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Posts Tagged ‘symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency’

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 

 

To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to include an assortment of foods that have vitamin B12 in your daily diet. This is harder than it sounds! The majority of the foods that are highest in vitamin B12 are sadly missing from the average American diet. As a result, a rising number of people are suffering the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia, due to a lack of this crucial nutrient in the blood supply.

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

It’s important to note that eating foods that are high in vitamin B12 is only helpful for preventing vitamin B12 deficiency if you are able to digest it naturally. For many, vitamin B12 malabsorption prevents you from digesting vitamin B12 naturally from foods, causing your vitamin B12 levels to diminish steadily.

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

The rule applies for taking vitamin B12 pills. If you are one of many individuals who suffer from vitamin B12 malabsorption, then your risk of developing pernicious anemia increases with time, regardless of your diet.

Foods highest in vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 only occurs in animal-based products- meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Still, certain foods in that category contain significantly higher amounts of vitamin B12 than others. So you may think you’re taking in enough chicken or beef to keep your vitamin B12 at a normal level, when really you’re missing out on some of the richest sources of this essential B vitamin.

(If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, then it is crucial that you supplement with vitamin B12 regularly in order to prevent debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.)

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Shellfish

Seafood provides some of the most nutritional sources of vitamin B12. One hundred grams of cooked clams provides 98.9mcg of vitamin B12; that’s 1648% of the amount recommended to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency!

Other excellent food sources of vitamin B12 from the seas include mackerel, crab, sardines and caviar.

Organ meat

A 3-ounce serving of cooked beef liver delivers a whopping 70.7mcg of vitamin B12. In fact, before vitamin B12 supplementation, doctors used to prescribe a concoction of pre-digested beef liver (Ew!) as a cure for pernicious anemia.

Chicken Liver pate, moose liver, and grilled chicken hearts are also good food sources of vitamin B12.

Red meat

Not ready for pan-fried liver? A serving of lean chuck beef has about five or six micrograms of vitamin B12, which is the minimum to get your recommended daily allowance.

Lamb chops are also good; they provide half of a day’s worth of vitamin B12.

Milk and eggs

If you follow a vegetarian diet, then it’s important to include lots of dairy foods into your daily diet in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency. One cup of nonfat yogurt delivers 25% of the RDA for vitamin B12, while the same amount of Swiss cheese brings you to 60 per cent.

Chicken eggs are not the best source of vitamin B12; one egg yields 36mcg of vitamin B12, or 6% RDA. Comparatively, one duck egg provides 63% RDA of vitamin B12. And if you can get your hands on a goose egg, then you’ll get 122% of the recommended amount of vitamin B12 in one serving!

Please tell us…

Do you eat any of these foods that are highest in vitamin B12? If you follow a vegan diet, then do you supplement with vitamin B12 in order to prevent deficiency?

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:

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Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

 

 

If you suffer from long-lasting fatigue, memory problems, or pins and needles sensations, then you should test for vitamin B12 deficiency right away. Tests for vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia include cobalamin level screenings, as well as tests to determine your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. For an accurate diagnosis, it’s a good idea to take advantage of as many tests as your doctor can offer.

Multiple Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

How much vitamin B12 do you need?

While not all doctors or scientists agree as to what constitutes a healthy serum level of vitamin B12, the most widely accepted value is 200 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Serum Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Test

If you think you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then the first course of action will be to order a serum cobalamin test to see how much vitamin B12 is in your blood supply. This blood test will check for low vitamin B12 levels even in people who don’t have pernicious anemia or symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. But it is not foolproof- a false normal test result can occur, especially in people who have liver disorders, renal insufficiency, or bone marrow disease.

Complete blood count (CBC)

A CBC is sometimes used to diagnose anemia, including vitamin B12 deficiency. If you’re suffering from extreme fatigue, unexplained bruising, or dizziness, then your doctor may order a complete blood count to count red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. However, a positive test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Methylmalonic Acid Tes

Another helpful tool for accurately testing for vitamin B12 deficiency is the Methylmalonic acid (MMA) test, as MMA levels increase dramatically with vitamin B12 deficiency.

