diarrhea caused by swelling of the small intestine, excruciating stomach cramps caused by intestinal strictures, fever, weight loss, and rectal bleeding.

The ileum is an important part of your digestive system for vitamin B12 absorption- without it, your body would be unable to extract vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and dispense it into your blood supply.  

If Crohn’s disease has caused irreparable inflammation of your terminal ileum, you are at high risk for symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unclear thinking, or “brain fog”
  • Muscular twitching
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Burning mouth sensations
  • Frequent clumsiness and stumbling

Once vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed, you may choose to take vitamin B12 shots, which are only available upon prescription.

2- Crohn’s disease medications

Whenever digestive disorders are present, vitamin B12 levels are low.  Certain medicines used to treat Crohn’s disease may cause symptoms that typically interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and acid reflux. 

These medications often include anti-inflammatory drugs such as mesalamine medicines and immune system suppressors, such as Methotrexate (Rheumatrex).

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

Only vitamin B12 supplements that bypass the digestive system can provide the benefits of vitamin B12.

Left untreated, pernicious anemia from B12 deficiency can cause neurological damage, osteoporosis, and in extreme cases, death.

3- Gastrointestinal (GI) surgery

FOUR REASONS TO CHECK YOUR VITAMIN B12 LEVELS WITH CROHN’S DISEASE, B12 PATCHAny GI surgery that involves removal or reduction of the ileum results in vitamin B12 deficiency.  In Crohn’s disease, resection surgeries such as ileostomy necessitate lifelong supplementation of prescribed vitamin B12 shots.

Similarly, gastric bypass patients can no longer digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must get vitamin B12 injections indefinitely.

Sometimes, even routine vitamin B12 shots don’t provide full relief from  B12 deficiency symptoms like fatigue, depression, nerve pain, and brain fog. 

In such cases, many opt for nonprescription OTC vitamin B12 for extra energy and mental stamina between vitamin B12 jabs.

4- Crohn’s and diet

People suffering from IBD (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis) are required to follow restrictive diets excluding many foods that may irritate the digestive system.  Fruits and vegetables that are uncooked may be red flag items, in addition to food sources of vitamin B12, such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs.

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

Additionally, stomachaches, nausea, and diarrhea make it hard for Crohn’s disease sufferers to eat nutritious, filling meals.  As a result, people with Crohn’s often suffer from excess weight loss and malnourishment.

One of the leading types of malnourishment today is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Besides Crohn’s disease patients, other people at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • Diabetics on metformin
  • GERD patients using protein pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Patients with secondary gastrointestinal symptoms, such as fibromyalgia, celiac disease, autism, or migraine sufferers
  • Gastric bypass patients
  • Elderly individuals
  • Alcoholics
  • Vegans

Please tell us…

Are you a Crohn’s disease patient?  If so, what vitamin B12 supplements do you use?

Please tell us if you have found this article helpful and informative.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and Crohn’s disease:

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle


Crohn’s Disease – National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Crohn’s Disease- MayoClinic.com


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