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Posts Tagged ‘symptoms of b12 deficiency’

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

Quick Facts on Vitamin B12- The Energy Vitamin!

Monday, November 18th, 2013



Vitamin B12 is one of the most important nutrients for the body- and the hardest to digest, for many people. A water-based B vitamin, cobalamin is essential for the nervous system, blood cells, and for DNA. Yet an increasing number of people don’t get enough vitamin B12 from food, and as a result feel fatigued and disoriented from pernicious anemia.

Quick Facts on Vitamin B12- The Energy Vitamin!

What does vitamin B12 do?

Vitamin B12 is essential for survival; it is involved in some of the most vital processes that take place in the body.

Vitamin B12 helps to maintain production of healthy red blood cells. Without enough vitamin B12 in your system, your body starts producing overlarge irregular-shaped blood cells that cannot function properly, resulting in a depletion of oxygen-carrying hemoglobin.

Vitamin B12 also aids in converting carbohydrates into necessary energy, ensuring that you have plenty of stamina and mental focus during the day.

Vitamin B12 enhances your nervous system functioning by helping to maintain myelin, a fatty coating that surrounds each individual nerve cell.

Vitamin B12 supports cell reproduction and renewal in preventing common signs of aging.

Boost your Metabolism with Vitamin B12

What foods provide vitamin B12?

Foods that are high in vitamin B12 include meats, seafood, poultry, dairy, and eggs. Among these, organ meat and shellfish provide the richest natural source of vitamin B12.

While it’s possible to find vegan products that are fortified with vitamins such as B12, these are not natural forms of the vitamin, and don’t provide the maximum amount needed to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels.

To prevent deficiency, vegans and vegetarians are recommended to take vitamin B12 supplements on a regular basis.

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is complicated

Vitamin B12 is one of the few nutrients that require a cofactor for proper absorption. It’s not a simple matter of eating plenty of foods the contain vitamin B12, such as beef, chicken, seafood, and dairy products. To complete the digestion process, your body uses a digestive enzyme called intrinsic factor, which bonds to the vitamin and escorts it through your digestive system.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is anemia

If your vitamin B12 levels have been low for a very long period of time, you may have pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia that occurs when people are unable to produce intrinsic factor.

Pernicious anemia can result from an autoimmune disorder or it can occur as a result of damage to the stomach lining (gastritis).

If you have pernicious anemia, then you can’t get enough vitamin B12 from swallowing pills or other dietary supplements. Only supplementation with a highly-absorbable form of vitamin B12 that enters directly into the blood stream can reverse the symptoms of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

Risk factors for pernicious anemia include:

  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Removal of ilium for Crohn’s disease
  • Metformin for diabetes
  • Protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) for GERD, acid reflux, chronic heartburn, or ulcer
  • Family history for autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic migraines
  • Old age
  • Alcoholism

I Eat Healthy…So How did I Get Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency

By the time you start to notice the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, you are already on a dangerous decline, as it takes years for the symptoms to manifest themselves. Also, blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency don’t give you ample warning to up your vitamin B12 intake, as they only test for extremely low levels of vitamin B12, and aren’t always even accurate in such screenings.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Symptoms that indicate vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Constant fatigue, even after sleeping well
  • Depression
  • Slow talking and thinking
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Muscle spasms, eye twitches
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line
  • Sore, burning red tongue

How much B12 do I need?

The recommended daily allowance for vitamin B12 consumption for healthy people who don’t have a deficiency is a scant 2 or 3 micrograms per day. Why then do most vitamin B12 supplements contain a whopping 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 in one weekly dose?

If you are unable to produce intrinsic factor, then you can only digest about 1% of all the vitamin B12 you get from foods, pills, or other supplements.

So, to get the amount you need to keep your B12 levels at a normal rate, you need to take about 100 times the amount any other person would need to stay healthy.

Please tell us…

Have you ever been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency? Do you suffer from chronic fatigue that you can’t explain?

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

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12- Good for your Libido!

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

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos

FAQ: Do Normal (Healthy) People Get Sick from Low Vitamin B12?

Monday, November 4th, 2013



Thousands of people in the US suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency; some questions people often have are, “How did my B12 levels get so low? I eat healthy and I don’t have any chronic illnesses, so how did I become anemic?” That’s a complex question to answer, because there are many ways that people become gradually deficient in this crucial B vitamin.

FAQ: Do Normal (Healthy) People Get Sick from Low Vitamin B12?

First, why is vitamin B12 important?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble B vitamin that is essential for basic survival.

