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Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin B12 anemia’

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

 

 

People often mix up irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in speech, but really they are quite different. Although IBS and IBD both cause similar symptoms- stomachaches, nausea- only one is a gastrointestinal disease that can be severely debilitating and life-threatening.

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache? B12 Patch

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Other terms include spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.

About one out of every six people experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes abdominal pain and cramping, in addition to abnormal bowel movements.

IBS may occur as a result of an infection in the intestines, or it may be caused by stress. There are no tests to diagnose IBS, rather several diagnostic procedures to rule out IBD, colon cancer, or celiac disease.

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

Symptoms of IBS:

People with irritable bowel syndrome suffer from the following symptoms at least three times per month, for at least three months:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Uncomfortable fullness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) refers to a set of gastrointestinal illnesses that are chronic or very frequent, and occur because of an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the stomach and intestines.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common types of IBD, and both can result in ulcers, inflammation, and other types of stomach damage.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation, sores, and ulcers all along the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, but most often occurs in parts of the small and large intestines.

Ulcerative colitis causes similar damage and ailments in the large intestines and rectum.

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

Symptoms of IBD:

Chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Intense stomach pains, cramps
  • Uncontrollable frequent diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Rectal pain
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever, chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Joint pain
  • Liver disease

Complications

There are no complications involved with IBS, which is more of a functional condition of the stomach that causes no perceivable damage.

With IBD, flare-ups, a worsening of symptoms or long-time illness may cause several comorbid conditions or complications, including:

  • Infected fistula caused by deep ulcers
  • Colon rupture caused by toxic megacolon
  • Anemia caused by low iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in too few red blood cells.

Conclusion

IBS is distressing and uncomfortable, but it causes no actual damage to the gastrointestinal tract, and is not life-threatening. To treat, avoid foods that irritate the stomach, and eat small frequent meals, in order to prevent overstuffing.

With IBD, portions of the intestines and stomach are diseased and vulnerable to rupture, which can be deadly. Diagnosis may require colonoscopy, X-ray, barium enema, blood tests, MRI, and CT scan.

Depending on the severity of IBD symptoms, treatments may include medications, restrictive diet, vitamins, including vitamin B12 supplements, and possibly, surgery.

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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

Sources:

Irritable bowel syndrome- PubMed Health

Ulcerative colitis- PubMed Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Image(s) courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 2

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

 

 

Last year, Dr. Oz aired America’s B12 Deficiency, a highly informative and eye-opening program focusing on the increasing rate of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in our society.

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Here is a recap of part 2 of that show.

(Continued from America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1)

Dr. Oz continues this segment with question #4, “Have you noticed tingling or numbness in your hands, your feet?”

This is one of the most common neurological conditions of vitamin B12 deficiency, neuropathy from decreased levels of vitamin B12.

The next question he asks, “Has your tongue become inflamed, red?” illustrates another early sign of vitamin B12 deficiency that most people don’t link to malabsorption.

Reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency

According to guest Dr. Katz, medications are a significant cause of vitamin B12 malabsorption, ticking off common over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as aspirin, which may erode the stomach linings, in addition to protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD and metformin for diabetes, which inhibit production of intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme required for vitamin B12 absorption.

“And by the way, we hasten to add here, we’re not telling you to stop taking medications if you need it, but just to recognize this could cause B12 deficiency.”

Additionally, adds Dr. Oz and Dr. Katz, excessive supplementation of folate may exacerbate and hide the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency, putting off your chances of diagnosing an existing depletion of vitamin B12 until levels become dangerously low, increasing your risk for early-onset dementia from old age and cognitive problems such as depression, fatigue, memory loss, and disorientation.

“…and the problem with that is, there is a point at which B12 deficiency is no longer fully reversible.

If you don’t find it within the first months to couple of years, and fix it, some of those effects on cognition can persist.”

Old age is another strong risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency, and guest Kate Geagan agrees that as you age, the cells in your stomach age as well, secreting fewer stomach acids needed to digest vitamin B12 and other important nutrients. As a result, elderly individuals have a harder time separating vitamin B12 from food proteins and absorbing it into the system.

