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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 injections’

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.

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Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Image courtesy of razvan ionut/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Injection Pain- 7 Helpful Tips

Monday, June 17th, 2013

 

 

Nobody loves getting injections, but if you need regular vitamin B12 supplements, then you’re all too familiar with vitamin B12 injection pain. The dull throbbing and soreness, side effects of prescribed intramuscular (IM) injections can last forever, even if you self-inject vitamin B12 in the comfort of your own home. Listed are some helpful tips for reducing localized muscular pain and irritation caused by vitamin B12 injections.

Vitamin B12 Injection Pain- 7 Helpful Tips

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia or as a result of bariatric surgery, then you must supplement with vitamin B12 regularly in order to prevent debilitating symptoms such as fatigue, depression, muscle pain, memory loss, and other signs of cognitive and neurological breakdown.

Vitamin B12 injections are not for the faint of heart, though, as they must be inserted in thick, deep muscular tissue in order to work.

1- Ice the injection site

Before injecting with vitamin B12, apply ice to your thigh, hip, or groin- wherever you plan on inserting the needle. If the B12 shot is painful, then your muscles impulsively flex as a reaction to the needle’s insertion. By numbing the skin at the injection site first with ice or topical creams, then you reduce some the bruising and soreness that come with weekly or monthly vitamin B12 injections.

2- Vary the injection site

If you receive vitamin B12 injections often, then it’s important not to use the same location on the body as your injection site two times in a row. Alternate between right and left, and experiment with popular points for injecting vitamin B12, such as the thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, or upper arm.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- Best Body Parts

3- Relax

This may be a hard pill to swallow, especially if you’re usually nervous about sharp needles, but it really does help to sit in a comfortable position before submitting to a vitamin B12 shot, and force your muscles to relax as the needle goes in and the thick fluid enters your muscular tissue.

4- Ask for help

It’s okay to pass the needle to somebody else, even if you’ve opted for vitamin B12 self-injections. Ask a close friend, companion, spouse, or relative to learn how to administer vitamin B12 shots, or at least hold a mirror for you while you give yourself the injection, and rub out the pain afterwards to prevent bruising and other painful side effects.

5- Distraction helps

If your child requires vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis, then keeping her mind occupied on something else for just a few seconds can help to reduce the fear and the pain. According to a study on injection pain in children, putting on some music, handing her a toy, or telling a story are proven methods for enhancing injection pain relief.

Preparing your Children for Shots- 6 Tips to Ease the Pain

6- Talk to your doctor

If the vitamin B12 injection site hurts for more than a few days, then visit your doctor. Warning signs of intramuscular injection damage include redness, increased swelling, fever, and warmth of the skin at the injection site.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings

7- Consider alternatives

If you can’t hack the pain, then know that there are alternatives to vitamin B12 shots.

Some vitamin manufacturers offer gentle, non-dietary forms of vitamin B12 that don’t require injection with sharp needles, yet contain the same 1,000mcg dose of essential vitamin B12 nutrients.

Alternative vitamin B12 supplementation is also a healthy, safe way to boost energy levels between vitamin B12 injections, when your doctor doesn’t prescribe enough vitamin B12 to alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, painful numbness and tingling, and memory problems.

Your turn!

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

Share with your friends!

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Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Shots- Side Effects

Itchy Skin Patches from Vitamin B12 Shots

Sources:

Vitamin B12 Injections Side Effects

Tips to ease injection site soreness

A Guide to Post-Injection Muscular Pain

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Shots- Side Effects

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 shots are one of several options for people suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Sometimes, people complain of side effects immediately after getting a B12 injection, such as dizziness and pain.

Vitamin B12 Shots- Side Effects- B12 shots

You can’t overdose on vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is one of those nutrients that are impossible to get too much of. Any excess amount of vitamin B12 that you take, whether it’s from a vitamin B12 shot or similar supplement, is excreted out of your body in your urine. There are currently no FDA regulations regarding maximum intakes of vitamin B12- any amount, even mega-doses are completely safe.

So, if you feel light-headed or nauseous after getting a B12 injection, rest assured that you haven’t OD’d on B12- it’s just not possible.

You can be sensitive to B12 shots, though

Still, some people may have an extreme reaction to injections, specifically. This may result from bruising on the injection site, blood clotting, skin infection, or a heart condition.

