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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 deficiency symptoms’

Which Antacids cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

 

 

In a recent study on vitamin B12 deficiency and antacid medications, doctors from Kaiser Permanente found further evidence proving that people who take stomach acid-inhibiting drugs for GERD (acid reflux) and heartburn are more likely than others to develop significant vitamin B12 anemia over time.  Side effects include memory loss, fatigue, and nerve damage.

Antacids, Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic heartburn, or peptic ulcers, then you’re chances of developing vitamin B12 deficiency (aka pernicious anemia) are higher than normal, according to a California study published in JAMA.

Vitamin B12 and the stomach

In order to digest vitamin B12 from the foods you eat, your body uses digestive enzymes produced in the stomach; without these essential stomach acids, you would not be able to absorb vitamin B12- it would just pass through the digestive system untouched.

And such is the case with patients using certain antacid medications to treat chronic acid reflux, stomach ulcers, painful heartburn, and esophageal strictures. By inhibiting the production of peptic acids, you also inhibit digestion of vitamin B12, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption- a widespread cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia.

Likewise, elderly individuals who stop producing sufficient stomach acids as a result of old age are also at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Quick note: A deficiency in stomach acids is equal to a deficiency in vitamin B12.

Which antacid medications cause B12 deficiency?

In the Kaiser study, doctors examined patients using proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) and histamine 2 receptor antagonists (H2RAs) who also had vitamin B12 deficiency.

This doesn’t mean that you should stop taking these medications; rather, it’s important to check your vitamin B12 levels regularly if you use any of the following antacid medications long-term:

  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Esomeprazole (Nexium)
  • Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)

Quick note: If you use PPIs or H2RAs, then check your B12 levels yearly, at least.

Is vitamin B12 deficiency serious?

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage, dementia, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.  (Remember, pernicious anemia used to be a fatal disease until scientists learned to treat it with vitamin B12.)

However, even the earliest and middle stages of vitamin B12 deficiency can be extremely debilitating- enough to make daily functioning difficult and tiring.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:

Listed are common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency which are often overlooked or misdiagnosed:

  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor motor control
  • Gait problems, difficulty walking straight
  • Poor balance
  • Loss/increase of appetite
  • Sleep problems

Stomach Bloating from B12 Deficiency? Yes, It Happens.

How do I know if I have vitamin B12 deficiency?

Once you start noticing even the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, that’s a sign that your vitamin B12 levels have already dropped to a dangerous low. So, it’s important to start treating immediately.

A simple blood test may indicate if you have vitamin B12 deficiency, but it’s best not to wait for diagnosis to begin supplementing. Vitamin B12 is safe to use in any amount, so there’s no harm in taking “too much,” but there can be negative ramifications if you wait too long to begin restoring your vitamin B12 levels.

Also, the median used to determine vitamin B12 levels is too low to catch the earliest signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Quick note: Symptoms are a better indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency than lab tests.

Which types of vitamin B12 are best?

With vitamin B12 malabsorption, vitamin B12 pills are useless, as they pass through the stomach undigested. Instead, your doctor may prescribe vitamin B12 injections which must be inserted directly into the muscular tissue of the thigh, arm, abdomen, or buttocks.  Depending on the level of anemia, you may be required to take vitamin B12 shots monthly or bi-monthly.

You may find that monthly sessions of vitamin B12 shots are not enough to make you feel “normal” again. If that’s the case, then it’s helpful to take extra doses of vitamin B12 between injections.  Just make sure to use types of vitamin B12 that pass directly through the skin’s layer into the blood.

Quick note: If you can’t digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, then you have to manually insert it into your blood stream through the skin.

Also read:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is not some strange, mysterious disease. It has been well documented in much medical literature.  The causes and effects of vitamin B12 deficiency are well-known within the scientific community. But despite that Vitamin B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is far more common than most people realize.

Vitamin B12 deficiency in 40%

The Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study suggests that 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma vitamin B12 levels in the low-normal range – a range at which many people still experience neurological symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and numb, tingling muscles.

