Tag Archives: Pernicious Anemia (PA)

7 Reasons your B12 Levels are Out of Whack and what you can do about it

7 Reasons your B12 Levels are Out of Whack and what you can do about it

Always tired, dizzy, sluggish? The cause may be low vitamin B12 levels.  Depression, memory problems, crushing fatigue, and muscular pains all occur when you don’t have enough vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

You’re not alone. Millions of people your age feel exhausted, run-down, disoriented and achy. And that’s only by mid-morning.

For many, these symptoms occur from vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.  People as young as thirty can develop B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia.

This is why your B12 levels are down:

B12 deficiency is more common that you think. Here are some reasons that many people lose B12 from their blood supply:

You’ve had weight loss surgery.

Gastric bypass operations used to be a last resort for weight loss. Today, they’re much more common.  If you’re overweight, then you  can easily receive bariatric surgery to shed the pounds. Unfortunately, many patients aren’t prepared to supplement with vitamin B12  for life. Some weren’t warned about vitamin B12 deficiency; others don’t heed their doctor’s warnings.

This is important! If you have received any kind of stomach surgery ( for weight loss, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), then you must take large doses of  vitamin B12 each day.

You take medications for diabetes or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Certain medications prevent you from properly digesting vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. Metformin, protein pump inhibitors (PPIs), antacids, long-term antibiotics, and antidepressants are on the list.

If you take any of the medications on the list below, then please also take extra vitamin B12.

25 Medications that Cause Vitamin B12 Deficiency

 Your vitamin B12 blood test results are wrong.

The national standard for testing for serum levels of vitamin B12 is often wrong and inefficient. If your B12 is plummeting from pernicious anemia, then a blood test will tell you to get more vitamin B12 supplements, ASAP.

But if your B12 levels are moderate to low, then you may get a false negative test result. Even though you suffer from fatigue, memory problems, gloominess, brain fog, and painful numbness. That’s because the blood screenings don’t differentiate between “active” and “dormant” vitamin B12.  The first helps to protect your nervous system and boost energy. The second sleeps in your gut and does nothing.

So your doctor may tell you that your vitamin B12 levels are okay, but he’d be wrong.

Your doctor knows nothing about vitamin B12 deficiency.

Sad but true: many doctors get little or no training  in detecting the earliest signs of pernicious anemia. The idea of a vitamin “curing” an illness  is, in their opinion, laughable. Yet it was only one generation ago that pernicious anemia  was a lethal threat. And it took vitamin B12 supplements to stop the debilitating symptoms.

How Much Vitamin B12 is enough?

Your doctor may not take your symptoms seriously. He may refuse to prescribe enough vitamin B12 to treat your symptoms. If that is the case, then you need to buy extra vitamin B12 supplements online.

You follow a vegan diet.

Your body doesn’t manufacture vitamin B12, and you can’t get it from vegetables. The only rich sources of vitamin B12 are from chicken, beef, lamb, and seafood.  Eggs, cheese, and milk also have some vitamin B12. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet,  then you need to take vitamin B12.

 You suffer from autoimmune disorders.

For many, vitamin B12 malabsorption happens because of a faulty immune system. People who have autoimmune disorders are most likely  to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.  This happens because missing intrinsic factor, a hormone needed for B12 digestion.

35 Signs of Neuropathy to Watch

If you have lupus, Crohn’s disease, or other autoimmune disorders, then you are at risk. Don’t rely on faulty B12 blood screenings. Rather,  take extra vitamin B12 supplements each day.

You are older than 30 years of age.

As we get older, our ability to digest vitamin B12 weakens. Vitamin B12 levels plummet with age. By the time many people reach their 40’s, vitamin B12 is a must. For great health, supplement with vitamin B12 in your 30s and 40s.

By the time you reach the age of 50, vitamin B12 usage is mandatory for survival.

