Tag Archives: Vitamin B12 Malabsorption

The Most Overlooked Risk of Stomach Bloating

Gassy, painful stomach bloating from indigestion may mean that you need more of an essential vitamin in your blood supply. If your gut feels like a war zone, then experts recommend getting tested for vitamin B12 deficiency, a form of anemia linked to gastritis.

The Most Overlooked Risk of Stomach Bloating

Stomach bloating? Check your B12.

B12 deficiency in the gut

To digest vitamin B12 from food, you need to have a healthy ecosystem in your gastrointestinal tract. Good bacteria winning the battle over the bad, proper absorption of nutrients, and all that.

But for many, damage to the parietal cells of the stomach, acid reflux, and medication overuse lead to a vicious cycle of vitamin B12 anemia that feeds into constant symptoms of fatigue, stomach bloating, sore muscles, dizziness, and memory problems.

Symptoms of pernicious anemia include stomach bloating, and also diarrhea, heartburn, brain fog, painful numbness in the hands and legs, cognitive impairments, and more.

Stomach bloating and other symptoms

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

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

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

Foods that contain vitamin B12 are meats, chicken, fish, milk, and eggs. Generally, as long as you eat a steady non-vegan diet, you’re guaranteed a plentiful supply of vitamin B12 for good health…

…Unless you suffer from vitamin B12 malabsorption. The inability to break down vitamin B12 happens when you don’t have enough intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme produced in your stomach that helps to grab vitamin B12 from food and “escort” it through your intestines and into your blood supply.

Gastritis (stomach inflammation) is one of the most common causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption.

Yes- stomach damage can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

What Causes Vitamin B12 Malabsorption?

Gastrointestinal disorders

If you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, then your risk of becoming ill from pernicious anemia– severe vitamin B12 deficiency- is greater than most.

Damage to the walls of the stomach and intestinal tract, particularly the bottommost part (ileum), makes it impossible to get crucial vitamin B12 into your blood stream without direct insertion of nondietary liquid vitamin B12 supplements.

Other illnesses that cause enough gastrointestinal distress to interfere with vitamin B12 absorption include fibromyalgia, migraines, celiac, lupus, and chronic stomach ulcers.                       

Gastro surgery

If you’re an IBD patient who has elected for corrective surgery to treat chronic stomach bloating, indigestion, ulcers, and stomach pain, then you must supplement with high doses of vitamin B12 from a reliable source, in order to prevent becoming anemic.

Weight loss surgery recipients who undergo gastric bypass are also included in that risk category for pernicious anemia.

Autoimmune disorders

You may not able to get enough vitamin B12 simply because your body identifies intrinsic factor as a danger, and attacks it. If you suffer from immune system dysfunctions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or celiac disease, then it’s important to get your vitamin B12 levels checked regularly.

Better yet, begin a routine of supplemental vitamin B12 as a preventive measure against pernicious anemia. There’s no danger of taking too much vitamin B12, since it is safe in all amounts.

Please tell us…

Have you been experiencing stomach bloating and other signs of digestive disorders, but didn’t realize they were connected to vitamin B12 deficiency?

If you suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as Crohn’s disease, gastroesophageal disorder (GERD),  or ulcerative colitis, do you feel that you ‘re getting enough vitamin B12 from your doctor to combat deficiency?

Image by Ohmega1982

 

 


  • 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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