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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

Also read:

 

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    5 Causes of Memory Loss in Midlife

    Constantly forgetting important errands? Avert your midlife crisis by fixing some typical causes of memory loss that can happen to anybody under the age of 50. Stress, medication, and menopause are all examples of things that can lead to short-term memory loss, even if you’re not a candidate for age-related dementia.

    Causes of Memory Loss in Midlife

    Memory loss in midlife- it happens.

    The good news

    “I’m too young for this!” you think as you wrack your brain trying to remember the password for your ATM card… or your son’s birthdate…or your own age (without doing the math). It seems like you’re always getting sidetracked, confused, or lost in a fog. You’re constantly forgetting words that are just on the tip of your tongue.

    These are all typical symptoms of brain fatigue. Once you understand what’s causing it, the road to recovery is that much closer.

    Here’s the good news: Most likely, it’s not dementia. Even if you’re getting along in years, brain loss from Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative illnesses are not a given, and don’t happen to all senior citizens.

    Often, other factors such as vitamin deficiency, exhaustion, health problems or even daily medications can cause an endless cycle of brain fog, tiredness, forgetfulness, dizziness, and irritability that can make it difficult to function.

    Causes of memory loss

    The sooner you address these problems, the sooner you can start feeling more focused, energized, and relaxed.

    Listed are some common causes of memory loss that can occur in middle age:

    1) Vitamin B12 deficiency

    Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy brain functioning. It’s one of the most beneficial nutrients for supporting your nervous system, red blood cell production, and proper metabolism.

    Some of the earliest signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are all symptoms that occur in the brain:

    • Memory loss
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Irritability
    • Distractedness
    • Paranoia

    If constant memory loss is interfering with your life, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to dramatically increase your uptake of high-quality vitamin B12 supplements. Most people find that even one week’s worth of B12 supplementation results in an immediate improvement in such symptoms that occur with B12 deficiency- especially chronic fatigue and memory loss. With time, cognitive impairments linked with low vitamin B12 will gradually disappear.

    2) Stress

    When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce cortisol, the stress hormone. If you suffer from daily stress, then you’re making it round the clock. Too much cortisol in your blood supply is directly linked to memory problems, dizziness, and other signs of mental fatigue.

    Stress is a common cause of memory loss for people who suffer from chronic depression. Again, this can be linked to excess cortisol.

    Stress management, relaxation, exercise, and a healthy diet are all cited as effective ways to reduce stress and improve your memory.

    3) Alcohol

    Heavy drinkers may experience memory impairments and forgetfulness caused by Korsakoff’s syndrome. While under the influence, your brain simply isn’t “paying attention” to things that are happening around you. The more time spent drinking, the less memory you will have retained by midlife.

    4) Prescription medications

    Certain drugs and medical treatments can cause memory loss, brain fog, and confusion. If you’re currently taking a prescription drug that makes you feel forgetful or unfocused, then tell your doctor.

    5) Menopause

    Also known as “menofog,” memory loss during midlife is a common indicator of menopause. Hormone fluctuations, stress, mood changes and sleep problems can all make it difficult to concentrate, relax, or stick with your everyday routine. As a result, many women approaching their fifties wrongly think they’re going crazy or experiencing the first signs of dementia, when they’re really undergoing the beginnings of menopause.
    To find out if menopause may be causing memory problems, speak to a doctor who specializes in women’s health.

    What other causes of memory loss can you add to this discussion?

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    Prevent Memory Loss- Check these 7 Medications!

    Memory loss doesn’t have to be a necessary part of getting older. Often, forgetfulness is triggered by certain medications that cause brain fog, fatigue, and mental confusion. To prevent memory loss, ask your doctor for healthier alternatives for the following drugs.

    Prevent Memory Loss- Check these 7 Medications!

    Prevent memory loss…

    If you’ve been noticing an increase in memory loss, then your first step is to schedule a check-up. Your doctor may want to screen for vitamin B12 deficiency, a common cause of frequent memory problems, tiredness, and depression.

    Other possible reasons for poor memory can include smoking, head trauma, stroke, sleep apnea, early-onset dementia, or just plain ‘ole stress.

    Or, memory loss can occur with commonly prescribed medications used to treat depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or even high cholesterol.