Because cobalamin must be injected into thick, muscular tissue in order to be effective, vitamin B12 shots are usually quite painful, during insertion and for several minutes afterwards.

Symptoms associated with vitamin B12 shots may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Itchy skin rash, or hives
  • Swelling
  • Pain and bruising at the injection site
  • Scarring at the shot site
  • Infection

Tips for B12 shot users

If you’re currently administering your own vitamin B12 shots, then follow these basic guidelines:

  • Become familiar with which body parts are optimal for injecting vitamin B12. Choose well-developed muscles in the hips, thighs, or abdomen over weaker, less fleshy parts of the body.
  • Rotate injection sites whenever possible, in order to prevent nerve damage.
  • Avoid hitting a vein or artery. If you notice bleeding, pull out immediately.

For more tips, read Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings

Alternatives to B12 shots

Thankfully, there are several options available to people with vitamin B12 deficiency that prefer to avoid injections.

Sublingual vitamin B12 tablets are often effective, but need to be taken as instructed by the manufacturer. Allow the B12 tablet to dissolve under your tongue for ½ hour, for optimal digestion.

Avoid vitamin B12 pills, as most people diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency are unable to digest them efficiently.

Also, non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements provide a safe, gentle and digestible alternative to vitamin B12 shots, and are available over the counter.

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:

Preparing your Children for Shots- 6 Tips to Ease the Pain

Sources:

B12 Injections Side Effects

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

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

 

 

Self-injecting vitamin B12 shots can be scary at times, and for good reason. Vitamin B12 shots are inserted intramuscularly, through the thickest, fleshiest and nerve-riddled parts of the body. If you’re considering self-administering vitamin B12 shots to treat pernicious anemia, then it’s important to speak with your doctor first, and learn some basic methods and precautions.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- 12 Tips and Warnings- B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling fatigued, achy, and weak for weeks, or months, unless treated immediately. Self-injecting with vitamin B12 shots is a good way to take control of your own supplementation and ensure a speedy recovery, but there are drawbacks. Here are some helpful tips and safety measures you should consider before starting your own B12 shot regimen for the first time.

B12 shots- tips and warnings

1- Speak with your doctor about the advantages…and risks involved in self-injecting vitamin B12. Have a professional give you proper instruction on the best way of administering vitamin B12 shots without causing damage to the skin or nerves.

2- Once you have learned how to prepare and administer your own B12 injections, it’s still a good idea to have somebody else present when you give yourself a shot, just in case you have an ill reaction.

3- Once you have inserted the needle, if you notice any bleeding while drawing back the syringe, then withdraw right away, in order to avoid damaging a vein or artery. Start over afresh, with a new needle, dose of vitamin B12, and a different area of the body.

4- Before drawing liquid vitamin B12 with your syringe, check for any air bubbles that may be trapped in the bottle. Do not use if air bubbles are present.

5- Only inject the needle in areas of the body that are approved for vitamin B12 shot supplementation. These include muscular, fleshy tissue on the buttocks, upper arms, hips, and thighs. Inserting a needle in any other part of the body may cause bruising, bleeding, or damage to your nerves, bones, and veins.

Self-Injecting Vitamin B12 Shots- Best Body Parts

6- Choose well-developed muscular areas over weaker, less muscular body parts.

7- Always rotate injection sites to avoid nerve damage, scarring, or vitamin B12 malabsorption.

8- Injecting vitamin B12 hurts, even when administered correctly. To prevent excess pain, control the syringe evenly and slowly; don’t apply too much pressure on the plunger to hurry the process.

9- When self-injecting vitamin B12 shots, target areas of the body that you can reach easily and comfortably.

10- It’s important to take age into account when considering where to inject vitamin B12 shots, as muscle tone can change with age.

11- Never rub the area after you take out the needle; you will cause bruising. Instead, hold gauze firmly and steadily over the area for a few seconds.

12- Contact your doctor immediately if you notice any severe pain, redness, pus, yellowish fluids, or other signs of infection resulting from vitamin B12 shots.

Alternatives to vitamin B12 shots

Injecting vitamin B12 shots is not for the faint of heart; alternatively, you may also use over-the-counter (OTC) forms of non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements that are just as digestible as vitamin B12 shots, and less invasive.

