My B-12 Issues

Who would have thought my B-12 deficiency would have sparked such a discussion on the forum? It has brought up more questions than answers and it may be that my having almost bottomed out will be a blessing in disguise. As with many blessings, it is well masked.

A B-12 topic already existed but it hadn’t been active for over 120 days. When I resurrected it and clicked on “reply”, I was warned that it was old news and questioned about if I really wanted to do that. I went ahead and posted the news that I had a deficiency and was starting to take Jarrow B-12 “Suitable for Vegetarians”. I thought my news would be taken as that—news—and not much else. Boy! was I wrong!

At first, I was questioned about what symptoms I might have had. I had to admit that I really hadn’t had that many and I was going by my lab results to tell me it was low. My lips sometimes tingled and I had slightly uncomfortable headaches now and then. I listed another one or two and once again, I was prepared to go about my business.

One of the members sent me an email with an attachment about an alternate way of taking the supplement. It was a little vague in its instructions so I chose to thank him for the info but I’d take the lozenges as instructed on the bottle.

THEN one of the members posted a list of symptoms about half a mile long and that’s when the others sat up and took notice. You can read them here if you are interested. There’s a link to the source included and I found that there’s a great deal more information on the site.

After several members read the list, more than one ended up with some of the symptoms. If my almost bottoming out will help someone else, it will be worth it.

There are reasons listed on the site why a deficiency can occur.

There are several possible reasons. If you’re in your fifties or older (I’m creeping up on 65) your stomach may have lost its ability to process B12 from the food you eat. This could also happen at a younger age, but it is not likely unless you have a genetic defect. In either case, a needed protein called gastric intrinsic factor would be lacking in the stomach. In this situation, a dangerous condition called pernicious anemia can develop if B12 deficiency is not treated.

Another possible reason for B12 deficiency is that you simply may not be eating enough meat or animal products, or not any if you’re a vegetarian (it’s definitely not any for me). If this is the case, you must take B12 supplements or injections.

There is an additional less widely known reason for B12 deficiency for those who have multiple sclerosis (or MS). MS causes nerve myelin to be destroyed and B12 is used in the manufacture of myelin as the body struggles to replace the lost myelin. MS can contribute toward B12 deficiency if the body uses up B12 in manufacturing myelin. (I’m blessed not to have MS.)

So there you have it in a nutshell. I’m past the age of being able to process B-12 in the food I eat. However, I have felt a change with the lozenges so I can’t be all decrepit. Time will tell. I’ll report back. This isn’t something that will go away overnight.

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