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Posts Tagged ‘vitamin b12 supplements’

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Monday, September 9th, 2013

 

 

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

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

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

Vitamin B12 deficiency in 40%

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

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

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

Vitamin B12 is vital

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

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

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

Vitamin B12 deficiency- off the radar

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

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

Digesting vitamin B12 is difficult!

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

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

Also read 25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Treating vitamin B12 deficiency

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

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

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

Your turn!

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

Share with your friends!

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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 Deficiency and Tinnitus

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

 

 

Are your ears ringing?  For many, vitamin B12 deficiency is a cause of tinnitus symptoms; constant sounds in your ears like ringing, beeping, humming, buzzing, or rushing sounds may indicate a need for more vitamin B12. In fact, millions of people in the United States suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency and tinnitus.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Tinnitus

The following is a partial list of natural elements that may help with tinnitus and provide many other healthful benefits.

Why you need Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water soluble vitamin. It plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and metabolism of sugars, fats and proteins. It is also helps maintain a healthy nervous system, and some research studies found it beneficial for patients of tinnitus, especially when this condition is associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

40 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency: the Ultimate Checklist

Tinnitus and vitamin B12

Tinnitus sufferers should test for a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It has been found that B12 deficiency has been linked with chronic tinnitus and noise- induced hearing loss.

In a study published in the March 1993 issue of “American Journal of Otolaryngology,” researchers evaluated over 100 subjects exposed to noise; 47 of the subjects who were diagnosed with tinnitus had vitamin B12 deficiency as well, many of which reported positive results after taking B12 supplements routinely

Getting enough vitamin B12

If you think you may require Vitamin B12 for tinnitus symptoms, ask your doctor to conduct a vitamin B12 blood screening test.

Consult a qualified health care professional to find out the root cause of your condition and whether or not you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 is safe to use without a prescription, as there are no FDA upper limits imposed on vitamin B12 supplementation.

Vitamin B12- How Long Before I See Results?

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a neurological disorder that causes you to hear constant noises in your ears that don’t exist in your parameter. With tinnitus, your brain picks up false noise signals from the nerve cells of your inner ear, resulting in persistent buzzing, ringing, whooshing, whistling or other annoying sounds in one or both ears.

There are many causes of tinnitus, including:

  • Severe vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Loud noise from music concerts
  • Being around noisy machinery for extended periods of time
  • Medicines known as “ototoxic” drugs
  • Tumors
  • Allergies
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Hypertension or hypotension

Your turn!

If you suffer from tinnitus, have you tested for vitamin B12 deficiency?

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Image courtesy of stockimages/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Monday, August 26th, 2013

 

 

Feeling blue? For many older adults, vitamin B12 deficiency and low vitamin B6 can cause depression, leaving you feeling down in the dumps. Before you rush off to the doctor for a new pill to ease your depression, CHECK YOUR DIET!! Here’s the scoop on B vitamins and depression in senior citizens.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Depression in Older Adults

Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are both essential nutrients for neurological health and emotional balance. As you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food naturally diminishes, leading to increased risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and also low vitamin B6.

Can Vitamin B12 help depression in seniors?

Study focuses on depression in older adults

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently featured a study in which it was discovered that higher intakes of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 were associated with a lower likelihood of depression in older adults.  Both vitamins B12 and B6 play critical roles in the production of neurotransmitters, or “chemical messengers” in the brain, including Serotonin, which is the brain’s “feel good” neurotransmitter.

Thus it makes sense that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 may be a cause or symptom of depression.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 feels good!

The subjects of the study were adults aged 65 years or older from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP). Their diets were evaluated for consumption of vitamins B12 and B6 over a period of seven years.  The incidence of depression was also noted. It appeared that for every 10 mg increase in vitamin B12, patients reported a 2% increase in overall good mood. The same effect on depression was also noted with each 10 mg increase of Vitamin B6.

Foods rich in B vitamins

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include bran (rice and wheat), bananas, avocados, chicken or turkey breast, raw garlic, dried herbs and spices,  fish (such as tuna, salmon, and cod), liver, whole grains, beans, peanuts, pistachios, and walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seed (and techina).  Foods rich in vitamin B12 include fish, meat, liver, poultry, eggs and dairy.  Today many breakfast cereals are now fortified with vitamin B12 also.