Outright vitamin B12 deficiency was exhibited by 9 percent of the study participants and 16 percent exhibited “near deficiency”.  Low vitamin B12 levels were as common in younger people as they were in the elderly, to the surprise of the researchers.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Vitamin B12 is vital

The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, protect the nerves, synthesize DNA, and carry out other crucial functions.

The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day. But since your body can’t produce vitamin B12, it is necessary to supply it through foods containing vitamin B12 or vitamin B12 supplements.

Some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency that can be difficult to diagnose.

Vitamin B12 deficiency- off the radar

There are two reasons why a vitamin B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed. To begin with, most physicians do not routinely test for vitamin B12 deficiency, even in adults who are at high risk.

Second, the low end of the laboratory reference range for vitamin B12 deficiency is too low. Most studies underestimate the true levels of B12 deficiency. Many B12 deficient people have so-called “normal” levels of B12, enough to prevent death from pernicious anemia, but not enough to prevent debilitating symptoms associated with low vitamin B12 levels.

Digesting vitamin B12 is difficult!

Vitamin B12 absorption is a complex process and involves multiple steps. The malabsorption of Vitamin B12 can be caused by:

  • Intestinal dysbiosis (microbial imbalances)
  • Leaky gut, gut inflammation
  • Atrophic gastritis or hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid)
  • Autoimmune pernicious anemia
  • Medications such metformin and PPIs (acid-suppressing drugs)
  • Extremely high alcohol
  • Exposure to nitrous oxide (during surgery or recreational use)

Also read 25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Treating vitamin B12 deficiency

Diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency is relatively easy and cheap. Explain your symptoms to your doctor, and request a blood test to screen for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Usually, 1,000mcg doses of vitamin B12 taken biweekly or monthly will suffice, but it’s important to judge by your symptoms. You may need to take extra vitamin B12, in addition to what your doctor prescribes, as some medical insurance plans don’t cover the amount of prescription vitamin B12 shots needed to achieve full recovery.

Fortunately, vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, according to FDA guidelines, so you can take as much vitamin B12 as you think you need to increase your energy and improve your mood, without worrying about any harmful side effects.

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

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Image courtesy of razvan ionut/freedigitalphotos

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?

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos

40 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: the Ultimate Checklist

Monday, April 8th, 2013

 

 

So, you think fatigue and painful tingling and numbness are the only real symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency? Guess again. According to most recent data, prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to multiple problems all over your body, affecting your nervous system, mood, fertility, and cardiovascular health, and more.

40 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: the Ultimate Checklist- B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 is needed for many important tasks all over your body, including sustaining neurological health, promoting normal red blood cell production, synthesizing energy, and supporting cognitive integrity.

It’s no wonder that over time, a sustained deficiency in vitamin B12 levels can lead to a virtual body breakdown, causing debilitating symptoms that impair the way you think, behave, and function throughout your days.

Listed below are the top 40 most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. If you recognize any of these signs, then you may need to increase your intake of vitamin B12 supplements.

  1. Chronic fatigue
  2. Painful tingling and numbness in the extremities
  3. Muscle weakness
  4. Slow, abnormal reflexes
  5. Unstable gait, difficulty walking
  6. Difficulty controlling arm movements
  7. Altered sense of taste
  8. Burning mouth syndrome
  9. Vision problems
  10. Restless leg syndrome
  11. Dizziness, disorientation
  12. Brain fog, confusion
  13. Short-term memory problems
  14. Tremors, spasms
  15. Poor balance
  16. Decreased motor control
  17. Difficulty controlling bladder or bowels
  18. Fertility problems, difficulty conceiving
  19. Premature births
  20. Frequent miscarriages
  21. Sore, bloated red tongue
  22. Difficulty swallowing
  23. Depression
  24. Anxiety
  25. Paranoia
  26. Irritability
  27. Psychosis
  28. Hallucinations
  29. Mania
  30. Unusually aggressive behavior
  31. Changes in personality
  32. Low red blood cell count
  33. Enlarged red blood cells
  34. Shortness of breath
  35. Pale complexion
  36. Developmental delay in children and infants
  37. Seizures in babies and older children
  38. Loss of appetite
  39. Difficulty gaining weight
  40. In children, speech difficulties

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- Got this?

