July 5, 2013

Astounding Information about B12 Deficiency

I knew B12 was important, but I had no idea how many things low B12 can affect.  As they say in the video below, B12 is a horse, not a zebra.  In other words, B12 should be something our physicians routinely check.

Symptoms and Related Disorders
Memory Issues, mental confusion, "brain fog," short attention span
Nerve issues, Numbness, Tingling or "Pins and Needles" esp. in hands or feet, Gait problems, and urinary incontinence due to nerve damage
Muscle Issues: Weakness, Clumsiness
Pale or yellow skin

Mood Issues: Anger, Irritability, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Thoughts of Suicide, Psychosis
Stomach and GI Disturbances, including food allergies
Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia
Sore mouth or tongue, including swollen tongue, possibly dark red
Visual Disturbances
Orthostatic Intolerances
Elevated Homocysteine
Elevated MMA
Shortness of Breath
Dysplagia, including epithelial dysplagia which can result in a false positive pap smear for women
Neurological lesions
In children, repetitive gestures, possible regression in developmental areas, small head circumference, slow growth, failure to thrive,

Risk Factors include:

A diet low in meat and animal protein, esp. vegetarian or vegan
Celiac Disease
Use of acid-blockers (see here, if you have stomach acid issues)
Use of Birth Control
Use of Nitrous Oxide anesthesia (which inactivates B12)
Stomach Surgery
Pregnant and post-partum women (increases B12 needs), especially those women taking supplements high in folic acid - particularly women with post-partum depression

Those with low stomach acid (esp. the elderly)
Age over 50
Pernicious Anemia
Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
Peptic Ulcer
Transcobalamin Deficiency

Serum B12 labs are not always enough to rule out a deficiency because the lab is checking serum levels, not tissue levels of B12.  The video explains that the following labs might need to be done to rule out a B12 deficiency:
  • Serum B12
  • HoloTranscobalamin
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylmalonic Acid
  • Unsaturated B12 Binding Capacity


All rights reserved, copyright information Elissa Leonard 2011