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Posts Tagged ‘Vitamin B12 malabsorption’

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 in the distal bowel – 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

99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Monday, December 9th, 2013

 

 

Still think vitamin B12 deficiency is something that can be ignored? If you have any of the most common symptoms- fatigue, depression, memory loss, painful “pins and needles” in the hands and feet- then you may be surprised to learn that there’s a lot more to pernicious anemia than beats the eye.

99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Vitamin B12- You need this!

Vitamin B12 is essential for so many primary biological functions that are necessary for survival- your nervous system, hormonal balance, cognitive functioning, metabolism, cell formation, to name just a few. It’s no wonder that when vitamin B12 levels are even marginally low, the results can range from annoying and disturbing to debilitating and catastrophic.

Pernicious anemia

In years past, pernicious anemia from severe vitamin B12 deficiency used to be fatal. Today, thanks to vitamin B12 supplementation, we are able to maintain normal levels of vitamin B12, even in spite of vitamin B12 malabsorption from autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses.

But until you learn to recognize the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you’re at risk for pernicious anemia and all the damage that it can cause throughout your system.

Symptoms of low B12

Here are 99 ailments that often occur in people with moderate to severe vitamin B12 deficiency, including comorbid conditions and direct symptoms.

  1. Symptoms of anemia- peripheral (megaloblastic) anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency
  2. Painful tingling and numbness in extremities (hands, fingers, toes)- paresthesias
  3. Peripheral nerve damage from demyelination
  4. Poor motor control in arms and legs
  5. Constantly dropping things
  6. Dizziness, poor equilibrium
  7. Gait disturbances, difficulty walking straight
  8. Vertigo, sensation of spinning when at rest
  9. Confusion
  10. Slow thinking, brain fog
  11. Difficulty remembering words or names
  12. Agitation
  13. Depression
  14. Chronic overwhelming fatigue
  15. Poor concentration, attention problems
  16. Difficulty completing tasks
  17. Mood changes
  18. Memory loss
  19. Unusual sudden anger
  20. Psychosis
  21. Age-related dementia
  22. Paranoia
  23. Hallucinations
  24. Anxiety attacks, panic
  25. Sore muscles, painful burning
  26. Tremors, trembling
  27. Frequent muscle fatigue
  28. Difficulty building muscle tissue, even with exercise
  29. Exercise requires several days of recuperation
  30. Neck pain
  31. Headaches
  32. Tight muscle pain in the arms and legs
  33. Joint pain
  34. Morning muscular stiffness
  35. Muscle spasms, twitches
  36. Tender spots as evident in fibromyalgia
  37. Bursitis- pain in elbows, shoulders, and hips
  38. Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods- pain in mouth, teeth
  39. Sore tongue, burning sensation
  40. Red tongue that is abnormally smooth, without texture
  41. Canker sores, mouth pain
  42. Sores at corners of mouth
  43. Dry mouth
  44. Altered sense of taste
  45. Unusual thirst
  46. Metallic taste in mouth
  47. Olfactory hallucinations
  48. Pain in bladder without uterine infection
  49. Stomach pain
  50. Nausea
  51. Constant bloating
  52. Difficulty swallowing food
  53. “Frog in throat” sensation
  54. Acid reflux, GERD
  55. Heartburn
  56. Flatulence
  57. Loss of appetite
  58. Constipation
  59. Diarrhea
  60. Esophageal ulcers
  61. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)f, Crohn’s disease
  62. Dairy sensitivity
  63. Unusual weight loss or weight gain
  64. Poor libido
  65. Hormonal problems
  66. Low sperm count
  67. Erectile dysfunction
  68. Infertility
  69. Post-partum depression
  70. Frequent miscarriage, early abortion
  71. Failure to thrive in infancy
  72. Language delays
  73. PMS, difficult menstrual periods
  74. Chronic yeast infections
  75. Early onset menopause
  76. Pale complexion
  77. Heart palpitations
  78. Shortness of breath
  79. Weak pulse
  80. Thyroid disorders- Hashimoto’s
  81. High levels of homocysteine
  82. Sensory issues- hypersensitivity to touch, scents, textures, tastes, bright lights  and noises
  83. Sleep problems, insomnia
  84. Sleep that does not restore energy
  85. Night terrors
  86. Vision problems- blurring, photosensitivity, poor night vision
  87. Optic neuritis
  88. Tinnitus – ringing in ears
  89. Hyperacusis- extreme sensitivity to sounds
  90. Low body temperature, always feeling chilled
  91. Neural tube defect in children
  92. “Electric shocks,” pain that shoots down arms and legs when you bend your neck
  93. Poor reflexes from impaired nerve cells
  94. Frequent bruising
  95. Constantly itchy skin
  96. Eczema
  97. Early graying of hair
  98. Hair loss
  99. Thin brittle nails with ridges

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

 

 

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

These Foods are Highest in Vitamin B12

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

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

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

Foods highest in vitamin B12

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

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

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Shellfish

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

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

Organ meat

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

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

Red meat

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

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

Milk and eggs

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

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

Please tell us…

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

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

Five Fat-Burning Foods Rich in Vitamin B12

Benefits and Sources of Vitamin B12, and How to Avoid Deficiency

The DASH Diet: Good Source of B12?