Seven Stages of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

What are the Signs and Symptoms of B12 Deficiency?

B12 Deficiency – a Multi-system Polyglandular Multi-point syndrome

Image(s) courtesy of David Castillo /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Low Energy could mean Low B12- It’s Correlational

Monday, November 5th, 2012

 

 

One of the most common- and earliest- symptoms of low vitamin B12 is low energy. Chronic fatigue, poor concentration, and “brain fog” are all some of the first warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Low Energy could mean Low B12- It’s Correlational- B12 Patch

Low energy- What does it mean?

If you ever feel exhausted after finishing a high-impact aerobics class, or if you sometimes wake up feeling groggy and irritable from a sleepless night, then…congratulations! You’re healthy.

People who suffer from chronic fatigue- a severe loss of energy- feel that way most of the time, even after sleeping well the entire night, even after climbing a few flights of stair, and in many cases as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of fatigue

Chronic fatigue varies per person, but often includes the following symptoms:

  • Persistently low energy, lasting for months
  • Fatigue that begins in the morning and worsens by midday
  • Tiredness that interferes with day-to-day tasks
  • Low immunity, frequent illness
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty remembering words or numbers
  • Decreased organizational skills
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Irritability
  • Depression

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue

Who suffers low energy?

Chronic fatigue occurs with many chronic disorders such as fibromyalgia, migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and Crohn’s disease.

Fatigue also correlates highly with vitamin B12 deficiency, for two reasons:

  • Low energy levels from low B12 occurs as a direct result of decreased oxygen in the brain. Vitamin B12 sustains healthy red blood cells which help to distribute oxygen throughout your body. Likewise, a severe drop in vitamin B12 levels affects your red blood cell count, eventually causing symptoms of hypoxemia (low oxygen), which include dizziness, disorientation, and low energy- all just from low vitamin B12.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs at the same time as many autoimmune disorders that cause overwhelming fatigue.  Oftentimes, low B12 levels exacerbate feelings of tiredness and depression from fibromyalgia, celiac disease, or lupus.

How much B12 do I need?

The standard dose prescribed for vitamin B12 deficiency is 1000mcg. Depending on the severity of vitamin B12 deficiency, your doctor may prescribe 1000mcg of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) per month, per week, or twice weekly until energy levels improve.

Because there is no upper limit established for vitamin B12 supplementation, there is no danger of overdose. Patients who wish to exceed the prescribed dose of vitamin B12 may do so readily and safely.

In fact, several scientific studies focusing on vitamin B12 and energy levels found significant health benefits when individuals took large mega-doses of vitamin B12 supplements.

Will Vitamin B12 Boost Energy if I don’t have B12 Deficiency? YES!

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:

For Energy, Choose Vitamin B12 over Monster Drinks

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12: the Energy Elixir

Stop Vitamin B12 Deficiency Fatigue-Top 4 Energy-Boosting Foods

Sources:

Lack of Energy Could be from a Common Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Deficiencies You Can Deal With

The rationale for using high-dose cobalamin (vitamin B12) CFIDS Chronicle Physicians’ Forum

A pilot study of vitamin B12 in the treatment of tiredness

Vitamin B-12: placebo or neglected therapeutic tool?  PubMed, NCBI

Vitamin supplementation and athletic performance- PubMed, NCBI

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Tips for Parenting with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue

Monday, October 29th, 2012

 

 

Raising children is challenging for people from all walks of life; when you suffer from a chronic illness, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), parenting can be doubly difficult. Here are some tips for maintaining the family home front while battling symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

5 Tips for Parenting with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue- B12 Patch

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome cause debilitating symptoms such as extreme tiredness, excruciating pain, frequent illness and severe malnutrition problems such as vitamin B12 deficiency and iron deficiency. Many sufferers struggle to balance parenting and work while dealing with constant fibromyalgia flare-ups and crushing fatigue.