This is an expensive test, so it’s not commonly used for detecting vitamin B12 deficiency. In 2006, an MMA test for vitamin B12 deficiency without insurance could cost over $200.00

Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody (IFAB) Test

Sometimes, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency occurs because of an autoimmune condition that destroys intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme crucial for vitamin B12 absorption.

A positive IFAB test result means that you have antibodies to intrinsic factor, resulting in the inability to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and egg products.

Schilling Test

Though not available in the US, the Schilling test is considered an effective method for diagnosing vitamin B12 malabsorption. Rather than checking for vitamin B12 levels in the blood, the Schilling test gauges your ability to absorb crystalline vitamin B12. However, a normal test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A thorough physical examination and review of your medical history will help your doctor determine if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

But since no tests for vitamin B12 deficiency are 100% accurate, it’s important to recognize the classic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, so that you can help your physician make an informed decision.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Long-lasting fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Painful numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Sore tongue
  • Burning, itching sensations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line

Please tell us…

Which tests for vitamin B12 deficiency have you taken, besides the B12 blood test?

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:

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

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Pernicious Anemia- What’s your Risk?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

 

The risk for pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency is highest among the elderly, but a significant number of people begin to notice the first symptoms in their 30s, contrary to popular belief. Listed below are some common symptoms of pernicious anemia and explanations regarding your risk for developing pernicious anemia in middle age.

Pernicious Anemia- What’s your Risk?

What is pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia is the final stage of vitamin B12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia used to be fatal until scientists figured out that death could be easily prevented by feeding patients high concentrations of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes many debilitating health problems, including chronic fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems – long before pernicious anemia sets in.  These symptoms can be quite misleading, leading to incorrect diagnoses.

What is Pernicious Anemia?

Stages of vitamin B12 deficiency

There are four stages to a Vitamin B12 deficiency that end in pernicious anemia:

  • Stage 1: Slowly declining blood levels of vitamin B12
  • Stage 2: Low cellular concentrations of vitamin B12
  • Stage 3: Increased homocysteine levels in the blood, and a decreased rate of DNA synthesis
  • Stage 4: Pernicious anemia

Illnesses that mimic pernicious anemia

Illnesses and other health conditions sometimes confused with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Alzheimer’s dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss, collectively referred to as “aging”
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
  • Learning or developmental disorders in children
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation (unregulated immune response)
  • Male and female infertility

These diseases produce signs and symptoms that also occur with vitamin B12 deficiency – but are rarely diagnosed as such!

Pernicious anemia risk categories

The following groups are at greatest risk for vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia:

  • Anybody with a family history for autoimmune disorders or pernicious anemia
  • Vegetarians and vegans
  • People aged 60 or over
  • GERD patients using PPIs or acid suppressing drugs
  • Diabetics using drugs like metformin
  • Patients of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac or IBS
  • Women with a history of infertility and miscarriage

Vegetarians and Vegans take note: Vitamin B12 is found ONLY in animal products! To prevent pernicious anemia, it is absolutely essential that you supplement with high doses of vitamin B12.

Treating pernicious anemia

If you think you might have a vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, you should pursue blood testing immediately. If you are vitamin B12 deficient, then the next step would be to identify the source of the deficiency.

Once the source of vitamin B12 deficiency is identified, you can then begin vitamin B12 supplementation. The many, long-term or permanent vitamin B12 supplementation is required in order to prevent a relapse of symptoms.

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

 

 

Can’t sleep? Often, insomnia stems from vitamin B12 deficiency. Though nearly everyone experiences occasional trouble with falling asleep, chronic insomnia can be part of a range of symptoms attributed to dangerously low vitamin B12. Here are some ways that vitamin B12 and insomnia are related.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Are you spending your nights tossing and turning, unable to get a restful night sleep? Acute insomnia has a short duration, while chronic insomnia will last longer – anywhere from days to months.

If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia—and a surprising number of people these days do—then taking extra vitamin B12 may promote good restful sleep at night, and it will also boost your energy during the day, increase your ability to focus, and promote digestive, cardiac, and immune health as well.

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

Please note: Insomnia can result from an underlying medical disorder, in addition to vitamin B12 deficiency. Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic insomnia.