Image courtesy of jiggoja/freedigitalphotos

Stomach Bloating from B12 Deficiency? Yes, It Happens.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

 

 

If you suffer from constant lot of stomach bloating and other signs of indigestion, it can be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. Your ability to digest vitamin B12 and use it to prevent pernicious anemia can be traced directly to the environment in your gut. Symptoms of stomach bloating can be the first clue in distinguishing why you’re suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, and how to prevent it.

Stomach Bloating from B12 Deficiency? Yes, It Happens.

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

When your digestive system is not working properly, then you’re not getting enough vitamin B12. That’s because unlike other vitamins, B12 cannot be absorbed from foods without the help of certain digestive enzymes that are produced by your parietal cells of the stomach.  

Gastritis (stomach inflammation) is one of several causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.

So even though you eat plenty of meat, chicken, and fish, you aren’t getting the vitamin B12 you need in order to survive. And it all stems from your gastrointestinal health.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Pernicious anemia occurs in the stomach

Intrinsic factor is one such protein that your body needs, both to extract cobalamin (vitamin B12) from food and to utilize it efficiently so that it reaches your blood stream.

But with digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease, or if there is any type of damage to your esophagus, stomach walls, or intestinal tract, then you run a high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, and possibly pernicious anemia.

So while people assume that pernicious anemia is a blood disease, it really begins in the stomach, with bloating, acid reflux, and heartburn.

Symptoms of stomach disorders

The following symptoms, if they occur often, may indicate a breakdown in your digestive system that requires immediate treatment in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and many other ailments:

  • Acid reflux
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Stomach bloating
  • Hardening of the stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • “Lump” in your throat
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Frequent burping
  • Flatulence

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

Comorbid illnesses

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are comorbid with vitamin B12 deficiency, as are many other autoimmune disorders and chronic pain conditions.

The following illnesses and health problems cause damage to the stomach that may also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Migraines
  • Celiac disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Diverticulitis
  • Esophageal stricture

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing stomach bloating and other signs of digestive disorders, but didn’t realize they were connected to 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:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

Here’s your Crohn’s Disease Survival Kit

Image courtesy of Ohmega1982/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Vitamin B12 deficiency and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria are linked in several studies as having a strong causative correlation with each other. Even in people without gastritis or other digestive problems, scientists have detected H. pylori bacteria in more than half of patients suffering from pernicious anemia due to untreated vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by H. Pylori Infection

H. pylori causes vitamin B12 deficiency

H. pylori bacteria damages parietal cells needed to produce intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme which helps to absorb vitamin B12 from the foods we eat.

There are many causes of vitamin B12 deficiency, and if you live in a developed country, then you can probably overrule H. pylori infection.

Still, the numbers add up; about half of the world’s population is carriers of these harmful bacteria, so it’s a good idea to check this one off your list of possible causes of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In a Turkish study on vitamin B12 deficiency and H. pylori, researchers studied 138 patients with pernicious anemia, and discovered the H. pylori infection in 56% of vitamin B12 deficiency sufferers.

Furthermore, removing the bacteria resulted in higher vitamin B12 levels in 40% of afflicted patients, proving that the helicobacter pylori infection can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

In a study based in Pakistan and published by the World Applied Sciences Journal, vitamin B12 deficiency was observed in nearly half of test subjects afflicted with H. Pylori.

In another study, H. pylori has been detected in nearly 78% of people suffering from severe vitamin B12 deficiency, compared with 44% of test subjects with normal healthy levels of vitamin B12.

Who gets H. pylori?

According to studies, H. pylori infections affect more than half of the world’s population, though about 80% will never notice the symptoms.

Still, H. pylori as a cause of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia can be difficult to diagnose, particularly in developed countries where it is not a high risk factor.

H. pylori infection is recognized as a public health problem, and is often associated with stomach ulcers.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

H. pylori bacteria can be spread through contaminated food, saliva, vomit, and fecal matter.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of H. pylori also occur with vitamin B12 deficiency; this is not surprising, as gastric dysfunctions are common causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.