Below are expert parenting tips that are helpful for moms and dads suffering from any chronic illness, including fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Talk about it

Many parents with chronic illness try to hide their condition from their children. Either they’re embarrassed to admit weakness, or they mistakenly think their kids are too young to understand or be able to deal with it. Sometimes, it stems from fear of reversing the parent-child role, placing the burden of caretaking onto the child.

Parenting experts recommend being open with your children about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, and encouraging regular communication. In most cases, your children want to be “in the know,” and to be reminded that things are going to be okay, that you aren’t suffering from any life-threatening illness.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

Think ahead

If you regularly take your children to school or pick them up at the end of the day, then it’s a good idea to have a backup plan for days when you are physically unable to leave your bed or get into a car. Ask a relative or friend if they could be on-call for fibromyalgia flare-ups, and make sure your children’s teachers are aware of your arrangement. Or, see if there are any after-school daycares that take last minute drop-ins.

Keep things steady

It’s hard to stay consistent when you’re struggling with an illness that doesn’t follow any predictable pattern. Still, an important part of parenting with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is maintaining a certain level of regularity. Changes are stressful for children, so strive to keep things as normal as possible.

The best way to do that is to incorporate a certain amount of flexibility into your regular routine, whether it be impromptu visits with grandma or grandpa or the occasional extended TV time while mommy recuperates.

Chronic Fatigue and House Work- Motivating Tips for Success

Stay focused

Never lose track of the things that are most important in life while trying to compensate for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. It’s okay if your children don’t have expensive birthday party blow-outs or a mom who roller skates with them after school. Don’t compare yourself to other parents who don’t suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.

What matters most to your children, after all is said and done, is that you are there for them, and that you always will be.

Take care of yourself

One of the best (and most obvious) tips for parenting with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue is to be your own best healthcare advocate. Keep up with the latest research in natural pain management, immune system health, and increased energy through nutritional therapies.

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:

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

Parenting With Chronic Pain

Being a Parent With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Total Body Invasion

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition that affects all parts of our body- our brain, digestive system, metabolism, and more. That’s because vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is such as vital nutrient; it’s responsible for maintaining cognitive health, increasing energy, and sustaining red blood cell production. When vitamin B12 levels run low, we likewise experience the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- constant fatigue, muscle pain, depression, and memory loss.  Here is a comprehensive list of the various bodily functions that are impaired by vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Total Body Invasion- B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 deficiency and the nervous system

Vitamin B12 protects our nerve cells from damage by sustaining the myelin sheath, a fatty coating that surrounds each individual nerve cell, boosting intercellular communication and shielding our nervous system network from damage.

Without vitamin B12, your myelin coating gradually disintegrates in a process referred to as demyelination. Only replenishment of vitamin B12 can restore the myelin sheath back to normal and prevent permanent damage to the peripheral nervous system (peripheral neuropathy) or central nervous system.

Symptoms of nervous system damage caused by vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Ataxia (loss of muscular coordination)
  • Depression
  • Paralysis
  • Paresthesia (Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities)
  • Abnormal, slow reflexes
  • Muscle spasms
  • Poor bladder control
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)

Vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia

One of the most important functions that vitamin B12 performs in our body is sustaining production of healthy red blood cells. We need a continuous flow of hemoglobin in order to deliver oxygen to the various tissues and organs in our body.

Pernicious anemia is one cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, and it causes our red blood cell count to plummet, causing symptoms of oxygen loss. Untreated, pernicious anemia can be fatal. Only continuous supplementation of vitamin B12 can reverse symptoms of pernicious anemia and restore healthy red blood cells.

Symptoms of oxygen depletion from vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Frequent breathlessness
  • Bone loss
  • Confusion, or “brain fog”
  • Dizziness
  • Tendency to bruise

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Vitamin B12 deficiency and psychological health

There are many mood disorders that can mask underlying symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Likewise, there is a high rate of psychological misdiagnoses that result from undetected vitamin B12 deficiency.

Psychological and cognitive symptoms that may be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Paranoia
  • Anger
  • Apathy
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations

Vitamin B12 deficiency and gastrointestinal health

There are many strong correlations between vitamin B12 deficiency and gastrointestinal disorders. Sometimes, gastrointestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease or fibromyalgia trigger vitamin B12 malabsorption, causing vitamin B12 deficiency. However, there are many cases of vitamin B12 deficiency actually causing problems with digestion and damage to the stomach and esophageal lining.