  • Vitamin B12 helps to keep your nervous system functioning normally, as it sustains myelin, a fatty coating that protects your nerve cells and enhances intercellular communication.
  • Vitamin B12 also supports a healthy metabolism in converting fuels into much-needed energy and synthesizing DNA.
  • Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, as it helps to maintain a healthy level of normal-sized functioning red blood cells for oxygen transportation to your brain, organs, and cell tissues throughout your body.
  • Vitamin B12 helps to control levels of homocysteine, a hormone that has been linked with increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

How do you get vitamin B12?

So we know that vitamin B12 is important; now the question is, “What foods are high in vitamin B12?”

  • The richest sources of vitamin B12 are animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, seafood, milk, and eggs.
  • Still, if you have vitamin B12 malabsorption, a common risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency, then you must take supplemental forms of vitamin B12 in order to prevent pernicious anemia. (More on vitamin B12 malabsorption later.)

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

Symptoms that mean you need more B12

It’s always good to test for low vitamin B12, but the best way to know if you’re getting enough is by paying close attention to telltale symptoms of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

Since vitamin B12 depletion happens slowly, you may not realize you’re experiencing a deficiency until you start to notice yourself always feeling tired, depressed, or just generally slower than usual.

Here are some of the most common symptoms of low vitamin B12:

  • Constant overbearing fatigue
  • Long-lasting depression
  • Brain fog
  • You’re talking slower than normal
  • Memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Burning, sore red tongue
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line
  • Constantly dropping things

Risk factors

If you keep a vegan diet, or refrain from eating many animal-based foods, then you are a risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency, simply because there are no vegetable-based foods that supply sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 to prevent anemia.


If you’re not a vegan, and you have no chronic illnesses, then you may still be at risk, as there are a number of medications that interfere with your ability to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption- a major cause of vitamin B12 depletion that often slips off the radar.

Some medications that lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption include:

  • Metformin (for diabetes)
  • Protein pump inhibitors (for acid reflux, heartburn)
  • NSAID’s (ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Certain antibiotics

Here is a longer list of medications that cause vitamin B12 deficiency


If you have had a gastric bypass for weight loss, then you may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, gastrointestinal surgeries recommended for treating Crohn’s disease, such as removal of the ileum, necessitate frequent vitamin B12 supplementation in order to prevent pernicious anemia.


Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) from vitamin B12 deficiency is one of many ailments that occur with long-term alcohol abuse.

Autoimmune disorders

An underlying autoimmune disorder can also be the basis of low vitamin B12. Autoimmune intrinsic factor dysfunction causes your body to attack intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme that bonds to vitamin B12 and helps to distribute it into your blood supply. People with autoimmune pernicious anemia cannot get vitamin B12 from foods, regardless of diet, and must use supplemental forms of vitamin B12 for survival.

If you have any other autoimmune disorder, such as celiac disease, fibromyalgia, or lupus, then your risk for autoimmune vitamin B12 deficiency is higher than normal.

GI damage

Finally, any kind of damage to your stomach, intestines, or esophagus can interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12, increasing your chance for pernicious anemia. If you suffer from chronic heartburn, gas, and bloating, then that may be an important clue in determining why you often feel tired, anxious, or agitated.

Illnesses that cause frequent vomiting, such as migraines, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s, are linked with comorbid vitamin B12 deficiency.

Old age

As we age, our bodies tend to slow down; that includes a reduction in the amount of digestive enzymes we produce- proteins needed to absorb vitamin B12. For many healthy individuals over 60, signs of depression and forgetfulness are often discounted as the first symptoms of senility, without even checking vitamin B12 levels.

For that reason, health experts recommend strict vitamin B12 supplementation for all senior citizens, even if they don’t think they need it, as the symptom don’t manifest themselves until vitamin B12 levels reach a dangerous low.


Don’t ignore symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, even if you are “healthy” and “normal.” Plenty of people have vitamin B12 deficiency, and don’t even know it- not until they start experiencing severe ailments.

Get a blood test, take your vitamin B12, and keep track of your mood and energy levels each day; this will be your best Richter scale for determining how much vitamin B12 you need in order to prevent anemia and maintain good health.

Also read:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Can it be Genetic?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013



Signs and symptoms of menopause are sometimes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, or malabsorption of vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. To boost energy, sleep better, and balance your mood, it’s important to take extra doses of vitamin B12 during the menopause years.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Menopause and vitamin B12 deficiency

Menopause is a phase that may stretch for several years; many women experience their first signs of perimenopause (early menopause) in their 40s, while still menstruating. During the early stages, you experience fluctuation hormone levels that cause mood swings, headaches, hot flashes, memory loss, and brain fog.

All of these are symptoms that may also indicate depleted levels of vitamin B12!