Treatment options

Vitamin B12 isn’t an easy nutrient to digest; your body doesn’t make it on its own. Any defect in your stomach or intestines can impair vitamin B12 absorption. To boost vitamin B12 levels, you need to get vitamin B12 into your blood stream. Not through the digestive system. Vitamin B12 pills are useless.  B12 shots are painful, impractical, and difficult to administer on your own. For many, vitamin B12 supplements that penetrate the skin are the best option. They’re easy to use, don’t need prescription, and are painless

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    35 Signs of Neuropathy to Watch

    The most common signs of neuropathy are chronic pain and numbness in the extremities (hands and feet), but there are many other important symptoms that sufferers don’t know to look out for. See this list of the most common signs of neuropathy.

    35 common symptoms of neuropathy

    If you experience any of the symptoms listed below frequently, then it’s important to tell your doctor immediately.

    Neuropathy can occur from vitamin B12 deficiency, autoimmune illness, diabetes, alcoholism or several other underlying conditions.

    35 signs of neuropathy

    In a survey conducted on nearly 1,000 people diagnosed with some type of neuropathy, the majority reported experiencing some of the following symptoms moderately or severely:

    1. Tingling, stinging in the hands and feet
    2. Crushing fatigue
    3. Weak muscles
    4. Burning  sensations
    5. Chronic pain
    6. Painful numbness in the hands and feet
    7. Hypersensitivity in pain points on body
    8. Difficulty standing or sitting for long stretches
    9. Difficulty walking, gait disturbances
    10. Balance problems, dizziness
    11. Sensitivity to very cold and very hot temperatures
    12. Muscle spasms, twitching
    13. Fluctuating body temperature
    14. Pain that worsens in the evenings
    15. Itching in the extremities
    16. Lightheadedness when getting up
    17. Eye problems
    18. Crawling sensation
    19. Constipation
    20. Reduced reaction to pain stimulus
    21. Scalp irritation, itching
    22. Changes in perspiration
    23. Vertigo
    24. Diarrhea
    25. Increased heart rate
    26. Urinary Incontinence
    27. Reduced sensitivity to changes in temperature
    28. Nausea
    29. Head pain
    30. Reduced appetite
    31. Impotency
    32. Frequent urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
    33. Unhealthy weight loss
    34. Frequent vomiting
    35. Facial swelling

    Neuropathy treatments

    Treatment for neuropathy depends on the cause. For diabetic neuropathy, it’s important to wear tight socks and check your hands and feet frequently for cuts and bruises. Also, if you take metformin, then you may need to supplement with vitamin B12 regularly, as this diabetes drug prevents proper absorption of vitamin B12 in food, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Peripheral neuropathy is a typical symptom of pernicious anemia (autoimmune vitamin B12 deficiency), so again vitamin B12 is rated as a crucial supplement for preventing symptoms.

    Other treatments that help with neuropathy are pain relief creams, alcohol avoidance, exercise, smoking cessation, prescription medications for neuropathy.

    What other signs of neuropathy have you experienced? If you found this helpful, then please share with others who suffer from neuropathy or are involved in neuropathy awareness groups.

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    100 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

    Don’t ignore possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- often, the only way to effectively catch vitamin B12 anemia before it becomes debilitating is by recognizing some of the earliest signs, such as constant daily fatigue, memory problems, depression, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities.

    100 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

    Vitamin B12 blood tests may be helpful for diagnosing severe pernicious anemia (which used to be a fatal disease), but their track record for preventing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the moderate range is not reassuring. That’s because the range for detecting depleted vitamin B12 is set too low, producing inaccurate test readings when more vitamin B12 is needed to provide relief and prevent nerve damage.

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it’s advisable to start a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements, and track results.

    Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    This is a complete list of all possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. You may have only a few or more of these symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects people differently, according to the level of depletion.