The vitamin B12-melatonin connection

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in production of melatonin, the body’s “sleep hormone” which helps you fall asleep at night and get deep rest until morning. Melatonin is one of your best defenses against insomnia, but you need healthy amounts of vitamin B12 as well.

Melatonin in the blood rises sharply at sundown, making you feel sleepy, and will usually remain elevated for approximately 12 hours – essentially throughout the night – before the onset of sunrise.

As we get older, and vitamin B12 levels begin to plummet, it becomes more difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, due to a reciprocal decrease in melatonin. For that reason many senior citizens struggle with both vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia.

Doctors have recently observed that a large percentage of Americans over age 60 suffer from a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Without vitamin B12, your body cannot produce sufficient melatonin, which is needed to help one sleep.

Many people who suffer from insomnia take melatonin pills to help them get to sleep. However, boosting the body’s ability to produce it by increasing vitamin B12 is a more naturally efficient option.

What is vitamin B12 good for?

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is one of the B complex vitamins. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin B-12 is instrumental for maintaining healthy nerve cells, synthesizing DNA and RNA, and regulating blood cells.  A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability, digestive issues, and shortness of breath.

The elderly, vegetarians, and vegans tend to have a higher risk of developing a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 for insomnia

If insomnia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s important to supplement with extra vitamin B12 immediately; untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve cell deterioration and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 deficiency blood screening while discussing insomnia, and begin supplementation right away.

Take vitamin B12 with folic acid

Taking folic acid (vitamin B9) along with vitamin B12 is also helpful for insomnia, as vitamin B12 assists folate in building red blood cells and absorption of iron, both key components for good sleep health.

For some people, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is yet another cause of insomnia. Research has shown that RLS is related to a folic acid deficiency, and that taking more B vitamins can reduce RLS, helping to provide a full night of sleep, even in people with severe insomnia. It is thus recommended to take vitamin B12 along with vitamin B9 for maximum absorption.

Your turn!

What do you do to prevent insomnia? Do you also struggle with vitamin B12 deficiency? 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:

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Tinnitus

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

 

 

Are your ears ringing?  For many, vitamin B12 deficiency is a cause of tinnitus symptoms; constant sounds in your ears like ringing, beeping, humming, buzzing, or rushing sounds may indicate a need for more vitamin B12. In fact, millions of people in the United States suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and tinnitus.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Tinnitus

The following is a partial list of natural elements that may help with tinnitus and provide many other healthful benefits.

Why you need Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water soluble vitamin. It plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins. It is also helps maintain a healthy nervous system, and some research studies found it beneficial for patients of tinnitus, especially when this condition is associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

40 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: the Ultimate Checklist

Tinnitus and vitamin B12

Tinnitus sufferers should test for a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It has been found that B12 deficiency has been linked with chronic tinnitus and noise- induced hearing loss.

In a study published in the March 1993 issue of “American Journal of Otolaryngology,” researchers evaluated over 100 subjects exposed to noise; 47 of the subjects who were diagnosed with tinnitus had vitamin B12 deficiency as well, many of which reported positive results after taking B12 supplements routinely

Getting enough vitamin B12

If you think you may require Vitamin B12 for tinnitus symptoms, ask your doctor to conduct a vitamin B12 blood screening test.

Consult a qualified health care professional to find out the root cause of your condition and whether or not you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is safe to use without a prescription, as there are no FDA upper limits imposed on vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12- How Long Before I See Results?

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a neurological disorder that causes you to hear constant noises in your ears that don’t exist in your parameter. With tinnitus, your brain picks up false noise signals from the nerve cells of your inner ear, resulting in persistent buzzing, ringing, whooshing, whistling or other annoying sounds in one or both ears.

There are many causes of tinnitus, including:

  • Severe vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Loud noise from music concerts
  • Being around noisy machinery for extended periods of time
  • Medicines known as “ototoxic” drugs
  • Tumors
  • Allergies
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Hypertension or hypotension

Your turn!

If you suffer from tinnitus, have you tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

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:

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Monday, August 26th, 2013

 

 

Feeling blue? For many older adults, vitamin B12 deficiency and low vitamin B6 can cause depression, leaving you feeling down in the dumps. Before you rush off to the doctor for a new pill to ease your depression, CHECK YOUR DIET!! Here’s the scoop on B vitamins and depression in senior citizens.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are both essential nutrients for neurological health and emotional balance. As you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food naturally diminishes, leading to increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and also low vitamin B6.