Hidden vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is difficult to catch and treat, as the symptoms are masked by conditions such as menopause, clinical depression, hypothyroidism, or hypoglycemia- all of which cause ailments that are strikingly similar to the ones you experience when your vitamin B12 levels drop to a dangerous low, either from malabsorption issues or change in diet.

Too often, severe vitamin B12 deficiency, a.k.a., pernicious anemia, slips right off your doctor’s radar, especially during the menopause years. And it’s easy to understand why, especially when you consider that the most common symptoms- fatigue, achiness, poor memory, dizziness, and depression- are present in both vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and the many stages of menopause.

For that reason, premenopausal women and females already experiencing menopause are advised to test often for vitamin B12 deficiency, and recognize the symptoms, before their B12 levels drop to a dangerous low.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia can lead to neurological disorders, chronic fatigue, mood problems, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

That’s because vitamin B12 is essential for so many biological functions necessary for good health- reproduction, nervous system functioning, cognitive integrity, and metabolic energy.

So, when vitamin B12 levels plummet, you begin to experience a variety of health problems that affect all parts of your body, including those already ailing from symptoms of menopause.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms that Mimic Aging

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that mimic menopause include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Brain fog
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent breathlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle weakness and pain


The B12, B6 and folic acid help with mood and to ease you through the transition.

The Linus Pauling Institute recommends 100 to 400 mcg per day of supplemental vitamin B-12 orally if you’re older than 50, an age that includes many menopausal women.

Your turn!

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

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue
Stop PMS-ing with Vitamin B


Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Should be on your Radar Screen

Risk Factors for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 for Menopause

5 Nutrition Tips for Staying Strong and Healthy After 50

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012



Did you have vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia during your pregnancy?  If you’re currently breastfeeding your baby, it’s crucial that you continue to check your vitamin B12 (cobalamin) levels.  Here’s the scoop on taking care of baby with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part II: Taking Care of Baby

Breastfeeding with B12 deficiency

Even after giving birth, if you breastfeed and have vitamin B12 deficiency at the same time, then your baby is also at high risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of how often you nurse.

Many studies have been conducted documenting the dangers of exclusive breastfeeding while suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.

In them, researchers noted some disturbing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants, such as failure to thrive.

Most of these symptoms were alleviated only after B12 levels were restored to normal through immediate supplementation of vitamin B12.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency in infants

In numerous studies, exclusively breastfed infants of mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency showed the following symptoms:

  • Failure to thrive
  • Irritability
  • Lethargy
  • Low muscle tone (hypotonia)
  • Poor muscular coordination (ataxia)
  • Feebleness
  • Anorexia
  • Developmental delays
  • Pernicious anemia

Permanent damage caused by B12 deficiency

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause:

Breast or bottle- it’s still up to you

The decision to breastfeed or bottle-feed is a personal decision, but vitamin B12 deficiency should not be the deal breaker.

You can rest assured that your baby is getting all the nourishment it needs, as long as you continue to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels.

Remember, it’s not possible to take too much vitamin B12, as there are no harmful side effects to taking large doses of vitamin B12.  

Not having enough vitamin B12 in your blood supply, however, can be detrimental, even deadly.

Please tell us…

If you have pernicious anemia, did you find out only after years of suffering, or were you warned about it from family members?

Have you been putting off having a baby because of low energy from vitamin B12 deficiency?

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 in infants:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pregnancy, Part I: Planning a Baby

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants- Developmental Disabilities


Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency: Two cases detected by routine newborn urinary screening

Manifestations of Low Vitamin B12 Levels

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12- Health Professional Fact Sheet

Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanisms


Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011



Are constant eyelid twitching and eye spasms driving you batty?  Myokymia might be a sign of pernicious anemia caused by low vitamin B12 levels.  Learn how to stop eye twitching by halting vitamin B12 deficiency in its tracks.


What is myokymia?

Myokymia is a disorder that causes muscles in your body to twitch involuntarily.  Myokymia twitches can affect any groups of nerves or muscles in your body, including your arms, legs, fingers, and back. 

It can also occur on your face- hemifacial spasms are muscular twitches that begin on one side of your face, usually the eye.  Over time, hemifacial spasms can expand to include the rest of your face, on one side.

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Why is my eye twitching?

Myokymia is a type of nerve damage called trigeminal neuralgia.  When your eyelid keeps twitching out of control, it is because the nerves that control the opening and closing of your eyes have been damaged. Eye twitches can occur in either the lower eyelid or upper eyelid,

Causes of myokymia

Causes of eye twitching may include stress, excessive alcohol usage, and staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.  Eye spasms can also be a reaction to caffeine, or may signify low levels of cobalamin- vitamin B12.