Older adults at risk for B12 deficiency

Older adults tend to exhibit a higher incidence of both depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.   However, it has been noted that some adults, despite eating foods high in B-vitamins, continue to suffer a vitamin B12 deficiency. This may be related to limited stomach acidity in older people, which can prevent vitamin B12 from food from being absorbed into the body.  In other cases, the lack of intrinsic factor as we age, which impairs our ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food and supplements, may be the cause of this inability to absorb Vitamin B12.

Treat vitamin B12 deficiency now!

When evaluating symptoms of depression in older adults, diagnosticians should evaluate their overall diets in order to rule out any vitamin deficiencies. Individuals aged 50 or older, especially vegetarians, will likely benefit from supplementing their diets extra vitamin B12, as well as eating fortified breakfast cereals or sprinkling nutritional yeast onto meals and snacks.

In this way older adults can simultaneously reduce the risk of depression and vitamin B12 deficiency.

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:

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

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Crisis?

Vitamin B12- a Penny a Day Keeps Dementia Away

Image courtesy of photostock/freedigitalphotos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

 

 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is on the rise in the US and many other developed countries. Why? Because modern dietary restrictions, bariatric surgery, and autoimmune disorders  increase your chances of developing  vitamin B12 deficiency anemia before you reach your senior years.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency- How Long does it Take?

Where’s the B12?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that only exists in animal-based foods such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs. The richest sources of vitamin B12 are shellfish and organ meats.

Unlike other vitamins, B12 requires a cofactor for absorption; digestive enzymes that help your body break down and utilize the benefits of the vitamin. Without intrinsic factor or stomach acids, you cannot process the vitamin B12 you ingest from the foods you eat.

Pernicious anemia

Without vitamin B12, your body can’t function properly. Vitamin B12 is crucial for building healthy red blood cells containing hemoglobin, which move oxygen to your brain, muscles, and organs.

Untreated, you may develop pernicious anemia, which causes symptoms such as extreme fatigue, depression, memory loss, disorientation, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities. Pernicious anemia can result from autoimmune disorders, or it can be caused by gastritis, damage to the stomach cells.

Vitamin B12 is also important for protecting the nervous system, boosting energy, sustaining a speedy metabolism, and delaying the effects of age-related dementia.

Shocking Must-See Video on Vitamin B12 Deficiency Crisis

How long does it take to become deficient?

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can creep up slowly, as your vitamin B12 levels decline over the course of years.

Vegans and vegetarians

Among young healthy individuals, vegans and vegetarians are the highest risk categories for vitamin B12 deficiency. Usually, after about two years of strict vegan dieting, vitamin B12 levels will begin to decline. For vegetarians that number may be larger, as cheese and eggs have small amounts of vitamin B12, although not enough to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

Age

Most people start noticing the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency around their 40s. This is because as you age, your ability to digest vitamin B12 from food sources declines, as your body begins to slow down in producing stomach acids. By the time you reach middle age, you should receive regular blood test screenings for vitamin B12 deficiency.

By the time you reach the age of 60, you should be extra vigilant in monitoring your vitamin B12 levels, as vitamin B12 deficiency may increase your chances of experiencing signs of Alzheimer’s disease dementia earlier than senior citizens who supplement with vitamin B12. Also read Vitamin B12, a Must for Senior Citizens

Autoimmune disorders

If you have autoimmune disorders, then you should get your vitamin B12 levels checked routinely, as your risk for developing autoimmune pernicious anemia is that much higher. Also, many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic those of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, celiac disease, and other autoimmune system disorders. So, to catch vitamin B12 deficiency early and prevent neurological ailments, it’s important to take regular blood screenings for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Medications

Certain medications interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12; these include metformin for diabetes, protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) for GERD or heartburn, and various other popular prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

If you take any of the 25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency for longer than 12 months, then you may need to take large doses of vitamin B12 regularly to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

Gastrointestinal surgery

Modern gastro surgeries that were previously unheard of have contributed to the rising rate of vitamin B12 deficiency. Patients of weight-loss surgeries (gastric bypass) and ilium removal or resectioning for Crohn’s disease are required to supplement with 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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

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

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid/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!

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

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

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness?

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

 

 

Tell somebody you have vitamin B12 deficiency, and you usually get a blank stare, or they’ll ask, “Is that an illness or something?” Then you wonder, is vitamin B12 deficiency an illness? The truth is, vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia, is complicated.
 

