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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 patch’

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

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!

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 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 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

 

 

It’s hard to describe fibromyalgia (FMS) pain, as there are so many different ways that it affects your body.  Nerve pain from vitamin B12 deficiency, which occurs often with fibromyalgia, causes numbness and sharp “pins and needles” sensations.  Being able to explain fibromyalgia pain to your doctor is essential for finding the right therapy. Here are some clues to help you identify the type of fibromyalgia symptoms you’re experiencing.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Hyperalgesia fibromyalgia pain

Hyperalgesia refers to a hyperactive response to pain (algesia).  With fibromyalgia, pain signals are amplified. What would normally score a “2” on the pain Richter scale for others might peak to a “5” or “6” for a fibromyalgia patient. This occurs as a result of nerve cells that overreact to pain triggers.

In the Search for a Fibromyalgia Doctor, Start Here

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND FIBROMYALGIA PAIN TYPES

RX: Drugs like Lyrica and Cymbalta are often prescribed to treat nerve pain from fibromyalgia.  Vitamin B12 is also helpful for preventing destruction of nerve cells.

Allodynia fibromyalgia pain

Similar to Hyperalgesia, allodynia is also an overreaction to sensors that causes immense nerve pain. Only instead of amplifying common pain triggers, allodynia produces a pain response to mild sensations such as the touch of a wool blanket or a chill breeze.

Tactile allodynia can feel like sunburn. Only instead of being caused by overexposure to the sun’s rays, it can be triggered by gentle pressure, such as a snug blouse.

Mechanical allodynia is similar, but caused by movement over your skin, such as a backrub.

Thermal allodynia is a pain response to moderate hot or cold temperatures.

Other people who may suffer from allodynia are people with peripheral neuropathy, such as occurs in pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, a comorbid condition with fibromyalgia.

Chronically Pained? Here’s your Essential Chronic Pain Checklist…

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND FIBROMYALGIA PAIN TYPES

RX: Topical lotions like Tiger Balm and capsaicin may provide temporary relief from allodynia pain.  Prescription drugs may include Tramadol, Lidocaine, or morphine, depending on the pain severity.

It’s worth noting that if vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with fibromyalgia, long-term supplementation with vitamin B12 is required for complete treatment of nerve pain.

Paresthesia fibromyalgia pain

Paresthesia is a type of nerve pain that makes your skin “crawl.” That’s the best description that fibromyalgia patients offer to sum up the painful prickling, burning, and numbness experienced with paresthesia.

Besides fibromyalgia, other causes of paresthesia are peripheral neuropathy from vitamin B12 deficiency, multiple sclerosis, and migraines.

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

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND FIBROMYALGIA PAIN TYPES

RX: Certain antidepressants like SSRIs and SNRIs may help to reduce paresthesia nerve pain.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain TypesAlso, as vitamin B12 is essential for protecting the nerve cells, many fibromyalgia patients who receive prescription vitamin B12 shots see a significant improvement after a short time.

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:

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

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

What is hyperalgesia? What is allodynia?

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Types

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Vitamin B12: the Energy Elixir

Monday, June 11th, 2012

 

 

Why use vitamin B12 for energy? Brain fog, depression, and fatigue caused by vitamin B12 deficiency are more than just annoying- they can be debilitating. What’s the basis for using vitamin B12 shots to boost energy and mental clarity, while eliminating fatigue and brain fog, and reducing pain? Here are some energy-specific benefits of vitamin B12.

VITAMIN B12: THE ENERGY ELIXIR-Vitamin B12 Patch

Vitamin B12 deficiency

The National Institutes of Health Medical Encyclopedia describes overwhelming fatigue as one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to painful tingling in the hands and feet, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

Specifically, lack of energy from vitamin B12 deficiency is the result of not getting enough oxygen to the brain.

You see, vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays an active role in helping your body produce normal, healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.  So, your body relies on adequate levels of vitamin B12 for red blood cell production.

With pernicious anemia, one cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, red blood cells come out too large, misshapen, and are unable to make their way out of your bone marrow and into your blood stream, resulting in a dramatic decrease in total numbers of red blood cells in your body…and in your brain.

As a result, you feel the effects of low oxygen as tiredness, low energy, mental confusion, dizziness, memory loss, and inability to concentrate- all because you’re not getting enough vitamin B12.

Worse, long-term vitamin B12 can lead to severe irreparable nerve damage and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.