Symptoms of gastrointestinal damage that occur with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Ulcers in the mouth, stomach or esophagus
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Gastritis
  • Gastric atrophy

Vitamin B12 deficiency and the immune system

Your immune system may also be compromised with long-term vitamin B12 deficiency, reducing our ability to fight viruses, infections, or other diseases.

Immune system conditions associated with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Frequent infections
  • Low blood platelets
  • Low red blood cell production

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency and your eyes

Various eyesight impairments are also associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. They include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Double vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Blind spots
  • Nystagmus

Vitamin B12 deficiency and reproduction

There is a high correlation between long-term vitamin B12 deficiency and problems with infertility and pregnancy.

Symptoms of damage to the reproductive organs resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

  • Difficulty conceiving
  • Frequent miscarriages
  • Low libido

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Vitamin B12 deficiency and the endocrine systems

Conditions that affect the endocrine system that are frequently associated with vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Autoimmune polyglandular deficiency
  • Endocrine organ dysfunction

Vitamin B12 deficiency and the bones

Over time, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to ailments affecting your bone, tissue, and joint health.

Symptoms of musculoskeletal damage from vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Frequent fractures
  • Muscle pain and cramps
  • Muscle twitches and spasms
  • Myopathy

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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- Got this?

Seven Stages of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

B12 Deficiency – a Multi-system Polyglandular Multi-point syndrome

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- Got this?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

 

 

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can impair a wide range of bodily functions, including your neurological, metabolic, and emotional health. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may vary for each individual, but the most common symptoms are consistent with the level of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) depletion. Here are some warning signs that may indicate the earliest or most advanced stages of vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- Got this? B12 Patch

What is vitamin B12 deficiency?

A vitamin deficiency is what occurs anytime your body doesn’t have enough of a nutrient that it needs in order to fulfill your basic needs.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is one such type of malnourishment that is sometimes caused by diet, but can also result from other factors, such as autoimmune disorder, medications, illness, or surgical procedures. Of all forms of malnourishment, vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are the most common in the US.

Undetected Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Why is B12 off the Radar?

What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in all animal-based foods. If you regularly include plenty of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk in your diet, then you probably won’t develop symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, as your body is able to store several years’ worth of vitamin B12 in the liver at one time.  If you are a vegan, then you must supplement with vitamin B12 regularly, in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.

Even if you are a meat-eater, you may still be at risk for suffering a slow depletion of vitamin B12. People with a family history for pernicious anemia, a condition sometimes caused by autoimmune disorders, should check their vitamin B12 levels regularly, in addition to looking out for symptoms indicating vitamin B12 deficiency.

Also, if you regularly suffer gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, vomiting, acid reflux, or stomach ulcers, then you may need to replenish your vitamin B12 levels. Illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, migraines, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome are all high risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.

Patients of gastric bypass surgery or ileostomy should also be on the alert for warning symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, as removal of the ileum interferes with vitamin B12 absorption.

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Why you need vitamin B12

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency manifest themselves in many areas of the body, as vitamin B12 is crucial for a wide range of biochemical functions.

  • Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system by maintaining healthy myelin, a coating that encases each nerve cell, enhancing intercellular communication and preserving nerve cell integrity.
  • Vitamin B12 also regulates DNA synthesis, in supporting formation of healthy red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B12 increases stamina, as it aids in converting carbohydrates into usable energy.
  • Vitamin B12 also promotes cognitive health, as it helps to delay the onset of dementia caused by old age.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Here is a short list of the most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, ranging in order from the mild deficiency to severe depletion.

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Facial twitching
  • Confusion (“brain fog”)
  • Sore red tongue
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Disorientation
  • Sleep problems
  • Vision problems
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Muscular weakness
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Difficulty walking without stumbling
  • Difficulty balancing on one foot
  • Impaired control of arm and leg muscles
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty controlling bladder or bowel movements
  • Severe physical handicaps involving mobility

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:

Foot Numbness- 5 Likely Reasons your Feet feel like Pin Cushions

Am I Getting Enough Vitamin B12?