 
Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency a Real Illness? B12 Patch

 

Vitamin B12 sources

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a necessary nutrient that you get from eating animal-based foods. The richest sources of vitamin B12 occur in beef liver, halibut, clams, oysters, and poultry. Other foods that contain small amounts of vitamin B12 are cheese, yogurt, and eggs.

Most people who eat a steady diet that includes meat, fish, and dairy products will never develop illness from vitamin B12 deficiency.

There are virtually no vegan sources of vitamin B12. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians must take regular vitamin B12 supplements in order to avoid developing illness from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12- How Much in Enough?

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Still, there are several ways of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, even if you eat meat and fish.

  1. If you have a family history for pernicious anemia, then you are at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency illness. Pernicious anemia sometimes occurs because of an autoimmune disorder that inhibits your ability to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods.  Sometimes, pernicious anemia is inherited.
  2. If you don’t have pernicious anemia, but suffer from other autoimmune disorder illness, then you are at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia in the future.
  3. Pernicious anemia also occurs with gastrointestinal disorders, as inflammation of the stomach linings, esophagus, or small intestines interferes with your ability to digest vitamin B12 normally, resulting in illness from vitamin B12 deficiency.
  4. Comorbid conditions can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency illness. People who suffer from fibromyalgia, lupus, migraines, Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease run a high risk for developing illness from vitamin B12 deficiency.
  5. Certain medications indirectly cause vitamin B12 deficiency. Protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) that are prescribed for acid reflux inhibit your ability to extract vitamin B12 from the food you eat. Also, metformin, a popular drug for diabetes, may cause vitamin B12 deficiency after long-term use.
  6. People who have had gastrointestinal surgery are required to take vitamin B12 supplements in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. These include patients of bariatric surgery (gastric bypass) and ileectomy for the treatment of Crohn’s disease.
  7. Excessive alcohol usage is a known cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
  8. Old age is a risk factor for vitamin B12 deficiency, as fewer stomach acids are produced, resulting in vitamin B12 absorption.

Diagnosing Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Pernicious Anemia: Top 10 Tests

Is vitamin B12 deficiency an illness?

Medically, vitamin B12 deficiency is defined as a condition that occurs when your B12 levels drop to a dangerous low. So, in and of itself, vitamin B12 deficiency is not an “illness.”

However, vitamin B12 deficiency can result from an underlying illness, something previously undetected because the symptoms weren’t there. Such is the case with autoimmune disorders, which can interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12.

Like a withdrawn bank account that suddenly reaches zero, your stores of vitamin B12 may gradually decline, unbeknownst to you, until you get the warning signs indicating severe deficiency and the need for immediate supplementation.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

  • Long-term, constant overwhelming fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety for longer than a few months
  • Frequent memory problems that are not related to age
  • Painful numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the hands, feet, arms, legs, and tongue
  • Muscle pain and spasms
  • Eye problems

Treatment

If you think you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then immediate supplementation should commence in order to replenish vitamin B12 levels and reverse symptoms of illness.

This is important: Not all vitamin B12 supplements work.

If you can’t digest vitamin B12 from foods, then you won’t be able to digest it from vitamin B12 pills, either.

For that reason, it’s essential to use a non-dietary form of vitamin B12, for optimum digestion and relief from symptoms such as fatigue, sluggishness, muscle pain, and brain fog. Excellent choices include a combination of vitamin B12 shots and synthetic over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplementation.

Please tell us…

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

Share with your friends!

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

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Malabsorption

Image(s) courtesy of Ventrilock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Vitamin B12- How Much in Enough?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

 

 

Once diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have questions regarding how much vitamin B12 you need to “get better,” to stop “feeling tired” all the time, or how long to keep taking vitamin B12 supplements.  Here are some answers to FAQ regarding how much vitamin B12 you need.

Vitamin B12- How Much in Enough? B12 Patch

Note: Always consult your doctor before reducing or stopping vitamin B12 supplementation, as the risk for severe nerve damage from long-term vitamin B12 deficiency is significant.

How much vitamin B12 do I need?

Health experts differ on the amount of vitamin B12 supplementations you need to take.

The short answer is that is varies; healthy individuals who don’t have relevant health problems need not worry about developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as your body is able to store a large amount of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) for years.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for healthy adults is minimal- a scant few mcg of vitamin B12 per day.  These guidelines are based on the understanding that most people are able to digest vitamin B12 easily from food sources, which include beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and cheese.

However, recent studies argue the benefits of taking much more vitamin B12, in order to increase energy, prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, or replenish vitamin B12 levels.