    Medications to keep in check…

    Here are some prescription drugs that doctors have linked with memory loss:

    1. Benzodiazepines for anxiety work by suppressing parts of the brain used to store memory. These should only be prescribed rarely, and not for long term. Ask your doctor for gentler treatments for anxiety, muscle spasms, or insomnia. Also, consider supplementing with safe natural ingredients that help to promote good cognition.
    2. Statins that lower cholesterol can also impair memory by reducing lipids that are needed for cellular communication in the brain’s network of nerve cells. To counteract the effect, doctors recommend taking high doses of vitamin B12, which encourages healthy nervous system functioning through the preservation of myelin.
    3. Certain anti-seizure drugs used to treat migraines, epilepsy or bipolar disorder can wreak havoc on the nervous system, leaving you feeling drained, disoriented, and forgetful. Certain anticonvulsants are better than others, so if you notice a change in your overall mood, then ask your doctor to recommend an alternative. Also, certain herbs, vitamins, and minerals have been found helpful when taken in tandem, such as butterbur, riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.
    4. Opioid analgesic painkillers prescribed for arthritis, migraines or fibromyalgia can interfere with both short-term and long-term memory. For chronic pain that requires frequent medication, inquire about non-narcotic painkillers. For joint pain and muscle soreness, rub daily with a pain relieving cream.
    5. Tricyclic antidepressants used to treat depression, anxiety, tinnitus, migraines, and chronic pain may cause severe memory loss in about 35% of patients, in addition to difficulty concentrating in more than half, according to recent studies. If you experience fatigue and memory problems, then your doctor may suggest lowering your dose or trying an alternative type of antidepressant, such as selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRI/SNRIs).
    6. Antihistamines used for nausea, allergies and migraines can impair the part of your brain used for memory and learning. To prevent memory loss while using antihistamines, make sure you’re using one of the newer formulas.
    7. Hypertension drugs such as beta-blockers work by inhibiting chemical reactions in the brain, including those needed for good memory and healthy cognitive functioning. As a result, you may experience frequent brain fog and memory loss after using beta-blockers for a long period of time. If using hypertension medications to treat migraines or tinnitus, then ask about certain vitamins and minerals that support good blood flow to the brain.

    Can you think of any other medications people should avoid, in order to prevent memory loss? Please share your comments or questions below.

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    List of Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    A common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is long-term use of certain medications. Even if you don’t suffer from an autoimmune condition or have a family medical history for pernicious anemia, your risk for developing severe vitamin B12 deficiency are increased if you take any of the following medications regularly.

    List of Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Listed are drugs prescribed often for conditions such as diabetes, depression, GERD, or frequent infections that can, over time, impair your ability to absorb vitamin B12 properly from the foods you eat.

    Vitamin B12 malabsorption

    If you take vitamin B complex and eat a diet rich in vitamin B12, such as beef, fish, and chicken, then you’re on the right track to good health. Still, there are many risk factors that can lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption, regardless of how well you take care of your body.

    Vitamin B12 malabsorption is the inability to latch onto vitamin B12 molecules that enter your body and use them efficiently. Instead of being dispersed through your blood stream, essential vitamin B12 passes through your digestive system whole, unaffected. None of the important nutrients needed for good neurological health, energy, or red blood cell development reach their destination. As a result, over time, you experience symptoms of severe anemia caused by low levels of serum vitamin B12.

    What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Vitamin B12 deficiency most often occurs with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition that attacks intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme needed for vitamin B12 absorption. Pernicious anemia can also result from damage to the parietal cells of the stomach. Patients of gastrointestinal surgeries for weight loss or Crohn’s disease are at risk and must supplement with non-dietary vitamin B12.

    If you follow a strict vegan diet, then you may be at risk for dietary vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are no rich natural sources of plant-based vitamin B12.

    Medications that Trigger Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Please note: Don’t stop using any prescription medication without permission from your doctor. If you use any of the medications listed, then you should check your vitamin B12 levels regularly in order to prevent developing severe vitamin B12 deficiency.

    The following prescription medications may trigger vitamin B12 deficiency:

    • Aminoglycosides
    • Cephalosporins
    • Chlorotrianisene
    • Chlortetracycline
    • Cholestyramine (Cholybar®, Questran®)
    • Cimetidine (Tagamet®)
    • Clofibrate (Atromid-S®)
    • Colchicine- (ColBenemid®)
    • Colestipol
    • Co-trimoxazole
    • Demeclocycline
    • Famotidine
    • Fluoroquinolones
    • Lansoprazole
    • Macrolides
    • Metformin
    • Methyldopa (Aldomet®)
    • Minocycline
    • Neomycin
    • Nizatidine
    • Omeprazole (Prilosec®)
    • Oral contraceptives
    • Oxytetracycline
    • Penicillins
    • Phenobarbital
    • Phenytoin
    • Potassium chloride
    • Ranitidine (Zantac®)
    • Sulfonamides
    • Tetracyclines
    • Trimethoprim- (TMP/SMX)
    • Valproic Acid (Depakene®)
    • Zidovudine

    Did we miss any?

    Are you currently taking any medications that you feel have directly led to vitamin B12 deficiency? Please comment below.

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