Can Vitamin B12 help depression in seniors?

Study focuses on depression in older adults

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently featured a study in which it was discovered that higher intakes of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 were associated with a lower likelihood of depression in older adults.  Both vitamins B12 and B6 play critical roles in the production of neurotransmitters, or “chemical messengers” in the brain, including Serotonin, which is the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter.

Thus it makes sense that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 may be a cause or symptom of depression.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 feels good!

The subjects of the study were adults aged 65 years or older from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP). Their diets were evaluated for consumption of vitamins B12 and B6 over a period of seven years.  The incidence of depression was also noted. It appeared that for every 10 mg increase in vitamin B12, patients reported a 2% increase in overall good mood. The same effect on depression was also noted with each 10 mg increase of Vitamin B6.

Foods rich in B vitamins

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bran (rice and wheat), bananas, avocados, chicken or turkey breast, raw garlic, dried herbs and spices,  fish (such as tuna, salmon, and cod), liver, whole grains, beans, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seed (and techina).  Foods rich in vitamin B12 include fish, meat, liver, poultry, eggs and dairy.  Today many breakfast cereals are now fortified with vitamin B12 also.

Older adults at risk for B12 deficiency

Older adults tend to exhibit a higher incidence of both depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.   However, it has been noted that some adults, despite eating foods high in B-vitamins, continue to suffer a vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be related to limited stomach acidity in older people, which can prevent vitamin B12 from food from being absorbed into the body.  In other cases, the lack of intrinsic factor as we age, which impairs our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food and supplements, may be the cause of this inability to absorb Vitamin B12.

Treat vitamin B12 deficiency now!

When evaluating symptoms of depression in older adults, diagnosticians should evaluate their overall diets in order to rule out any vitamin deficiencies. Individuals aged 50 or older, especially vegetarians, will likely benefit from supplementing their diets extra vitamin B12, as well as eating fortified breakfast cereals or sprinkling nutritional yeast onto meals and snacks.

In this way older adults can simultaneously reduce the risk of depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.

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:

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

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

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What is Pernicious Anemia?

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

 

 

Pernicious Anemia, in a simplified definition is the loss of body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12. It is also the most common cause of adult vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is Pernicious Anemia?

Years ago, pernicious anemia was a major cause of death. The definition of “pernicious” is “having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way”. Thus, it was called “pernicious” because the condition would usually not be discovered until it was too late, and the individual with pernicious anemia would usually die.

Iron, Folate and Vitamin B12 are all needed to produce healthy red blood cells. The largest part of our blood is formed of red blood cells. A normal healthy person will have 600 red blood cells for each one white blood cell and 40 platelets. The main purpose of red blood cells is to carry oxygen from the lungs to cells throughout the body.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Red blood cells need three essential ingredients to perform their main function. These three ingredients are:

  1. Folate – found in leafy vegetables and peas and dried beans. Also known as Folic Acid, and added to some foods.
  2. Iron – found in red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, and beans
  3. Vitamin B12 – is found naturally in meat, fish and dairy products including milk, butter and eggs. However, B12 is extracted from these foods via a very complex biochemical process, utilizing the gastrointestinal system.

Vitamin B12 will enter the stomach bound to proteins called “Intrinsic Factor”.  The Intrinsic Factor is then absorbed, along with the B12, by the Ileum which is part of the stomach in the small bowel. Without Intrinsic Factor, B12 cannot be absorbed into the body.  Thus, the inability of the body to absorb B12, is caused by a faulty digestive process, and not, as many people think, by a malfunction of the blood!

Healthy people will produce the gastric parietal cells to produce Intrinsic Factor.  However, if one’s digestive system is not functioning properly, their digestive system may fail to produce Intrinsic Factor, and thus fail to absorb Vitamin B12. This can then lead to a deficiency of Vitamin B12.

For some reason, some people produce something that kills off the Intrinsic Factor. It is called Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.  One of the tests used to diagnose Pernicious Anemia is the test for Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibodies.  If a patient tests positive for the antibodies then he or she is diagnosed as having Pernicious Anemia.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Medical conditions in which this type of self-destruction occurs are classified as Auto-Immune Diseases.