Sublingual vitamin B12 enters the blood stream without the need for needles, and is available without prescription. Methods for accessing sublingual vitamin B12 varies, from topical applications to oral drops.

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

Vitamin B12: the Energy Elixir

15 Chronic Pain Causes and 15 Treatments (Vitamin B12 is one)

Sources:

Self-Administration of Intramuscular Injection- New England Life Care

How to Give an Intramuscular Injection

How to Self-Inject Vitamin B12

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Alcoholic Neuropathy

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition sometimes inherited, but often also acquired; where there is alcoholism and vitamin B12 deficiency, alcoholic neuropathy (nerve damage) is often a factor. Here are some symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy and vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Alcoholic Neuropathy, Vitamin B12 Patch

What causes alcoholic neuropathy?

Scientists aren’t certain exactly what causes alcoholic neuropathy, but one theory is that long-term alcohol abuse has a toxic effect on the nervous system.  Over time, alcoholics often develop vitamin B12 deficiency that, together with poisoning from alcohol, results in severe irreparable nerve damage, including the destruction of nerve cells.

B12 and Alcohol Consumption

About half of all long-time alcoholics suffer from nerve damage and vitamin B12 deficiency, affecting the central nervous system and peripheral nerves, including the autonomic nervous system that controls internal bodily functions.

Symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy

The earliest symptoms of nerve damage from vitamin B12 deficiency are easily overlooked, especially where alcoholism is a factor. If you feel like you’re always tired and depressed, or have trouble thinking clearly, then that could indicate the onset of neuropathy.  In alcoholics, it’s easy to see how depression can be written off as another result of excess alcohol use.

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

Only a physician can confirm if some of the symptoms you’re experiencing are caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, which is easily treatable with supplementation.

Symptoms of alcoholic neuropathy and vitamin B12 deficiency:

•Painful numbness and tingling in the arms and hands, legs and feet, and tongue (“pins and needles”)

•Weak, sore muscles

•Muscular cramps

•Muscular twitches or tremors

•Muscle atrophy (wasting away)

•Movement disorders

•Infertility

•Incontinence

•Inability to urinate

•Diarrhea

•Constipation

•Extreme sensitivity to heat, particularly after exercising

•Difficulty swallowing food

•Altered taste perception

•“Burning mouth syndrome”

•Speech slurring

•Depression

•“Brain fog”

•Difficulty concentrating

•Anxiety

•Aggressive behavior

•Paranoia

•Short-term memory loss

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Alcoholic Neuropathy, Vitamin B12 Patch

Treatment options

Where alcoholism is the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, only cessation of alcohol abuse can result in a lifelong cure.

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it’s imperative that you request a vitamin B12 blood test from your doctor. While the results aren’t always reliable (they only count total vitamin B12 levels, not active vitamin B12), they can indicate the need for vitamin B12 supplementation.  Overall, your symptoms are the best gauges for deciding how much vitamin B12 you need, and for how long.

If diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, your doctor will prescribe routine vitamin B12 shots (taken intramuscularly), to be followed by long-term vitamin B12 supplements.

Other coping mechanisms for alcoholic neuropathy may include:

•Physical therapy

•Shin splints

•Orthopedic inserts

•Diabetic socks

•Pain relief medication

•Antidepressants

•Anticonvulsants

•Blood pressure medication

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:

5 Ways to Ruin your Memory without getting Vitamin B12 Deficiency

9 Vitamin Deficiencies and the People who are affected by them

Sources:

Alcoholic neuropathy

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Addison’s Disease-Vitamin B12 Deficiency Link

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

 

 

What is Addison’s disease, and why is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency sometimes labeled Addison’s anemia? Here are some facts about B12 deficiency and Addison’s.

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

What is Addison’s disease?

Addison’s disease is a rare illness that destroys the adrenal glands. Since symptoms of Addison’s don’t manifest themselves until the adrenal cortex is nearly obliterated- by 90%- Addison’s disease is difficult to catch in time to prevent damage.

What are the symptoms of Addison’s disease?

Symptoms of advanced-stage Addison’s disease include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Salt cravings
  • Low blood pressure
  • Skin discolorations

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

What causes Addison’s disease?

Addison’s from autoimmune disorder is the most common type, but other rare forms of Addison’s disease occur around the world.