“Statistically, we don’t have that capability to secrete the gastric juices you need to cleave that B12 from the protein so that then you can start the process of absorbing it.”

To be continued…

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness?


Image courtesy of David Berkowitz/ Wikimedia

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America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

 

 

Last year, Dr. Oz aired America’s B12 Deficiency, a highly informative and eye-opening program focusing on the increasing rate of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in our society. Here is a recap of part 1 of that show.

America’s B12 Deficiency: Recap of Dr. Oz Show, Part 1

Are you exhausted? Are you forgetting things? Are you feeling depressed? You may just think it’s your age. But it might be something much more insidious. You could be suffering from a condition called vitamin B12 deficiency.”

These are the first questions that Dr. Oz asks his audience in this informative segment on vitamin B12 deficiency, a rising epidemic in the US that currently affects up to 40 percent of the population.

Enter the introduction, alarming, but rightfully so:

“There’s a stealth weapon protecting your body from disease and you don’t even know it: Vitamin B12, nature’s superhero of supplements.”

Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy red blood cells, which deliver oxygen to the brain. Symptoms resulting from low vitamin B12 levels may include depression, fatigue, and memory loss, and may even increase your risk for stroke and heart disease.

While vitamin B12 occurs naturally in protein foods such as beef, chicken, and fish, an increasing number of individuals must compensate for low vitamin B12 levels by supplementing with weekly vitamin B12 shots or sublingual B12 lozenges.

“Could you be suffering of a deficiency of the super vitamin you didn’t know you needed?”

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

“Two-thirds of you have vitamin B12 deficiency”

Dr. Oz shocks his audience by informing them that an earlier selected portion of the audience received vitamin B12 blood tests, and that roughly two-thirds of the audience has been found vitamin B12 deficient.

He introduces director and cofounder of the Yale Prevention Research Center, David Katz, along with nutritionist Kate Geagan.

Dr. Katz  is not surprised by the blood test results, adding that “…the conservative estimates have B12 deficiency level about 15%, but as you mentioned earlier, up to 40%.”

“Why should we be concerned?”

Vitamins are essential for fundamental health. Vitamin B12 is necessary for plenty of red blood cells, and a deficiency could indicate pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 protects the nervous system, insulating individual neurons from harm while also sustaining normal intercellular communication. Vitamin B12 also supports DNA synthesis, so naturally, a depletion in vitamin B12 can be disastrous for your basic physiological functioning.

…”without adequate levels of B12, we can’t make DNA…if you can’t make DNA, your cells can’t divide, you can’t replace worn out body parts, so it’s effects really ripple throughout all of human physiology.”

Adds Dr. Oz, in other words, vitamin B12 deficiency ages us- makes us feel older than we really are.

Why the rise in vitamin B12 deficiency?

Part of the reason we’re seeing escalating incidences of vitamin B12 deficiency is simply because Baby Boomers are getting older, resulting in a large group of individuals who are having difficulty digesting vitamin B12 naturally from the foods they eat.

Add to that the popularity of many prescription medications that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, such as aspirins, acid reflux treatments, and diabetes drugs.

Also, as more people are being advised to follow a vegan diet, or a low-fat diet including foods that have little vitamin B12, more US citizens are finding their vitamin B12 levels diminishing, especially when compared to cultures that eat plenty of B12-rich seafood, such as Japan, where vitamin B12 deficiency rates are consistently lower than ours.

Detecting vitamin B12 deficiency

“…the blood test that you could get can be valuable to you, but equally important to me is the symptoms you have.”

To help establish if you may have vitamin B12 deficiency, Dr. Oz recommends asking yourself the following questions:

#1: Do you suffer from an overall lack of energy?

#2: Have you noticed any unusual mood changes?

#3: Do you have difficulty concentrating or remembering things?

To be continued…

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness?


Image courtesy of David Berkowitz/ Wikimedia

Anemia: Frequently Asked Questions, Answered

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

 

 

Anemia is a blood condition that results in too few red blood cells in your blood stream. There are several different types of anemia, including pernicious anemia, a cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about anemia as posed to the medical community; find out how to prevent anemia and recognize the symptoms.