    1. High levels of homocysteine, which are linked with heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
    2. Sore muscles, painful burning sensations.
    3. “Electric shock” sensations that shoot down your arms and legs whenever you bend over.
    4. Difficulty building muscle mass, even though you’ve been exercising regularly.
    5. Neural tube defect in newborn babies.
    6. Aching prickling and numbness in hands and feet caused by paresthesias.
    7. Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) caused by the degradation of myelin, a protective coating that shields your nerve cells.
    8. Poor, slow nerve reflexes.
    9. Quivering, trembling muscles.
    10. Muscle fatigue following light physical exertion.
    11. The need to take a few days to recuperate after even moderate exercise.
    12. Neck pain.
    13. Persistent headaches.
    14. Tight muscle pain in the arms and legs.
    15. Joint pain.
    16. Muscle stiffness each morning.
    17. Tender spots on your body which are often associated with fibromyalgia.
    18. Pain in elbows, shoulders, and hips from bursitis.
    19. Poor control or arm and leg movements.
    20. Frequent “clumsiness,” things always falling from your hands.
    21. Dizziness, unsteadiness, poor stability on feet.
    22. Difficulty walking in a straight line.
    23. Occasional vertigo, a sensation that the room is spinning.
    24. Confusion, getting perplexed easily.
    25. Muddled thinking, brain fog.
    26. Difficulty remembering words that are on the tip of your tongue.
    27. Forgetting names of familiar people.
    28. Irritability.
    29. Depressionthat lasts for months without any apparent cause.
    30. Chronic overwhelming daily fatigue, despite sleeping well.
    31. Poor concentration, ADD-like symptoms.
    32. Getting distracted easily.
    33. Difficulty finishing tasks or chores, finding it hard to stay organized.
    34. Mood swings.
    35. Memory impairments.
    36. Aggressive behavior that is new, unusual.
    37. Neurosis, fixations.
    38. Early-onset dementialinked with old age.
    39. Paranoia, peculiar suspicions.
    40. Hallucinations, deliriums.
    41. Recurrent panic attacks.
    42. Baseless anxiety, sense of doom.
    43. Strong tooth pain when drinking or eating very hot or cold foods.
    44. Sore tongue, “burning mouth” sensation.
    45. Red tongue that is abnormally slick, without bumps.
    46. Continuous canker sores, mouth ulcers.
    47. Cracked sores at both corners of your mouth.
    48. Dry mouth, unpleasant taste in mouth.
    49. Bad breath, halitosis.
    50. Altered palate, food tastes different.
    51. Strange thirst, constantly feeling dehydrated.
    52. Unusual metallic taste in mouth.
    53. Olfactory hallucinations, noticing odd scents that aren’t apparent to anybody else.
    54. Pain in bladder in the absence of uterine infection.
    55. Stomachaches that happen often.
    56. Nausea, recurring need to vomit.
    57. Constant stomach bloating.
    58. Difficulty swallowing.
    59. “Frog in throat” sensation
    60. Acid reflux that occurs regardless of diet.
    61. Constant heartburn, despite eating healthy.
    62. Flatulence.
    63. Loss of appetite.
    64. Constipation, difficulty having regular bowel movements.
    65. Everyday diarrhea.
    66. Esophageal ulcers.
    67. Dairy sensitivity.
    68. Unusual weight loss or weight gain.
    69. Reduced libido.
    70. Hormonal imbalances.
    71. Low sperm count.
    72. Erectile dysfunction.
    73. Infertility.
    74. Post-partum depression.
    75. Frequent miscarriages, spontaneous abortions.
    76. Poor development in newborn babies.
    77. Language impairments in children.
    78. PMS- pain and emotional problems prior to menstruating.
    79. Yeast infections that occur often.
    80. Early onset menopause.
    81. Face is abnormally pale in complexion.
    82. Heart palpitations throughout the day.
    83. Losing your breath easily.
    84. Weak pulse.
    85. Thyroid disorders, including hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
    86. Sensory impairments, such as hypersensitivity to touch, fragrances, textures, flavors, lighting and noise.
    87. Sleep problems, such as insomnia or waking up easily.
    88. Sleep that doesn’t refresh your mind, you still feel exhausted in the morning.
    89. Night terrors.
    90. Vision impairments, such as blurring, double vision, sensitivity to light.
    91. Optic neuritis- nerve damage in the eyes.
    92. Constant ringing in the ears from tinnitus.
    93. Hyperacusis- extreme hypersensitivity to certain sounds, such as Styrofoam or scratching.
    94. Constantly feeling cold due to low body temperature.
    95. Bruising easily.
    96. Constantly itchy skin.
    97. Eczema, dry skin rashes.
    98. Premature grey hair.
    99. Hair loss not related to age.
    100. 100. Thin, ridged nails that break easily.