Causes of Addison’s disease include:

  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Fungal infection
  • Adrenal hemorrhage
  • Treatment for Cushing’s disease
  • Some hereditary diseases
  • Secondary Addison’s disease from pituitary gland tumor

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s

Most cases of Addison’s disease result from autoimmune disorder, and approximately half eventually develop other autoimmune diseases such as thyroid malfunctions.

Often, vitamin B12 deficiency also results from an autoimmune disorder- pernicious anemia, which occurs when the stomach is unable to produce or maintain the intrinsic factor enzyme that is necessary for vitamin B12 absorption.

About 5% of patients with autoimmune Addison’s disease may also develop vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia.

Because of the strong link between vitamin B12 deficiency and Addison’s disease, pernicious anemia is sometimes referred to as Addison’s anemia.

Other conditions that correlate with Addison’s include:

  • Vitiligo (white patches on skin)
  • Celiac disease- gluten sensitivity disorder
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle loss
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura)- low blood platelets

THE ADDISON’S DISEASE-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY LINK

Symptoms of pernicious anemia

Blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency and intrinsic factor antibodies can determine if you have pernicious anemia.

Symptoms of pernicious anemia include:

  • Constant fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Mental confusion (brain fog)
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Muscle twitches
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor motor control
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Sore red tongue
  • Burning mouth syndrome

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Pernicious anemia treatment

To replenish vitamin B12 in your blood, a regimen of vitamin B12 injections, are necessary, per doctor’s instructions.

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with Addison’s disease and 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, Facebook, or Google+.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

References:

Living with Addison’s Disease

Images:

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, FRANK AND HELENA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, Ambro

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions

Monday, April 9th, 2012

 

 

If you’ve been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, then you probably have many questions. How did I get vitamin B12 deficiency, and how soon will I start to feel better?  Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions, b12 patch

Q: Why do I need vitamin B12?

A: Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient that controls many essential functions in your body.  People with vitamin B12 deficiency, who don’t have enough vitamin B12 in their blood supply, eventually start to suffer major disorders in parts of their bodies where vitamin B12 is most needed.

Vitamin B12 is essential for the following biological functions:

  • Protecting your nerve cells by sustaining the myelin sheath
  • Promoting healthy red blood cell production
  • Supporting DNA synthesis
  • Maintaining stamina
  • Enhancing cognitive functioning
  • Breaking down homocysteine, a hormone linked with heart attack and stroke
  • Preventing psychosomatic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, like depression, nervousness, paranoia, and anxiety
  • Preventing osteoporosis

Q: Where can I get vitamin B12?

A: Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble nutrient, one of the B-complex vitamins.  Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in all animal-based foods, including beef, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs.  The richest sources of vitamin B12 are liver, clams, crabmeat, lean beef, and halibut.

Q: What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?

A: If you suspect you have vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to get your blood checked immediately.  Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve cell damage and many uncomfortable side effects.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: 9 Frequently Asked Questions, b12 patchCommon symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations
  • Brain fog
  • Sluggish thinking
  • Low concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • Partial paralysis
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Burning sensation in mouth, including lips, gums, and tongue
  • Vision impairments
  • Muscular weakness and pain
  • Bone loss
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Twitching
  • Difficulty walking
  • Poor motor skills
  • Frequent clumsiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux

Q: Who’s at risk for getting vitamin B12 deficiency?

A: Vitamin B12 deficiency remains one of the most widespread sources of malnutrition.  People who are most at risk include:

  • Vegans
  • Anybody suffering from primary or secondary gastrointestinal disorders(gastritis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, autism, migraines)
  • People who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery (ex: gastric bypass, ileostomy)
  • People susceptible to autoimmune disorders (fibromyalgia, celiac disease, diabetes)
  • Diabetics using metformin
  • GERD patients using protein pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • The elderly

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

Q: What is pernicious anemia?

A: Pernicious anemia is a disorder that interferes with production of intrinsic factor, a digestive protein that is crucial for absorbing vitamin B12.  Pernicious anemia patients must supplement with non-dietary vitamin B12 throughout their lives, as they are unable to access B12 from food or pills.

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Q: I have vitamin B12 deficiency. Do I also have pernicious anemia?