Anemia: Frequently Asked Questions, Answered- B12 Patch

What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which you suffer severely depleted red blood cells, and as a result also lack oxygen, which is carried by red blood cells’ hemoglobin. With pernicious anemia, a depletion of vitamin B12 results in large, misshapen red blood cells that are unable to leave the bone marrow and deliver red blood cells to your body’s tissues and cells.

What causes anemia?

Anemia may occur as a result of chronic illness, such as rheumatoid arthritis or kidney disorder, or it may be caused by vitamin malabsorption, such as vitamin B12 deficiency. In rare cases, anemia is inherited. Sickle cell anemia, for example, may be passed down in the family.

Other causes of anemia are pregnancy, gastrointestinal disorders, and blood loss from surgery or injury.

How many types of anemia are there?

There are hundreds of types of anemia, all varying by cause. The most common forms of anemia are:

  • Megaloblastic anemia (including pernicious anemia) from vitamin B12 and/or folate deficiency
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Aplastic anemia or thalassemia from bone marrow and/or stem cell disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia (inherited)
  • Anemia caused by blood loss
  • Anemia caused by depleted hormones, such as occurs with kidney disease, hypothyroidism, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup

What are the symptoms of anemia?

The symptoms of anemia vary according to the cause and severity of depleted red blood cells. The onset of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia usually manifests itself as fatigue, sluggish thinking, and painful tingling and numbness in the extremities (hands and feet).

Here are some common symptoms of anemia:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Confusion (“brain fog”)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Frequent bruising
  • Paleness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations following exercise
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Unusual cravings for non-food items (ice, dirt)
  • Muscle cramps
  • “Pins and needles” in the hands and feet
  • Painful numbness
  • Stiff arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking

Diagnosing Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pernicious Anemia: Top 10 Tests

Treatments for anemia

Depending on the cause of anemia, several treatments are effective at replenishing red blood cells and preventing further complications.

For vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, it is essential to supplement with large doses of vitamin B12, immediately. Usually, treatment is given in the form of vitamin B12 injections, to be taken every week, and sometimes tapered off to monthly doses. For many patients of pernicious anemia, additional doses of over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplements are helpful to keep symptoms of fatigue from flaring up and to maintain healthy levels of vitamin B12 between doctor’s visits.

Folate and iron deficiency anemia are likewise treatable with regimented vitamin supplementation.

When anemia is caused by chronic illnesses, the only way to replenish red blood cells is to treat the underlying disease. In some cases, blood transfusions or hormone therapy may help for maintaining red blood cells.

For bone marrow anemia, treatments range from bone marrow transplants to chemotherapy.

Treatments for sickle cell anemia include oxygen therapy, pain relievers, antibiotics, blood transfusions, and vitamin supplementation. Certain cancer drugs are also sometimes used to treat sick cell anemia sufferers.

Anemia prevention

Not all types of anemia are preventable. To prevent vitamin deficiency anemia, such as vitamin B12 deficiency, eat a healthy diet full of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein sources.

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal-based foods such as beef, chicken, liver, seafood, milk, and eggs. Still, it’s important to test routinely for vitamin B12 deficiency, as vitamin malabsorption may prevent you from digesting vitamin B12 naturally from the foods you eat.

Iron deficiency anemia and folate deficiency anemia may be prevented by including leafy green vegetables, iron fortified cereals, pasta, and beans.

To find out more about inherited forms of anemia, seek a genetic counselor.