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

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Why B12 Blood Tests are an Epic Fail

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

 

 

This may come as a shock, but your vitamin B12 blood test was probably inaccurate.  Because they count total vitamin B12, as opposed to specifically active B12 levels, serum vitamin B12 testing fails to give a true diagnosis.  As a result, you may have received a positive result when, in reality, you may still have vitamin B12 deficiency.

WHY B12 BLOOD TESTS ARE AN EPIC FAIL

What is active B12?

Active vitamin B12 is cobalamin that has bound itself to the protein transcobalamin (TC), forming a vitamin B12 complex known as holotranscobalamin (HoloTC), or active vitamin B12.

Active vitamin B12 is the only type that your body is able to access and use for neurological health, energy production, and red blood cell distribution.

A deficiency in active vitamin B12 is what causes symptoms like brain fog, painful tingling and numbness, depression, and chronic fatigue.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Unfortunately, active vitamin B12 has a very short life expectancy…

What is inactive B12?

Not all cobalamin you consume is usable. When cobalamin binds itself instead to haptocorrin (HC), it becomes HoloHC, a B12 complex that lacks cellular receptors, making it a passive, or inactive, form of vitamin B12. Your body is unable to make use of HoloHC outside of the liver.

There are no reported symptoms of a deficiency in HoloHC.

Roughly 70-90% of cobalamin in your body is comprised of inactive vitamin B12 (HoloHC).

Looks can be deceiving

According to standard B12 testing, anybody with less than 148pmol/L (200pg/mL) of vitamin B12 in the blood is diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency.  Regardless of the absence of symptoms indicating vitamin B12 deficiency (tiredness, memory loss, tingling in the hands and feet), you will be told that you have vitamin deficiency if you don’t meet this threshold.

According to this study on vitamin B12 screening that is exactly what happens in many cases; a significant number of people tested for vitamin B12 deficiency received a positive diagnosis because their total vitamin B12 levels were low, even though they exhibited none of the telltale symptoms. This may be called a “false positive,” because in reality, their active vitamin B12 levels might have been normal.

The opposite is also true; a B12 blood test result indicating normal cobalamin levels does not, in reality, confirm the absence of vitamin B12 deficiency. Because standard B12 testing only tests for total cobalamin, as opposed to usable (active) cobalamin, one can have all the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia without ever receiving a diagnosis…or treatment.

Scientists estimate that half of all people who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency do not receive treatment, because of false B12 test results.

WHY B12 BLOOD TESTS ARE AN EPIC FAIL

Will the real B12 please stand up?

Only by testing for active vitamin B12 in the blood can doctors efficiently and accurately diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency, as indicated in this study on Holotranscobalamin levels in patients with B12 deficiency.

In scientific studies proving that vitamin B12 delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists tested for active vitamin B12, HoloHC, not total B12 levels.

Too little, too late

Because of current methods of testing for vitamin B12 deficiency, you are not likely to receive treatment until you start experiencing the signs, and damage, linked with insufficient vitamin B12 levels. This is tragic, because nerve cells lost to B12 deficiency can never be recovered in its advanced stages.  Also, until active vitamin B12 levels are restored, you are at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

Go with your gut

Currently, testing for active vitamin B12 is not the norm.  If you believe that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, but your doctor doesn’t, you have a few options.

  • Refer to the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms checklist, and ask your doctor to prescribe vitamin B12 shots, even if your B12 blood tests came back normal.
  • Seek another doctor’s advice.
  • Visit a neurologist.

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+.

You might also like:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency-13 Illnesses that Block B12 Absorption

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

Active B12- The Next Level of B12 Testing

Laboratory Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Low vitamin B-12 status in confirmed Alzheimer’s disease as revealed by serum holotranscobalamin

Screening for vitamin B12 Deficiency: Caveat Emptor

Cobalamin Status (Holo-Transcobalamin, Methylmalonic Acid) and Folate as Determinants of Homocysteine Concentration

Images:

LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY


Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

 

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, you’re probably wondering, “How did this happen?”  Unless you’re a vegan or a gastric bypass patient, it’s possible that vitamin B12 deficiency resulted from an autoimmune disorder that causes pernicious anemia.