Pernicious Anemia is typified by a number of symptoms.  The most common symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • extreme fatigue
  • fogginess of thought
  • poor concentration
  • short-term memory loss
  • confusing behavior
  • nominal aphasia (forgetting names of objects or ideas)
  • clumsiness and/or lack of coordination
  • brittle nails; dry skin
  • mood swings, bouts of unexpected crying,  heightened emotions

Some neurological symptoms include the following (and usually indicate severity of the disease):

  • Imbalance
  • dizziness, faintness
  • frequently bumping into or falling against walls
  • general unsteadiness, especially when showering and dressing
  • inability to stand up with eyes closed or in the dark
  • numbness/tingling in the extremities
  • Tinnitus – ringing or buzzing in the ears

If you experience many of these symptoms you should see your local doctor. Ask for the Anti-Intrinsic Factor Antibody Test.

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

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Chronic Nerve Pain from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Monday, May 13th, 2013

 

 

Back pain, sore legs, and headaches may result from an injury, or from chronic illness like migraines, but they can also be symptoms of chronic nerve pain resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency, a form of anemia that impairs red blood cell production and leads to severe nerve cell damage. Listed are some typical causes of neuropathic pain associated with low vitamin B12 levels.

Chronic Nerve Pain from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

There are many types of chronic nerve pain, and most of them are strongly linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Nerve damage from vitamin B12 deficiency

Like multiple sclerosis (MS), vitamin B12 deficiency can also impair your nervous system and cause severe handicaps.

Your body relies on vitamin B12 to protect your nervous system from harm. Vitamin B12 builds myelin, a fatty substance that insulates your nerve fibers, enhancing intercellular communication, so that sensory messages travel along the spinal cord to the brain smoothly and efficiently.

When vitamin B12 levels are low, you experience side effects resulting from demyelination, destruction of the nerve cell’s outer coating. Nervous impulses become slower and chronic nerve pain symptoms of painful tingling, burning, and numbness become more frequent as the protective layer of your delicate nerve fibers slowly corrodes.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Over time, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe, debilitating chronic nerve pain and handicaps, such as difficulty walking, controlling arm movements, or maintaining balance.

Unless treated, severely depleted vitamin B12 levels can cause increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, and ultimately, death.

Diabetes

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often comorbid with diabetes.

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common causes of chronic nerve pain, causing symptoms similar to vitamin B12 deficiency. Diabetics taking metformin are at a high risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as metformin is one of several drugs that prevent absorption of vitamin B12 from foods.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Vitamin B12 deficiency is harder to detect in people with diabetes, as the symptoms are masked by diabetic neuropathy. For that reason, diabetics are encouraged to take blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency frequently, and take extra doses of vitamin B12 when chronic nerve pain persists.

Autoimmune disorders

Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is an autoimmune disorder.

People with autoimmune disorders such as fibromyalgia, lupus, or Crohn’s disease are more susceptible to the autoimmune form of pernicious anemia, one of the major causes of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Also, pernicious anemia may result from symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, migraines, or celiac disease, as frequent vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, and acid reflux make it more difficult to digest food sources of vitamin B12.

Treating nerve pain

If vitamin B12 deficiency is behind neuropathic pain, then only immediate and consistent supplementation of vitamin B12- usually in high doses- can bring ultimate relief.

The best, most digestible sources of vitamin B12 are non-dietary supplements that are absorbed into your bloodstream.

For best results, start out with 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 weekly, or more often, as needed.

NSAIDs are usually not helpful for treating neuropathic pain. While opioids may relieve chronic nerve pain symptoms, they are also addictive, have dangerous side effects, and sometimes lead to fatal overdose.

Your doctor may prescribe tricyclic antidepressants or SSNRIs for neuropathic pain, or he may advise anti-epileptic drugs. All of these, over extended periods of time, may result in uncomfortable side effects, so use with caution.

Topical ointments for arthritis may help to relieve nerve pain, without any harmful side effects.

Your turn!

If you suffer nerve pain in the hands, feet, or back, have you been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

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:

Do-It-Yourself Chronic Pain Management- 6 Helpful Tips

Help- My Legs keep Falling Asleep!