    How’s your B12?

    Sometimes, daily fatigue, dizziness, and muscle pain is a result of low vitamin levels, particularly in energy-boosting vitamin B12. A blood test will tell you if you need to increase your vitamin B12 intake.

    Vitamin B12 can be found in most protein foods, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then you may require extra B12 outside of the food pyramid.

    An easy way to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels is to use vitamin B12 supplements that replenish cobalamin in the blood supply quickly and efficiently.

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    Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

    Many people today suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency that hasn’t been diagnosed. To cure vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to understand how you got it and which B12 supplements are the best to relieve symptoms and prevent pernicious anemia.

    Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

    1) Get a blood test- save results!

    Some of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are easily confused or misdiagnosed. Memory problems, fatigue, and depression are sometimes attributed to old age or mental illness without testing for low vitamin B12 levels; that’s why getting tested is an important first step in curing vitamin B12 deficiency.

    A simple blood test can determine if your vitamin B12 levels are at a dangerous low. This is important to know, because severe vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) can lead to irreversible nerve damage, mobility problems, handicaps, and sometimes death.

    Once you get blood test results, save them in your personal files for future reference. You may need to repeat tests often, so it will help to have a record that you can use to track vitamin B12 serum levels.

    2) Know the symptoms of B12 deficiency.

    Sometimes, the symptoms you’re experiencing can speak volumes when blood test results show a “medium range” of vitamin B12 deficiency.

    In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to be turned away by their healthcare providers simply because their vitamin B12 levels were not low enough to qualify for supplementation.

    Common symptoms of medium-low range vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Forgetfulness
    • Depression
    • Fatigue
    • Slow talking
    • Brain fog
    • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet)
    • Anxiety
    • Pale complexion
    • Electric shock sensations
    • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
    • Muscle pain and spasms

    3) Understand your diagnosis.

    What’s the cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency? Is it because you follow a vegan diet? If so, then you have dietary vitamin B12 deficiency, and any quality vitamin B12 supplements can help reverse symptoms.

    For many others, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 from food or dietary supplements. In such a case, the only cure for vitamin B12 deficiency is through supplements that enter the blood stream directly, bypassing digestion in the stomach.

    4) Get the right vitamin B12 supplements!

    Vitamin B12 injections and other forms of B12 that are absorbed through the skin are the only option for vitamin B12 malabsorption.

    The following are risk factors for vitamin B12 malabsorption:

    • Family history for pernicious anemia or intrinsic factor antibody
    • Gastrointestinal disorders
    • Autoimmune disorders
    • Gastric bypass surgery
    • Medication for diabetes, GERD, depression, or frequent infections
    • Alcoholism

    5) Increase potassium and iron as neurological symptoms improve.

    During your course of vitamin B12 supplementation, you may need to increase your intake of foods containing potassium. First, ask your doctor to test your potassium. Then, eat more foods that are rich in potassium, or take supplements.

    6) Take as much vitamin B12 as you need.

    It can take a while to reverse the signs of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency. Understand that you’re perfectly safe in taking as much vitamin B12 as you feel you need, and that according to the FDA, these are no side effects associated with “too much vitamin B12.”

    7) Take vitamin B12 supplementation into your own hands.

    Your healthcare insurance may only agree to cover a minimal amount of vitamin B12- enough to prevent nerve deterioration and death, but not enough to cure constant fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and that general feeling of being out-of-sorts.

    Many patients have to use over-the-counter vitamin B12 supplements, in addition to B12 injections that they receive by their doctor.

    Don’t let your healthcare provider dictate how much vitamin B12 is enough- if you need more than the allotted dose, then you may have to shop online for quality non-dietary vitamin B12 in order to really boost energy and fight fatigue.

    8) Make sure pernicious anemia is noted.

    If your doctor believes that you are unable to digest vitamin B12 from foods, and that you need lifetime vitamin B12 supplementation, then make sure “pernicious anemia” is listed in your health records.

    9) Check folate levels.

    You may require more folic acid, which works in conjunction with vitamin B12.