To improve mental focus, restore stamina, and alleviate symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, doctors recommend 1000mcg -3000mcg vitamin B12 to be taken weekly or monthly, depending on the severity of ailments, or as desired for feelings of wellbeing.

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

What’s the standard dose for vitamin B12?

Most doses of vitamin B12 include 1000mcg cobalamin, to be administered at your doctor’s recommendation.

However, many patients find that they need much more vitamin B12 than their health insurance providers are willing to endorse. This is not because of any safety guidelines, as there is no FDA-designated “upper limit” for vitamin B12…

…Meaning that it is perfectly safe to use as much vitamin B12 as you need in order to start feeling better.

As a result, many vitamin B12 deficiency patients opt to take over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplements, for usage in addition to vitamin B12 injections or sometimes, in place of monthly vitamin B12 shots.

When can I stop taking vitamin B12 supplements?

If you’ve been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of malabsorption issues, then you may be required to take vitamin B12 supplements for life.

As for how much vitamin B12 you’ll require, that number may become smaller once the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency- fatigue, dizziness, and numbness-have disappeared.

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:

I have Fibromyalgia…Which Supplements should I take?

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

Sources:

Vitamin B12 level: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Vitamin B12 Level – Tests, Test Results & Diagnosis – NY Times Health Information

Vitamin B12: Dosing – MayoClinic.com

Oral cyanocobalamin supplementation in older people with vitamin B12 deficiency: a dose-finding trial- PubMed NCBI

Learn More about Vitamin B12 Deficiency.

USDA: National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: B-12

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Absorbing Vitamin B12

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

 

 

 

How do you know if you’re absorbing vitamin B12? Just because you eat plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin B12 (cobalamin), that doesn’t mean you’re getting all the B12 you need for great health. Sometimes, things happen that interfere with your ability to digest vitamin B12, creating an obstacle to absorbing vitamin B12 naturally. This happens more often than you realize…

Absorbing vitamin B12- Vitamin B12 Patch

Why you need to take vitamin B12

You may be asking yourself, “Doesn’t my body produce vitamin B12 on its own? It makes lots of other vitamins.”

The short answer is, “No.” While you are able to store plenty of vitamin B12 in your liver for years to come, your body relies on a constant influx of vitamin B12 from dietary sources like lean beef, chicken, fish, and dairy foods, which it then uses to sustain energy levels, maintain a healthy nervous system, and regulate hormones.

The long answer is more complicated. This constant replenishment of vitamin B12 into your blood supply relies on intrinsic factor for absorbing vitamin B12 and carrying it through the digestive system. As long as you are always able to break down vitamin B12, then you are all right. However, if you are among a large percentage of people who cannot produce the intrinsic factor enzyme, then you must supplement constantly with vitamin B12 supplements, in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is vitamin B12 deficiency?

Whenever you’re not absorbing vitamin B12, you’re drawing it from your liver. Eventually, this store of essential vitamin B12 runs out, and you begin to notice the effects of vitamin B12.

The initial symptoms of vitamin B12 include:

  • Severe fatigue
  • “Brain fog” disorientation
  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Painful tingling and numbness in the extremities, such as hands and feet
  • Sore, red tongue

Over time, if untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe neurological damage and a gradual depletion of red blood cells. Also, since vitamin B12 helps to regulate homocysteine, a hormone linked with heart attack and stroke, your risk for cardiovascular disease may increase. In rare occasions, infants solely breastfed by vegan mothers not absorbing vitamin B12 show signs of failure to thrive and feebleness.

What causes vitamin B12 malabsorption?

Many different factors can keep you from absorbing vitamin B12 naturally from foods.

They include:

  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • History for autoimmune disorder, such as fibromyalgia or celiac disease
  • Damage to the digestive system caused by acid reflux, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Gastrointestinal surgery, such as bariatric surgery or ileostomy
  • Medications, such as PPIs for GERD, or metformin for diabetes
  • Old age
  • Alcoholism

Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey

Treating vitamin B12 malabsorption

If you’re not absorbing vitamin B12, then it’s important to understand which kinds of vitamin B12 supplements to take, and which ones to avoid.

Most likely, your doctor will prescribe vitamin B12 shots. These are helpful, as they dispense vitamin B12 directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the need for absorbing vitamin B12 in the stomach.

Certain side effects of vitamin B12 shots are, obviously, pain, as cobalamin requires insertion into the thick fleshy tissue behind the thigh. Sometimes, bruising may occur.