IS VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER? YUP. B12 PATCH

Vitamin B12 deficiency- what are the symptoms?

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining your nervous system, psychological health, and your metabolism.  Pernicious anemia causes a wide range of debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily life, and is one cause of B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia may include:

  • Everyday fatigue, despite sleeping well
  • Brain fog- confusion
  • Impaired concentration
  • Impaired memory
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Painful numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Tingling or burning sensation in mouth and tongue
  • Slower reflexes
  • Difficulty walking normally
  • Stomach upset
  • Infertility or frequent miscarriages and stillbirths

IS VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER? YUP. B12 PATCH

Vitamin B12 deficiency- what are the causes?

There are many reasons why an individual may develop vitamin B12 deficiency.  First off, if you eat a diet rich in sources of vitamin B12, including beef, poultry, fish, and milk, then you should not under any normal circumstances become deficient in vitamin B12 levels.

  • Following a vegan diet is a major risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal-based foods, the richest sources being liver, shellfish, and many lean meats.  Unless you supplement your vegan diet with vitamin B12, then you will eventually become depleted, as few plant-based products are infused with substantial amounts of vitamin B12.
  • Certain lifestyle choices may interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, including stomach or intestinal surgery (such as gastric bypass), alcohol abuse, and using certain B12-inhibiting medications (such as metformin or protein pump inhibitors [PPIs]).
  • Gastrointestinal diseases, in addition to other diseases that include GI malfunction, may cause vitamin B12 deficiency.  These include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, migraine disorder, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • The elderly do not produce enough stomach acid to digest vitamin B12 fully, so they are a separate risk group for vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • If none of the above-mentioned risk factors pertain to you, then it’s entirely possible that you suffer from an autoimmune disorder that prevents you from absorbing vitamin B12 from dietary sources.  Autoimmune pernicious anemia may take decades to develop and typically goes unnoticed until you reach your thirties or forties.


Vitamin B12 deficiency from autoimmune disorder

In order to get vitamin B12 into your blood supply, you need certain digestive enzymes to help you access vitamin B12 from the foods you eat.  Intrinsic factor is that necessary enzyme that your body uses to absorb vitamin B12.

For some people, certain antibodies interfere with intrinsic factor, causing your immune system to malfunction.  If you have one of the antibodies that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, then you will never be able to digest vitamin B12, no matter how many hamburgers or fish dinners you eat in your lifetime.

“I’ve heard of the X Factor and Fear Factor…But what’s Intrinsic Factor?”

Three types of antibodies cause vitamin B12 deficiency- pernicious anemia.  They include:

  • Parietal cell antibody, which prevents the production of intrinsic factor in the stomach.
  • Intrinsic factor antibody, type 1, which prevents the bonding of vitamin B12 to intrinsic factor.  About 50%-60% of pernicious anemia patients have this type of antibody.
  • Intrinsic factor antibody, type 2, which allows bonding of vitamin B12 to intrinsic factor, but prevents bonding with receptor from the ileum (the bottommost part of your small intestine).

If you’ve been tested for vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important that you also take a blood test for the pernicious anemia antibody.  Many doctors overlook this important screening, so you might need to ask for it.

Vitamin B12 deficiency autoimmune disorder requires vitamin B12  from non-oral sources, such as vitamin B12 injections, which are available only through prescription.

Please tell us…

Have you tested for vitamin B12 deficiency, but not for the intrinsic factor or parietal cell antibodies?

If you get vitamin B12 shots…do you still experience pernicious anemia symptoms like fatigue, memory loss, brain fog, and nerve pain?

Questions or comments?  Please let us know!

Share with your friends!

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

Read more about pernicious anemia:

Diagnosing Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pernicious Anemia: Top 10 Tests

WhichTests check Absorption of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12- How much do you need?

Sources:

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Studies on Antibody to Intrinsic Factor

Images:

euthman, David Castillo Dominici

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