VITAMIN B12: THE ENERGY ELIXIR-Vitamin B12 Patch

How does vitamin B12 produce energy?

The case can also be made for supplementing with vitamin B12 even if you’re not suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Several scientific studies focusing on high-doses of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) found that mega-doses of 2,500-5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 produced a 50%-80% increase of energy, productivity, and feelings of wellness in healthy individuals who did not have vitamin B12 deficiency.

We know that vitamin B12 helps your body take carbohydrates from foods that you eat and convert them into energy. So, more vitamin B12 in the blood ensures efficiency in carbohydrate digestion, thus maximum energy output.

Vitamin B12 also promotes a healthy metabolism, regulates your nervous system, and helps to sustain brain mass in your old age.

Please tell us…

Do you take vitamin B12 for energy and improved athletic performance? If so, what type of vitamin B12 do you currently use?

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:

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue

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


References:

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Madonna Knows about Vitamin B12 and Bacteria

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

“I feel better than I did 20 years ago,” wrote Madonna to her personal chef.  What’s the secret to her Fountain of Youth? Vitamin B12 and healthy bacteria

What Madonna Knows about Vitamin B12 and Bacteria, B12 Patch

B12: Celebs Say it’s the New C

B12 helps her perform

Madonna’s known to take a couple of jabs every now and then- jabs of vitamin B12 shots, that is.  She attributes her youthful complexion to large doses of vitamin B12, claiming that they also boost energy and help her think more clearly.

Perhaps that explains her amazing stamina and flexibility during her half-time performance recently. Vitamin B12 improves your metabolism, sports endurance, and muscular strength, and provides a healthful sense of wellbeing, as evidenced by several scientific studies.

Healthy bacteria and vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has a symbiotic relationship with your intestinal flora.  And wouldn’t you know, Madonna is on to that, as well.  Her chef, Mayumi Nishimura, has created a well-rounded nourishing diet of foods that are good for the digestion, including fermented soy, whole grain, and quinoa.

By eating good-for-the-gut foods that supply healthy microbes, Madonna is naturally maintaining her digestive system and lowering her risks for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Gut problems and B12 deficiency

There are many ways of getting vitamin B12 deficiency, and one of them includes digestive system disorder.  Any time there is damage to the stomach lining or small intestines, you run the risk of depleting your sources of vitamin B12.

That’s because a certain digestive enzyme, intrinsic factor, is produced in the stomach, and your body requires intrinsic factor in order to absorb vitamin B12 from foods like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.  But certain illnesses that affect the digestive system- Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, GERD- result in vitamin B12 malabsorption.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

The initial signs of vitamin B12 deficiency often emulate other underlying ailments which you might have, which explains why doctors sometimes neglect to check vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

Telltale symptoms of early vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Tiredness
  • Painful prickly feelings in your fingers, arms, toes, and feet
  • Sore red, swollen tongue
  • Recent short-term memory loss
  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Diarrhea

What Madonna Knows about Vitamin B12 and Bacteria, B12 Patch

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

Over time, as your body expends more vitamin B12 without supplementation, neurological damage can occur, in addition to increased risk for mental illness, heart attack, and stroke.

Symptoms of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscular soreness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling out of breath
  • Frequent numbness in legs and arms
  • Muscle spasms
  • “Electric shock” sensations
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Difficulty walking
  • Weakened motor control
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Severe depression
  • Aggressiveness
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Eye shakiness
  • Tinnitus ear ringing

Wanna copy Madonna? Get your B12

So, by getting her mega doses of vitamin B12 and eating gut-friendly foods containing healthy bacteria, Madonna is effectively maintaining healthy B12 levels, and reaping the benefits of increased energy, mental clarity, an active metabolism, and maximum neurological health.

Please tell us…

What other celebrities can you name who take vitamin B12 shots?

Do you get scheduled doses of vitamin B12? If so, do you often feel as if you’re still fatigued? Many patients of vitamin B12 deficiency opt for OTC vitamin B12, in addition to what their doctor’s prescribing.

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 for energy

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

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome- What is it, exactly?

References:

Madonna Longevity Secret Aids Bacteria Boom

Algae acquire vitamin B12 through a symbiotic relationship with bacteria

Images:

Wikimedia, stephen_d_luke

15 Chronic Pain Myths- Debunked!

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

 

 

There are many myths surrounding chronic pain like vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue; in coping with pain symptoms, it’s important to be able to separate fact from fiction.  Here are some common myths you might have heard recently, and the facts.