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?


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Electric Shocks from Vitamin B12 Deficiency are a Sign

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

 

 

Sometimes called Lhermitte’s sign, electric shock sensations that travel down your back and behind your legs may signal vitamin B12 deficiency, or several other debilitating conditions. Here are the facts on that spine-tingling phenomenon, and other signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Electric Shocks from Vitamin B12 Deficiency are a Sign

Lhermitte’s Syndrome

Lhermitte’s syndrome is also referred to as Barber Chair Phenomenon. Patients describe painful numbness and an electric shock feeling that shoots down the spine and the backs of the legs, particularly while bending the neck forward and looking down.

The characteristic electric shock symptoms are common with multiple sclerosis (MS), but also occur with long-term vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, as both are demyelinating illnesses that cause damage to the nervous system.

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

Still, many health problems can cause electric shocks along the spinal cord. In addition to MS and vitamin B12 deficiency, others include:

  • Transverse myelitis
  • Radiation myelopathy
  • Behçet’s disease
  • Spine and neck injuries
  • Hernias
  • Tumors
  • Withdrawal symptoms of antidepressants and narcotics

In the early 80’s, scientists noted Lhermitte’s sign in people who habitually abused nitrous oxide, which caused electric shocks from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Electric shock treatment?

To find out if Lhermitte’s sign is from vitamin B12 deficiency, take a blood test, and also familiarize yourself with the common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. If your vitamin B12 levels are very low, then you will need to supplement with extra vitamin B12 for several months until symptoms disappear.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 depletion are:

  • Electric shock sensations
  • Headache
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Painful numbing and tingling in the arms and legs
  • Difficulty controlling muscle movements
  • Digestive problems
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss

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:

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

Vitamin B12- How Long Before I See Results?

40 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: the Ultimate Checklist

Sources:

Definition of Lhermitte sign

Lhermitte’s sign as the presenting symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut/Free Digital Photos

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

 

 

Why are so many Americans suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, when animal-based foods containing cobalamin are so plentiful? And why aren’t more doctors catching it before it escalates into symptoms of fatigue, chronic pain, memory loss, and severe neurological handicaps? These are just some of the important issues that this eye-opening video about vitamin B12 deficiency will explain.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis- B12 Patch

The video is Diagnosing and Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency, and it is perhaps the most crucial 50 minutes you will ever see regarding one of the most rampant forms of malnutrition to impair millions of citizens in recent times- pernicious anemia…and the number is still growing.

Pernicious anemia

Once regarded a lethal disease, pernicious anemia is a condition which causes symptoms of intense daily fatigue, numbness and tingling in the extremities, dementia, dizziness, depression, and impaired muscle coordination.

Pernicious anemia affects your nervous system, cognitive functioning, and emotional health; it also increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, and early dementia from old age.

The missing link, of course, is vitamin B12.

Pernicious anemia impairs your ability to digest vitamin B12 from the foods you eat every day; food sources such as beef, seafood, and poultry are all extremely rich in this vital nutrient.

For years, scientists have known that the cure for pernicious anemia is immediate and lifelong vitamin B12 (cobalamin) supplementation in a non-dietary form, usually vitamin B12 shots.

Why then is vitamin B12 deficiency making its way back into patient files, when we thought we had it defeated long ago?

Doctor, doctor, get the news update

This very informative must-see video on the B12 crisis makes some very important points about the medical profession and the rising numbers of patients experiencing moderate to severe nerve damage from pernicious anemia.

  • A significantly large number of medical practitioners are ill-prepared to catch symptoms of low vitamin B12 levels early on, and receive little or no training in the diagnosis of pernicious anemia.
  • The idea that a simple vitamin may provide a cure for a specific illness is regarded by health officials as bogus, so the illness itself- pernicious anemia- is considered of no concern.
  • While blood tests may prevent death from pernicious anemia, they are nevertheless failing us by allowing debilitating symptoms of neurological damage to completely fall off the medical radar.
  • Increasing evidence shows that imposed folate fortification in cereal products may have backfired by increasing one’s risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency.

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Like this? Read more:

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Image(s) courtesy of vongvanvi /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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