A:  Pernicious anemia is a specific form of vitamin B12 deficiency.  There exist only two ways of getting pernicious anemia:

  1. Damage to the stomach lining is one possible cause of pernicious anemia
  2. The existence of one of two intrinsic factor antibodies confirms pernicious anemia as an autoimmune disorder.

Q: If I eat plenty of meat, can I still get vitamin B12 deficiency?

A: YES.  If you are diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency and you’re not a vegan, then you probably fall into the category of people who are unable to digest vitamin B12 naturally from dietary sources, including food and vitamin B12 pills.

Some non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements  include vitamin B12 shots, b12 pills, and vitamin B12 sublingual tablets.

Q: What happens if I take too much vitamin B12?

A: There is no upper limit assigned to vitamin B12, so you can take as much as you like without suffering any side effects.  The same cannot be said about many other vitamins, so always consult in your doctor before starting any new vitamin regimen.

Can Too Much Vitamin B12 be Harmful? 5 Vitamins to Watch Out for

Q: Once I start taking vitamin B12 supplements, how soon will I start to feel better?

A: Once you begin your regimen of vitamin B12, deficiency symptoms will start to decrease immediately, although you might not notice it right away.  Some people notice decreased tingling in their hands and feet and increased stamina as early as hours after getting their first dose of vitamin B12, but for others, results occur more gradually, and may take several months before a noted increase in overall health is realized.

Timing is of utmost importance in treating vitamin B12 deficiency.  If caught early on, then your chances of complete replenishment are excellent.  In its latest stages, vitamin B12 deficiency can result in irreparable nerve damage.

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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+.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Not Getting your Vitamin B12- Mistakes Fibromyalgia Patients Sometimes Make

Sources:

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet:Vitamin B12

B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences

Images:

renjith krishnan, Michal Marcol

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

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often undetected, despite that fact that it’s one of the leading, fastest growing vitamin deficiencies affecting adults across all age groups.  So, why is vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia, so often misdiagnosed or completely ignored?

WHY IS VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY OFF THE RADAR?

Undetected Vitamin B12 deficiency

An estimated 40% of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have mild vitamin B12 deficiency, but most will never get diagnosed- not until their vitamin B12 levels dip to a dangerous low, causing severe neurological, physical, and emotional problems.

Why are doctors missing this?

Although scientists have known about the risks of getting pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency for almost 100 years, many doctors neglect to include vitamin B12 blood testing as part of your routine checkup.  This is one reason that vitamin B12 deficiency often goes undetected or misdiagnosed as other similar ailments like hypothyroid or diabetic neuropathy.

Another possible explanation for undetected vitamin B12 deficiency comes from a disagreement over what constitutes low vitamin B12 levels.  In the US, “normal vitamin B12 levels” may range from 200 and 900 picograms per milliliter.  But many people who report symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency fall into that normal range, so clearly the standard for defining B12 deficiency needs to be updated.

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

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Since vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is such an essential nutrient for your body, the warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are manifested in many seemingly unrelated ailments.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Cognitive decline, including severe memory problems, fatigue, shortened attention span, confusion, brain fog, and trouble concentrating
  • Mental illness, including depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, moodiness, and hallucinations
  • Physical ailments, including painful numbness and tingling in hands and feet, burning mouth sensation, muscular soreness, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and skin itching.
  • Neurological damage, including poor motor control, difficulty walking, muscular twitching, vision problems, and altered taste perception.
  • Cardiovascular risks include breathlessness, heart palpitations, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke because of uncontrolled homocysteine levels.
  • Change of appearance, including pale skin, mouth sores, ridged fingernails, unusual bruising, and thinning hair.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

Say, “I want my B12 test!”

WHY IS VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY OFF THE RADAR? B12 PatchIf you’ve been feeling unusually tired, unfocused, or forgetful, then you should be tested for vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to other potential illnesses that cause similar symptoms.

Even if you eat plenty of B12-rich foods like beef, chicken, and fish, you may still be at risk, as many factors may interfere with your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food.

One blood test is all that is required to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency, so ask for it immediately.  Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may escalate into severe neurological damage, osteoporosis, or heart attack.

Once diagnosed, you may be required to submit to vitamin B12 injections on a regular basis.

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+.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 1: Physical Pain

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

Pernicious Anemia- Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Nerve Rattling- Peripheral Neuropathy

Sources:

B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences

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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