Symptoms of H. pylori include:

  • Stomach pain, bloating
  • Frequent burping
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Black stools
  • Tar-like vomit

Treatment options

To treat vitamin B12 deficiency caused by H. pylori, it’s important to remove the bacteria while also boosting vitamin B12 levels.

Treatments include:

  • Probiotics (beneficial bacteria)
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Antibiotics
  • Acid suppression
  • Intense vitamin B12 supplementation

Please tell us…

Have you been tested for H. pylori with vitamin B12 deficiency?

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Genetic Mutation?

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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

Sources:

Helicobacter pylori: A Cause of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Impact of Helicobacter pylori on the development of vitamin B12 deficiency in the absence of gastric atrophy

Image courtesy of fotographic1980/freedigitalphotos

Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

Friday, October 11th, 2013

 

 

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

Multiple Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

How much vitamin B12 do you need?

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

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Serum Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Test

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

Complete blood count (CBC)

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

Methylmalonic Acid Tes

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

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

Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody (IFAB) Test

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

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

Schilling Test

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

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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

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

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

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

Please tell us…

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

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Image courtesy of Thirteen Of Clubs/flickr

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

 

 

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia that occurs with severe vitamin B12 deficiency. To find the right treatment and understand symptoms of fatigue, depression, and chronic pain, it helps to understand how pernicious anemia impairs your red blood cells and what you can do for prevention.

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Megaloblastic anemia

There are several types of anemia, and they are usually classified by the way they impair red blood cells in size and shape. Specifically, megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which red blood cells called megaloblasts become too large to function properly, resulting in fewer healthy red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen throughout your body; symptoms of memory loss, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and agitation occur when your vital organs and tissues don’t receive enough oxygen.

Quick facts:

  • With megaloblastic anemia, your body starts producing red blood cells that are overlarge, misshapen, and poorly developed.
  • New red blood cells do not mature- they die before their life expectancy.
  • Healthy red blood cells become replaced by these distorted megaloblasts.
  • Bone marrow starts producing fewer red blood cells.
  • Your body starts receiving less oxygen, causing a breakdown in various bodily functions of the organs, tissues, and nervous system.

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 found in meat, fish, dairy, and egg products. Since vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell production, long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can progress into severe pernicious anemia, a once-fatal condition that is now prevented through vitamin B12 supplementation.

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Quick facts:

  • Pernicious anemia occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Pernicious anemia used to be fatal, until scientists discovered that symptoms could be cured with vitamin B12 supplementation.
  • Foods richest in vitamin B12 are seafood and organ meats.
  • Even if you eat plenty of beef, chicken, and fish, you may still have vitamin B12 deficiency through lack of intrinsic factor, an enzyme needed to digest and absorb vitamin B12.
  • Pernicious anemia is one type of megaloblastic anemia; another type occurs with folic acid deficiency.

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

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with pernicious anemia or another type of megaloblastic anemia? If so, what kind of vitamin B12 supplements do you use- vitamin B12 shots or over-the-counter vitamin B12?

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:

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be

Image courtesy of Genista/flickr

Vitamin B12 for Fibromyalgia- How Much do you Need?

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

 

 

To keep providing energy, strength, and mental focus when fibromyalgia relapses occur, you need to nourish your body with many essential nutrients, including vitamin B12. Taking vitamin B12 supplements is a crucial part of any fibromyalgia management regimen, but it’s important to also get plenty of vitamins from the foods you eat.

Vitamin B12 for Fibromyalgia- How Much do you Need?

To manage fibromyalgia symptoms such as brain fog, vitamin B12 deficiency, muscle aches, and chronic fatigue, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, and sustaining normal levels of vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

Also read Vitamin B12 for Fibromyalgia- Food Sources!

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

Vitamin B12 malabsorption is common in people with fibromyalgia, because of gastrointestinal disorders that prevent you from digesting proper amounts vitamin B12 from the foods you eat.

To maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels, you would need to take about 1,000mcg of vitamin B12 weekly, the amount of vitamin B12 included in a typical vitamin B12 shot or other non-dietary B12 supplement.

Comparatively speaking, that’s about 11 servings of cooked clams each week, just to prevent developing severe pernicious anemia.

To avoid symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia that mimic fibromyalgia- fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, depression, and muscle pain- you would have to consume many times more than the suggested dosage of vitamin B12 from foods such as clams, crabs, oysters, and other types of seafood.

How much B12 do you need?

There’s no upper limit set for vitamin B12 supplementation- any amount you decide to take is completely safe and cannot cause any side effects, according to FDA guidelines.