B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 benefits include red blood cell production, protection of the nervous system’s myelin sheathe, cognitive functioning, DNA synthesis, and lowered homocysteine levels.

If your body does not store adequate amounts of vitamin B12, you may get B12 deficiency, and ultimately severe pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia blood disease.

B12 deficiency causes emotional and cognitive disorders such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Decreased mental focus
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Pernicious anemia symptoms include severe nerve damage, such as eyelid spasms caused by myokymia.  Lower eyelid twitches are most common with vitamin B12 deficiency patients.  

Other symptoms of nerve damage caused by pernicious anemia include:

  • Numbness and painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Arms or legs constantly “falling asleep”
  • Prickly feeling in the tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Sore or swollen tongue

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Stop eye twitching

If you suspect that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then consult your physician and request a blood test for B12 levels. If diagnosed with low B12, then your doctor will prescribe vitamin B12 supplements. 

If you have pernicious anemia, then you might have to get routine B12 shots indefinitely. Once you start taking vitamin B12, you will notice a decrease in pernicious anemia symptoms immediately, and total reversal of symptoms by the time your B12 levels return to normal.


Multiple Sclerosis and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Hemifacial Spasm Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Signs of B12 Deficiency

Myokymia – Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eyelid Myokymia

Image credits, from top:

cameronparkins, graur codrin, Tambako the Jaguar

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011



If you’re planning a pregnancy, you might want to check your B12 levels- numerous reports link vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy with miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and other fertility problems.  B12 deficiency anemia- pernicious anemia- makes it harder for women to conceive, as well as for men to produce fertile sperm.


Medical research proves the fertility-B12 deficiency link

One of the most famous studies on fertility and B12 deficiency examined fourteen women of childbearing age who suffered vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMAll women who participated in the study suffered severe vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in addition to low fertility- Four had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for two to eight years, and eleven experienced repeated miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
  • Dr. Michael Bennett, hematologist of the Ha’Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, implemented vitamin B12 supplementation to see if it would have any effect on their ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies.
  • If fetal loss were to continue despite elevating B12 levels, it would prove that infertility was unrelated to B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia symptoms.
  • Instead, result showed that ten out of the fourteen test subjects experienced favorable results from vitamin B12 supplements. The results can be found in this study on vitamin B12 and fertility.

Dr. Bennett explains the connection

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMBennett notes that B12 deficiency, combined with folate deficiency, led to thrombophilia (blood clotting) in seven of the women studied, thus increasing their risk for miscarriage.
  • He believes that taking large amounts of folic acid, a nutrient prescribed to women of childbearing age, often masks B12 deficiency symptoms, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
  • In his conclusion, Dr. Bennett attributes raised homocysteine levels, a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, with repeated fetal loss, and over time, ovulation disorder.

“Correcting this deficiency can rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy,” states Bennett.  “This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels…in every patient investigated for infertility or recurrent (miscarriage).”

Report findings are available by The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.


Why does my body need B12?

Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it helps to produce red blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, guards the nervous system’s myelin sheath, maintains cognitive functioning, lowers homocysteine levels, and supports metabolism.  

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

What symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?

Since vitamin B12 interacts with so many different areas of the body, many seemingly unrelated symptoms indicate vitamin B12 deficiency.  Pernicious anemia masks itself as mood disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, and other chronic conditions.

Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Painful tingling, numbness or “prickly” sensations, mainly in the hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen tongue
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Loss of balance while walking, running, or jumping
  • Decreased fine motor skills
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Heart palpitations

Read more about B12 deficiency and pregnancy:

Pregnant Moms and Low B-12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?


Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and recurrent fetal loss- PubMed, NCBI

Lack Of Vitamin B12 Linked To Repeat Miscarriage

Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and miscarriage

Pernicious Anemia

Image credits, from top:

Stuart Miles, Ambro, photostock, winnond

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011



The elderly need to increase their intake of vitamin B12, in order to avoid memory loss from vitamin B12 deficiency.  Brain loss caused by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia is sometimes a part of the aging process, but by getting enough vitamin B12 in your blood, you can prevent suffering the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.