    10) Check iron levels.

    Signs of fatigue can also be caused by low iron, so make sure your doctor monitors you for low and hyper iron levels.

    11) Take more B vitamins.

    Vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 work together, so it’s a good idea to take B-complex vitamins along with your regular doses of vitamin B12.

    12) Be your own advocate!

    Unfortunately, many doctors refuse to believe that a set of debilitating neurological symptoms can be cured with a vitamin- even vitamin B12 deficiency! You may have to shop around for a more sympathetic doctor.

    Also, you can push for more testing- other ways of diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Serum MMA – (methylmalonic acid)
    • Urinary MMA
    • Active B12 (HoloTc or Holotranscobalamin)
    • Elevated homocysteine
    • MTHFR – methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (gene mutation)
    • Gastric Parietal Cell Antibodies
    • Gastric Intrinsic Factor Antibodies
    • MCV level (mean corpuscular volume)

     

    Do you have questions about vitamin B12 deficiency cures, symptoms, or diagnosis? Please feel free to comment below.

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    Getting help for pernicious anemia

    Getting Help for Pernicious Anemia

    Pernicious anemia (PA) is a condition that occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency. Getting help for pernicious anemia requires intense supplementation of vitamin B12, in addition to treatment of any underlying causes that may interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.

    What is Pernicious Anemia?

    Pernicious anemia is a condition that can occur as a result of an autoimmune dysfunction or gastritis (damage to the parietal cells of the stomach).  With pernicious anemia, your body is unable to digest satisfactory amounts of vitamin B12 from foods such as beef, chicken, fish, or dairy products. As a result, you begin to suffer the ill effects of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Vitamin B12- Essential for Chronic Pain Management

    One of the most devastating signs of pernicious anemia is your body’s inability to produce enough healthy, functional red blood cells, which are needed to deliver oxygen to your brain, organs, and tissues. Many of the ailments you experience with pernicious anemia (brain fog, fatigue, memory problems) are a natural result of insufficient oxygen in your blood supply.

    Getting Help for Pernicious Anemia

    First, visit your doctor regularly for blood tests, vitamin B12 supplements, and check-ups. Outside of your doctor’s office, getting help for pernicious anemia can be as simple as spending a few hours on the internet combing the various websites that provide the most up-to-date medical publications and advice for vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia.

    Pernicious Anemia Support Groups

    There are few support groups available for pernicious anemia- perhaps because it is no longer deemed a life-threatening illness, thanks to the modern invention of vitamin B12 supplementation. Listed are a few advocacy groups online that provide helpful information about pernicious anemia.

    Pernicious Anemia on Facebook

    Facebook has many advocacy and support group pages for pernicious anemia that can also be wonderful resources. Some of these groups are closed, so you will have to ask the administrator permission to join.

    Read more about Pernicious Anemia

    Pernicious Anemia Symptoms

    Vitamin B12 deficiency blood testing is just one way of diagnosing pernicious anemia- and it’s not really the most accurate indicator, as the blood tests are designed only to catch lethally-low levels of vitamin B12, not medium-low levels that can still cause debilitating symptoms, such as nerve damage, memory loss, and immobility.

    The best gauge for measuring vitamin B12 levels is the existence of symptoms that correlate strongly with pernicious anemia. That’s why it’s vitally important to recognize the signs and inform your doctor should they appear.

    Typical symptoms of pernicious anemia include:

    • Constant fatigue
    • Long-time depression
    • Short-term memory loss
    • Slow speaking
    • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
    • Anxiety
    • Brain fog (confusion)
    • Poor attention levels
    • Poor problem-solving
    • Headaches
    • Muscle spasms
    • Partial paralysis
    • Weakness
    • Poor motor skills coordination
    • Poor balance
    • Electric shock sensations in the neck

    We’d love your opinion!

    Can you add to our list of support groups or advocacy associations that offer help for pernicious anemia?

    If you suffer from pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency, have you found this helpful?

    What is your favorite method for supplementing vitamin B12- injections or alternative forms of vitamin B12 that dissolve into the bloodstream?

     Vitamin B12- Because you just need Energy

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