Generally, in the case of vitamin B12 malabsorption with fibromyalgia, the more vitamin B12 you take, the better off you are. There doesn’t seem to be any amount of vitamin B12 that is “too much.”

More often, the amount of vitamin B12 you get from prescription supplements such as vitamin B12 shots are often not enough to relieve symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, such as constant tiredness, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, or painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

To get the most vitamin B12, it’s important to eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12, in addition to also maintaining a routine of vitamin B12 supplementation, adjusting the regimen until you find the right amount of vitamin B12 to prevent symptoms.

Your turn!

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Image courtesy of Piyachok Thawornmat/freedigitalphotos/

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

 

 

If you have a family history for pernicious anemia or other autoimmune disorders, then your chances of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are higher than normal, even if you eat a diet rich in foods containing this vital nutrient. Below are common risk factors for vitamin B12 malabsorption.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption? B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

Several factors can interfere with your ability to digest vitamin B12, regardless of your diet. Vitamin B12 malabsorption can result from autoimmune disorders, old age, gastritis, or certain medications.

  • Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disorder which prevents you from manufacturing or accessing intrinsic factor correctly, resulting in severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Sometimes, pernicious anemia is caused by gastrointestinal damage (atrophic gastritis) from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • Old age is another risk factor for vitamin B12 malabsorption, as elderly individuals often do not make enough digestive enzymes to break down vitamin B12.
  • Surgeries involving removal of the ileum, such as gastric bypass surgery, also impair your ability to digest vitamin B12 naturally, necessitating vitamin B12 supplementation.
  • If you take protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD, or metformin for diabetes, then you may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, as certain medications interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.
  • Scientists have found a high correlation between various autoimmune disorders and increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12 malabsorption is one of many damaging effects of alcoholism, as recognized by many scientists.

Treating vitamin B12 malabsorption

If vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by an underlying condition, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or acid reflux, then it is necessary to treat the primary illness in order to improve your ability to digest vitamin B12.

However, in the case of autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia, where intrinsic factor antibodies are diagnosed as the cause of vitamin B12 malabsorption, there is no “cure.”

In any case, only immediate and complete vitamin B12 supplementation can effective raise your vitamin B12 levels back to where they should be.

To maintain healthy levels of vitamin B12 in the blood, and avoid debilitating symptoms of fatigue and chronic pain, it may be necessary to continue with a regimen of non-dietary vitamin B12 for life.

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:

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Sources:

How Is Vitamin B12 Absorbed by the Body?

Vitamin B12

Parietal Cells in Health and Diseases

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Does GERD cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

 

 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) does more than just give you constant heartburn- chronic acid reflux can create a host of ailments that many people don’t link with symptoms of GERD, including vitamin B12 deficiency.

Does GERD cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency? B12 Patch

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive system disorder which prevents food from traveling through your stomach and intestines, and instead causes the food you eat, along with digestive enzymes, to seep back through the esophagus, causing irritation, heartburn, and other debilitating symptoms.

11 Surprising Symptoms of GERD

GERD and vitamin B12 deficiency

If you take GERD medications, protein pump inhibitors (PPIs), then you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

That’s because your body relies on certain digestive enzymes in order to properly extract vitamin B12 (cobalamin) from the foods you eat- meat, fish, and poultry.

As the function of GERD medications is to stop making these digestive enzymes, your body’s ability to manufacture intrinsic factor is impaired, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption, a condition in which vitamin B12 travels through your esophagus and the rest of your GI tract, without ever getting digested or distributed through the blood, resulting in severe vitamin B12 deficiency, or vitamin B12 anemia.

Because of GERD medications for acid reflux, vitamin B12 deficiency is often a comorbid condition of GERD, one that goes undetected for years, until depleted levels of vitamin B12 begin to manifest themselves by producing debilitating ailments, symptoms which are not always linked automatically to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms indicating vitamin B12 deficiency, which may occur as an indirect result of GERD, include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Painful tingling in the hands and feet (pins and needles)
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms, twitches
  • Vision problems
  • Stomachaches
  • Diarrhea

Take action

If you suffer from GERD and take PPIs or medications which reduce stomach acids, then it’s important to get your vitamin B12 levels checked frequently with a simple blood test.

If you are B12 deficient, and you wish to continue taking GERD medicines, then you will need to supplement with mega-doses of non-dietary vitamin B12, until your vitamin B12 levels get back to normal.

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:

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

GERD led to B12 Deficiency- What do I eat now?

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Sources:

Gastroesophageal reflux disease- PubMed Health

B12 deficiency: a silent epidemic with serious consequences

Image(s) courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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