15 CHRONIC PAIN MYTHS- DEBUNKED- B12 Patch

Myth #1: Vitamin B12 is useless in coping with chronic pain.

While most healthy people don’t require extra vitamin supplements, people with chronic illnesses require vitamin supplements like vitamin B12, in addition to many other essential vitamins and minerals.

That’s because chronic pain creates an environment that inhibits vitamin B12 absorption.  Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and gastritis make it difficult or impossible for you to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods.  As a result, people who suffer from pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, or Crohn’s disease get vitamin B12 from non-dietary sources.

Additionally, vitamin B12 deficiency may be difficult to diagnose with chronic pain disorders, as many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or rheumatoid arthritis mask important clues that indicate low vitamin B12 levels.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

  • Painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Frequent numbness
  • Partial paralysis
  • Sore tongue and mouth, including burning sensation
  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty walking
  • Decreased motor skills
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux

Myth #2: If your doctor can’t find anything medically wrong, you must be a hypochondriac.

Chronic pain does not always result from a specific cause or visible injury. With fibromyalgia and migraines, for example, chronic pain occurs in the brain as part of a neurological disorder.  Similarly, neuropathy from vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by damaged nerve cells and reduced red blood cell distribution.

Myth #3: Only drug addicts use narcotic painkillers.

If your doctor prescribes narcotics for chronic pain relief, then use them as directed. There is no harm or shame in using painkillers, as long as you follow your doctor’s orders. That doesn’t mean they are without side effects, so it’s important to educate yourself about the use of prescription painkillers.

Myth #4: Painkillers are addicting.

Used as directed, and under the guidance of your physician, there is no reason why you will become addicted to opioids, nor should you need to increase the dose in order to sustain the same amount of pain relief.

Myth #5: If over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers help, then the pain can’t be that bad.

Popping OTC painkillers can be dangerous to your liver, kidneys, and digestive system.  Don’t ignore a serious medical condition by self-treating with pain relievers- always consult your doctor when chronic pain occurs.

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Myth #6: Alternative treatments for chronic pain are a waste of time and money.

Chronic pain management requires a multi-pronged approach including medications, stress reduction, and physical therapy.  Today, integrated medicine incorporates alternative approaches like acupuncture, vitamin B12, herbs, yoga, and meditation in coping with chronic pain.

Myth #7: If you can’t cope with the pain, then you must be weak or lazy.

This is a particularly hurtful myth that affects many chronic pain sufferers, and it sometimes prevents people from seeking help.  Trying to ignore chronic pain doesn’t make you brave or strong- it increases your chances of suffering from depression and anxiety down the line.

Myth #8: Your chronic pain is just like my pain.

Different people feel pain differently, just like one person may cope with pain differently from you.  That doesn’t mean that your pain symptoms are worse or stronger than others’ are.  Common terms used to describe pain vary from dull aching and throbbing to burning or electric-like pain symptoms.

Myth #9: You shouldn’t let pain slow you down.

So you’re feeling well today? That’s no reason to run the marathon. Trying to “do it all” creates stress and decreases the number of good days you enjoy between chronic pain flare-ups. Pace yourself, even if you think you don’t have to.

Myth #10: Exercising is one of the worst things you can do during a fibromyalgia flare-up.

Current research indicates that moderate exercise is perfectly safe for people with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain, and actually relieves pain by producing endorphins.  The trick is to choose something that doesn’t wear you out or cause sore muscles.  Good low impact exercises for chronic pain sufferers are swimming, walking, tai chi, and yoga.

Myth #11: No pain, no gain.

Exercise doesn’t have to be painful in order to strengthen your muscles, nor should it cause burning sensations.  On the contrary, pain is a sign that you’re doing it wrong and need to modify your workout.

Myth #12: For chronic pain, bed rest is mandatory.

Actually, lying around in bed all day only worsens conditions like chronic backaches.  While it’s important to rest after suffering an injury, too much inactivity exacerbates muscular pain.  As a rule, always try to get up and stretch your muscles, with your doctor’s permission.

Myth #13: Chronic pain is just a part of growing older.

Chronic pain should not be tolerated as a necessary side effect of aging, and it’s important that your doctor understands that.  Many ailments like arthritis, vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy, and fatigue are easily treatable, regardless of age.