Vitamin B12 shots are also often impractical. In most states, vitamin B12 injections require a prescription, and doctors are sometimes hesitant to prescribe enough monthly doses to relieve all the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Instead, many patients opt to supplement with extra vitamin B12 on their own.  Certain inexpensive over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 supplements are helpful for “topping off” vitamin B12 between shots. For optimum health and relief from symptoms, find non-dietary vitamin B12 supplements that distribute cobalamin directly into the bloodstream, not through the digestive system.

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

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

Like this? Read more:

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

Vitamin Deficiencies can drive you Crazy- Seriously! Part 1

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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

Monday, March 12th, 2012

 

 

Chronic pain affects close to 50 million Americans with symptoms like severe headaches, nerve pain, muscular soreness, and back pain.  Chronic pain is a nervous system disorder, and does not usually result from any visible injury. Below are 15 common causes of chronic pain, including vitamin B12 deficiency, and 15 potential treatments, including vitamin B12 supplements.

15 CHRONIC PAIN CAUSES AND 15 TREATMENTS (VITAMIN B12 IS ONE) B12 PATCH

What is chronic pain?

If you break your leg, and it hurts for months afterwards, is that chronic pain?  No.  When you sustain an injury, your nervous system responds by sending out pain signals; that is referred to as “acute pain,” and it is a normal reaction.

With chronic pain, your nervous system continues to fire pain signals, even in the absence of any previous bodily injury.  Chronic pain can last for many months or years, and make it difficult for the pain sufferer to handle everyday commitments.

Chronic pain causes

Below are the 15 most common causes of chronic pain:

  1. 15 CHRONIC PAIN CAUSES AND 15 TREATMENTS (VITAMIN B12 IS ONE) B12 PATCHNeuropathy, including vitamin B12 deficiency and diabetic neuropathy
  2. Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  3. Fibromyalgia
  4. Headache, including migraines and cluster headaches
  5. Lower back pain
  6. Arthritis pain, including osteoarthritis
  7. Psychogenic pain
  8. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  9. Endometriosis
  10. Visceral pain, including pancreatitis and active hepatitis
  11. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  12. Interstitial cystitis
  13. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
  14. Shingles
  15. Vulvodynia

15 CHRONIC PAIN CAUSES AND 15 TREATMENTS (VITAMIN B12 IS ONE) B12 PATCH

Also read: I have Fibromyalgia…Which Supplements should I take?

Chronic pain treatments

Only about 58% of chronic pain sufferers find relief through prescribed painkillers.  The best way to treat chronic pain is with a multi-pronged approach that incorporates physician-approved medication, relaxation techniques, vitamins, and holistic treatments for pain.

15 CHRONIC PAIN CAUSES AND 15 TREATMENTS (VITAMIN B12 IS ONE) B12 PATCH

Below are 15 effective pain treatments:

  1. Pain relievers, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin
  2. Opioids (narcotics), including codeine, morphine, and oxycodone
  3. Antidepressants, including tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Tofranil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, and Pamelor) and some SNRIs (Effexor and Cymbalta)
  4. Anticonvulsants Tegretol, Dilantin, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Lamictal, particularly with migraine headaches
  5. When vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or diabetic neuropathy, then replenishing vitamin B12 levels through supplementation has been found to be extremely beneficial.
  6. Herbal supplements
  7. Massage
  8. Relaxation
  9. Acupuncture
  10. Biofeedback
  11. Chiropractor care
  12. Low-impact exercise, including walking, stationary bicycling, swimming, yoga, and tai chi
  13. Physical therapy
  14. Nerve stimulation
  15. Cognitive behavioral therapy, particularly helpful with psychogenic pain

15 CHRONIC PAIN CAUSES AND 15 TREATMENTS (VITAMIN B12 IS ONE) B12 PATCH

Also read: Pernicious Anemia- Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Nerve Rattling- Peripheral Neuropathy

Please tell us…

Do you suffer from a type of chronic pain that isn’t listed above?  Which of the 15 pain treatments have you tried, and which have been the most helpful?  If you currently use prescription painkillers or narcotics, have you considered replacing them with natural supplements that do not cause side effects?

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about chronic pain and vitamin B12 deficiency:

9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?

Sources:

Top Causes of Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page

Images:

ZaldyImg, Ambro, Ribkov Dagim, lululemon athletica, Maggie Smith

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