Please tell us…

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Sources:

Anemia Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diet, and Treatment- WebMD

Anemia-Mayo Clinic

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

 

 

Chronic pain symptoms may indicate fibromyalgia, or one of many other illnesses like pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.  If you constantly feel tired, bloated, nauseous, itchy, and wracked with crushing pain, you might be suffering from chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, B12 deficiency, or all of the above…

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia, or fibromyositis, is a condition that causes the sufferer indescribable pain and fatigue for no apparent reason. Doctors are unsure as to the exact cause of fibromyalgia, which is classified as an autoimmune disorder involving the brain’s overreaction to pain stimuli.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Persistent muscular pain in at least 11 of 18 specific “pain points” on the body, including the neck and shoulders
  • Pain described as stiffness, burning, throbbing
  • Pain spreads from one tender spot to another
  • Sleep problems caused by pain and restless legs syndrome
  • Depression
  • Gastrointestinal woes, like stomach pain, nausea, flatulence, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and constipation
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive difficulties, “brain fog,” trouble concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Painful tingling sensations (“pins and needles”) and numbness in hands, feet, and ankles

Also read: How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

10 CONDITIONS THAT MIMIC FIBROMYALGIA, VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IS ONE, B12 PATCH

Pernicious anemia- Vitamin B12 deficiency

Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disorder that prevents your body from producing intrinsic factor, a protein the body needs for vitamin B12 absorption.  As a result, pernicious anemia patients often have dangerously low levels of vitamin B12- a nutrient involved in producing red blood cells, protecting the nervous system, lowering homocysteine levels, maintaining healthy cognitive skills, and establishing DNA synthesis.  Vitamin B12 deficiency often overlaps with fibromyalgia, as gastrointestinal issues often inhibit vitamin B12 absorption.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Anxiety
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Sleep problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands, feet, and ankles
  • Sore tongue that is red and swollen
  • Burning sensation in mouth and tongue
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent clumsiness
  • Difficulty walking without stumbling
  • Difficulty balancing on one leg

Also read: 

10 CONDITIONS THAT MIMIC FIBROMYALGIA, VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY IS ONE, B12 PATCH

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome shares comorbidity with fibromyalgia. Like fibromyalgia, the cause for CFS is still unexplained.  Patients complaining of chronic fatigue receive diagnosis based on their symptoms.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Persistent tiredness that is not caused by physical exertion, loss of sleep, or mental exhaustion
  • Waking up fatigued, despite sleeping the whole night
  • Pain in tender spots similar to the pain zones suffered by fibromyalgia patients, only less severe

Also read: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain is similar to fibromyalgia.  While fibromyalgia patients experience soreness in “pain points,” sufferers of myofascial pain syndrome experience pain in “trigger points.”  Also unlike fibromyalgia symptoms, myofascial pain does not spread from one point to another.

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Small pain points that occur in tense muscles
  • Trigger points that produce a muscular twitch when stimulated
  • Pain points are tiny lumps about the size of your pinky’s fingernail.

Chronic headaches

Fibromyalgia sufferers often experience chronic headaches such as migraines, tension headaches, daily persistent headaches, or hemicrania continua.  Scientists speculate that migraines happen in the same part of the brain as fibromyalgia triggers.

Symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Throbbing head pain, typically on one side of the head
  • Eye pain
  • Migraine aura- visual disturbances, vertigo, hallucinations, speech slurring, loss of consciousness, or temporary paralysis
  • Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, and scents
  • Nausea
  • Uncontrolled vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS)

Exposure to chemicals may cause symptoms that mimic fibromyalgia, although researchers are uncertain if MCS is a physical response or a psychological reaction.

Symptoms of multiple chemical sensitivity include:

  • Significantly lower threshold for chemical tolerance than normal
  • Pain reaction consistent with various unrelated chemicals
  • Sensitivity occurs in more than one organ of the body
  • Chronic pain reaction that occurs repeatedly from exposure to certain chemicals
  • Removing the chemical trigger ends pain symptoms

Depression

Most fibromyalgia patients have experienced clinical depression in the past, and a substantial (but lower) percentage suffers from chronic depression. Depression is also a common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.  If depression stems from fibromyalgia pain, then it does not classify as major depression, but rather a secondary condition of fibromyalgia chronic pain syndrome.