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

Myth #14: Only old people suffer from chronic pain.

Many young adults and adolescents suffer from chronic pain resulting from celiac disease, fibromyalgia, migraines, and vitamin B12 deficiency neuropathy.

Myth #15: You can usually tell somebody who’s in chronic pain just by looking at him.

Chronic pain is an invisible illness- people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue may put on a brave face, but that doesn’t mean they’re not suffering inside. Don’t gauge somebody else’s pain on a scale of one to ten just by observing them- ask them, instead.

Please tell us…

Can you think of any more chronic myths that you would like to add?

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 chronic pain

10 Celebrities with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

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

Sources:

Chronic Pain Myths

10 Facts About Fibromyalgia- Prevention.com

Myths About Treating Chronic Pain

Image: Marco Bellucci

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

 

 

We know that vitamin B12 helps to protect your nerve cells from harm by sustaining the myelin sheath; with vitamin B12 deficiency, you begin to experience symptoms of severe nerve cell damage, such as painful tingling or numbness in your hands and feet.  Is it too late to repair nerve damage, once the symptoms have set in?  It depends…

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Your peripheral nervous system (PNS)

It’s important to understand what we mean when we refer to the peripheral nervous system (PNS). While your central nervous system (CNS) includes just the nerves and nerve cells of your brain and spinal cord, your peripheral nervous system includes all the other nerves of your body- the network of neurons that branch out from your CNS to your limbs, torso, face, and internal organs.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

Every time you take in the mouthwatering scent of food cooking on a grill, or feel the bite of winter frost on your nose, that’s your peripheral nervous system at work.  Even your inner bodily functions like breathing, blood pressure, and digestion are controlled by your peripheral nerves.

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

Peripheral nerve protection

Your central nervous system is well protected by your skull and by a blood-brain barrier.  The same can’t be said for your peripheral nervous system, unfortunately.

The only protection your PNS has includes a coating of a fatty protein called myelin that insulates each and every strand of peripheral nerve cells, very similar to the way cable wires are protected by a strong coat of rubber.

Symptoms of peripheral nerve damage

When myelin erodes, as it does with certain illnesses, your nerve cells may be damaged by free radicals, bacteria, or a number of other threats.  The results are symptoms like nerve pain, tingling, and numbness.  These are the first signs of peripheral neuropathy.

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Unless treated immediately, other symptoms of peripheral nerve damage may include:

  • CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 PatchHeightened sensitivity to touch
  • Muscular weakness
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Poor motor control
  • Paralysis
  • Burning pain
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathlessness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Infertility
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke

What causes peripheral neuropathy?

There are only two main causes of peripheral nerve damage- either an inherited genetic anomaly, or an acquired condition, like pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency, and other autoimmune disorders.

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency an Autoimmune Disorder? Yup.

Testing for vitamin B12 deficiency and intrinsic factor antibodies is an important first step in diagnosing the cause of peripheral nerve damage.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Treating nerve pain

Medications and treatments used to relieve nerve pain include:

  • OTC analgesics
  • Mexiletine (heart medicine)
  • Anticonvulsant drugs (for epilepsy)
  • Antidepressants
  • Local anesthetics
  • Braces
  • Orthopedic devices
  • Surgery, as a last resort

Repairing nerve damage

Pain relief treatments will only block the pain, but they don’t address the underlying condition, and they won’t repair the nerve damage.

If peripheral nerve damage is caught in time, then the nerve cells will heal themselves, but only if the threat is removed or reduced.

Untreated, severe nerve damage may become permanent.  Myelin damage could lead to multiple sclerosis (MS), in either your generation or the next.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

Enter vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining your myelin sheath, so that your nerve cells come to no harm. Other functions of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) include cognitive health, energy, and red blood cell production.

Vitamin B12 occurs in meat, fish, cheese, and egg products, but even people who eat plenty of beef and dairy products may be at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Many factors may inhibit vitamin B12 absorption, like autoimmune disorder, gastrointestinal problems, or simply old age.

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Will vitamin B12 cure me?

If you are diagnosed with low levels of vitamin B12, then it is crucial that you get your vitamin B12 levels back to normal, in order to avoid symptoms of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency, such as severe nerve damage.

If you have been suffering from neuropathy for some time, it might still not be too late to benefit from intense vitamin B12 supplementation.  Depending on the extent of nerve damage, a regimen of weekly B12 will aid in nerve cell reparation quickly, efficiently.