Chicago study links low levels of vitamin B12 with memory loss

A 2011 study that focused on 121 community-dwelling participants of the Chicago Health and Aging Project found a strong correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and memory loss.  Scientists measured methylmalonate levels to determine vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • They found a direct relationship between low levels of vitamin B12, reduced brain volume, and decreased cognitive skills, such as loss of short-term memory.
  • Scientists noted poorer memory skills, slower thinking processes, and impaired comprehension skills as attributes associated with elevated methylmalonate levels- an indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Also considered were plasma homocysteine levels, which scientists also connected with loss of brain mass.  High levels of homocysteine are common in vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Scientists concluded that methylmalonate, an indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency, has a direct impact on brain volume, and that vitamin B12 has multiple benefits on brain chemistry beyond just memory skills.
  • In 2008, a UK study conducted by the University of Oxford produced similar results; namely, that vitamin B12 deficiency is a likely cause of brain atrophy, dementia, and short-term memory loss among the elderly.


How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain

For the elderly, eating foods with vitamin B12 isn’t enough

HERE’S YOUR BRAIN ON B12 DEFICIENCY- MEMORY LOSS AND AGING, WWW.B12PATCH.COMEating plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12 is always a good idea; such foods include protein sources like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, milk, and cheese. But for the elderly, the problem isn’t really eating enough sources of vitamin B12, but rather digesting them.  Part of the aging process involves making less stomach acids that are necessary for absorbing vitamin B12 from foods.  As a result, many elderly individuals who include meat in their diet still run a high risk for getting B12 deficiency.

Unless blood tests indicate healthy levels of vitamin B12, senior citizens must supplement with vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) with a routine prescribed B12 shot in order to avoid the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Memory loss in B12 deficiency for the young and old

It isn’t just the elderly who should be concerned with memory loss- short-term memory loss is one of many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of age.


Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

Other symptoms of dangerously low B12 levels are:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Balance problems
  • Poor muscular control
  • Numbness or tingling in hands, arms, feet, and legs
  • Sore, red swollen tongue
  • Altered taste perception

Long-term exposure to vitamin B12 deficiency could result in severe neurological damage, pernicious anemia, increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and memory loss:

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Elevated Plasma Homocysteine Is Associated with Increased Brain Atrophy Rates in Older Subjects with Mild Hypertension

Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures- A cross-sectional examination

Vitamin B12 status and rate of brain volume loss in community-dwelling elderly

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Was a bee, Sean.lewis29, Ambro, photostock

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011



Is there any connection between lupus and vitamin B12 deficiency? That’s a question asked often both by people with low B12 and diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms, and it’s important to know how to tell the difference.


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What is lupus?

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to your muscles, bones, organs, and skin tissue.  Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells tissue, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain.  Damage to your system may include kidney damage, heart attack, lung damage, joint pain, and blood diseases such as anemia (more on this later).


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Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Even if you eat plenty of sources rich in vitamin B12 (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk), your B12 levels may be at risk if you have had bariatric surgery, take antacid medicine for acid reflux, are among the elderly, have a gastrointestinal autoimmune disease like Crohn’s or celiac disease, or if you are a diabetic taking metformin.

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

How does lupus mimic vitamin B12 deficiency?

Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it difficult to determine low B12 levels without taking a vitamin B12 blood test.

  • LUPUS AND VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY- WHAT’S THE CONNECTION? WWW.B12PATCH.COMCognitive functioning and mood disorders. Anxiety, depression, headaches, and short-term memory loss are symptoms common to both lupus patients and vitamin B12 deficiency sufferers.
  • Chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue shares a comorbid relationship with lupus and B12 deficiency.
  • Nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes neurological damage such as aching joints and arthritis-like muscular pain.  Lupus causes swollen joints, arthritis, and inflamed joints.
  • Shortness of breath is a symptom of low B12 and lupus.
  • Hair loss. B12 deficiency may cause premature hair loss and greying.  Hair loss is also a symptom common to lupus patients.
  • Mouth ulcers are typical for vitamin B12 patients and lupus sufferers.
  • Skin rashes are a side effect of chronic B12 deficiency.  Likewise, lupus patients suffer skin rashes across the cheeks and nose (malar rash).
  • Anemia. One of the most highly correlated symptoms shared by vitamin B12 deficiency patients and lupus patients alike is the susceptibility to anemia.  Left untreated, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage, red blood cell depletion, and cognitive impairments. More than half of all lupus patients suffer from blood disorders like anemia.
  • Heart disease. Lupus and pernicious anemia patients alike are at high risk for contracting heart disease.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a risk factor for lupus patients and individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Read more about B12 deficiency and autoimmune diseases:

Vitamin B12 and your Bones- Osteoporosis from B12 Deficiency

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

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7 Celebs with Lupus


Lupus Hope- Get Your B12 Levels Checked!

Lupus Foundation of America- Blood Disorders

Vitamin B12 For Lupus & Crohn’s Disease- LIVESTRONG.COM

What is Lupus?

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Ton Haex, taysm, grietgriet

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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