Symptoms of major depression include:

  • Spells of sadness that last for months
  • Daily depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems like oversleeping or not sleeping enough
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of low value or guilt
  • Weight problems, either excessive weight gain or weight loss
  • Contemplations of suicide

Also read: Vitamin Deficiencies can drive you Crazy- Seriously!  Part 1

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s disease) is sometimes confused with fatigue associated with fibromyalgia or vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.  As opposed to hyperthyroid disorder, where the thyroid gland produces too many hormones, hypothyroid disorder involves underproduction of hormones in the thyroid gland.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Joint or muscle pain that hurts “all over”
  • Cold hypersensitivity
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Dry thick skin patches

Also read: Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

Lupus

Autoimmune disease symptoms like lupus may occur at the same time as fibromyalgia or B12 deficiency, making it harder to diagnose. Conversely, patients with lupus often don’t realize that their vitamin B12 levels have dropped to a dangerous low until they start to suffer severe nerve damage.

Symptoms of lupus include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Skin lesions
  • Joint pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • “brain fog”
  • Confusion
  • Dry eyes

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

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by ticks.  Because of delayed symptoms mimicking fibromyalgia, about 15-50% of fibromyalgia patients receives a misdiagnosis of Lyme disease, and is instructed to take strong antibiotics. A blood test sometimes excludes Lyme disease, but not always.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • Itching all over the body
  • Chills and fever
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscular pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Partial paralysis
  • Speech problems

Restless Legs Syndrome

A significant amount of fibromyalgia sufferers and pernicious anemia patients also experience restless legs syndrome at night. However, other causes of restless legs syndrome are kidney disorder, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, or drugs.

Symptoms of restless legs syndrome include:

  • Uneasy feeling in lower leg
  • Creeping, crawling sensations
  • Intense need to shake leg in order to ease symptoms
  • Achiness that disappears with exercise

Read more about diseases that mimic fibromyalgia and vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Sore Burning Tongue, Dry Mouth, and Weird Tastes- What’s the Cause?

Type 2 Diabetes and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Are you at Risk?

Sources:

Fibromyalgia- University of Maryland Medical Center

Mayo Clinic

PubMed Health

Images, from top:

jcantrootKindreds Page, aussiegall

Juvenile Vitamin B12 Deficiency- the Dinosaur of all Disorders, say Scientists

Monday, December 19th, 2011

 

 

Recently, scientists discovered an ancient mutant gene putting vitamin B12 deficiency around the timeline of 11,600 B.C., causing a rare form of vitamin B12 anemia known as Imerslund-Gräsbeck Syndrome (IGS) – the second-oldest disease-causing mutant gene known to mankind.

What causes Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome (IGS)?

According to researchers, mutations in either the amnionless (AMN) or the cubilin (CUBN) gene cause this rare form of vitamin B12 deficiency (IGS), which inhibits vitamin B12 absorption in children born with either mutated gene.  Children born with IGS lack intrinsic factor, a chemical required to digest vitamin B12 in food sources, such as beef, chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs, and eventually show symptoms of severe juvenile cobalamin deficiency.  This discovery adds to our knowledge that B12 deficiency is an inherited disorder.

What is vitamin B12, and why is it so important?

What are the symptoms of Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome (IGS)?

IGS originated in the Middle East, affecting children of Jewish, Turkish, or Arabic descent.  Children with (IGS) vitamin B12 deficiency exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Increased risk for infection
  • Everyday fatigue, regardless of diet or sufficient sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating, symptoms similar to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Partial paralysis

Untreated, childhood vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to severe nerve damage.  A blood test is required to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, and treatments include constant vitamin B12 injections, as prescribed by your physician- possibly for the rest of your life.

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Who is at risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency?

Aside from individuals with the inherited vitamin B12 deficiency disorder, other people that are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Anybody who has had gastrointestinal surgery, such as gastric bypass,  involving the removal of the ileum, a portion of the small intestines required for vitamin B12 absorption
  • Anybody taking medications that inhibit absorption of vitamin B12, including the diabetes drug Metformin, acid reflux medication, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Vegans who don’t supplement with vitamin B12 regularly
  • Many patients of autoimmune disorders that affect the stomach, such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease
  • Alcoholics
  • Elderly individuals who lack sufficient stomach acids to digest vitamin B12

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency causes:

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Sources:

Scientists Discover Second-Oldest Gene Mutation

Ancient founder mutation is responsible for Imerslund-Gräsbeck Syndrome among diverse ethnicities


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