CAN VITAMIN B12 REPAIR NERVE CELLS? B12 Patch

 

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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 and your nerves

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

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

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Peripheral Neuropathy Fact Sheet

Images: Stuart Miles,  luigi diamanti, Ambro, Jeroen van Oostrom, graur codrin, ZaldyImg

Does Pernicious Anemia-Vitamin B12 Deficiency cause Hair Loss?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

 

 

Don’t panic, but if you have pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, then you might also suffer hair loss.  And it’s not just a “guy thing”- even women may experience hair loss or whitening when pernicious anemia (or iron deficiency anemia) is present.  Here’s what you need to know about pernicious anemia, vitamin B12, and your hair.

DOES PERNICIOUS ANEMIA-VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY CAUSE HAIR LOSS? B12 Patch

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia (PA)-vitamin B12 deficiency is a disorder that alters your red blood cells and lowers your oxygen supply to the brain.  Decreased oxygen in the brain causes telltale symptoms like fatigue, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

Other symptoms of pernicious anemia may include “pins and needles” or numbness in hands and feet, difficulty walking straight, decreased motor control, depression, anxiety, muscular pain, infertility, and vision problems.

For more on pernicious anemia, read Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency is sometimes caused by not eating enough iron-rich foods, but it can also result from severe blood loss, pregnancy, menstruation, or…autoimmune disorders, like celiac disease or…pernicious anemia.

Whoa!  Now I have iron deficiency, too?

Unfortunately, iron deficiency is a comorbid condition of pernicious anemia.  So if you’ve been diagnosed with pernicious anemia, because of either intrinsic factor autoimmune disorder or gastritis, then you run a high risk of also suffering from iron deficiency anemia.

Where’s the proof?

Findings from studies such as this JAMA report on iron deficiency anemia note a significantly strong correlation with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency causes many of the same symptoms as vitamin B12 deficiency- tiredness, moodiness, and general discomfort.

And yes, hair loss.

Iron deficiency symptoms include:

  • Rapid hair loss
  • Hair whitening
  • Dry hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Spoon-shaped nails
  • Nail discoloration
  • Frequent bruising
  • Pale skin
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Weak muscles
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Brain fog
  • Headache
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sore tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Bizarre cravings for ice or dirt
  • Sudden weight loss

Iron or B12?

In the JAMA study, participants who received regular supplementation of vitamin B12 experienced significant and favorable results. It’s important to find out if your iron supplies are also low, so that you may begin the healing process and avoid any further hair loss.

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 and pernicious anemia

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

Sources:

Anemia and Hair Loss

Reversible Hyperpigmentation of Skin and Nails With White Hair due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Iron Deficiency Occurs Frequently in Patients With Pernicious Anemia

Image: mardy78

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

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

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency damages the nervous system, causing chronic pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet.  Did you know that many psychological problems like depression and anxiety also point to pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency?  Understanding the many roles that vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays in your body, as a whole, is crucial in recognizing the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

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

This segment focuses on mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic madness

Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis.  Without enough vitamin B12, your body cannot manufacture a good healthy supply of red blood cells to distribute oxygen.

Instead, vitamin B12 deficiency causes you to produce engorged, misshapen red blood cells that fail to function well, that cannot perform their duty.  This type of anemia is known as megaloblastic anemia, or pernicious anemia.

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

As a result of your brain not getting enough oxygen, vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms usually include extreme, overwhelming fatigue, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.

HOW VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AFFECTS YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, B12 PATCH

Mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency

Because not all doctors screen regularly for vitamin B12 deficiency, many common symptoms are often misdiagnosed.  Especially with psychological problems, doctors may be quick to prescribe antidepressants or anti-psychotic medication, where a weekly vitamin B12 shot would have been of great benefit, possibly greater.

Psychological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Impaired concentration, low attention span
  • Confusion, or “brain fog”
  • Irritability
  • Acute psychosis
  • Hallucinations, both auditory and visual
  • Paranoia
  • Hypomania
  • Aggressive, violent behavior
  • Reversible manic and schizophreniform states
  • Increased risk for stroke

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

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases?  Did your doctor also screen for pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency?

What vitamin B12 treatments do you currently take, and are you completely satisfied?

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 and the brain:

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

Sources:

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Neurological Manifestations Of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Images:

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