- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Vitamin B-12 Malabsorption Syndrome-An Often Misdiagnosed Medical Condition.
Food Groups That Are High In Vitamin B-12
Your Fingernails Can Give You The Big Picture-As Far As Your Health Is Concerned
Methylcobalamin-(Vitamin B-12)-In its More Active Form
Before you reach for that anti-anxiety, or antidepressant medication your doctor may have recently prescribed. Why don't you first check with them to see if they had also recently ordered a CBC-(Complete Blood Count), which includes a comprehensive test that gives your total levels of serum B-12.
It would certainly be a smart move on your part, to have this completed first, before resorting to a prescription medication regimen that you may not even need for a variety of symptoms such as migraine headaches, chronic inflammatory conditions, and yes, as previously mentioned- those bouts of anxiety and depression.
Why should I be worrying about this in the first place, or even request a CBC from my physician, you may be asking yourself? Well one good reason that I can give you off the top of my head, is that many doctors today, are not readily, or even thoroughly trained in areas of nutrition and/or related vitamin deficiencies issues, often overlooked as a real vitamin deficiency disorder problem, just like that associated with vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome.
And in addition to not being thoroughly trained in the area of nutrition for example, your healthcare practitioner also may be totally unaware, that vitamin deficiencies-mainly B-12 vitamin deficiencies can be more common then they had previously thought.
A vitamin B-12 deficiency could also be a direct cause of depression and mania, or even some form of a mood disorder as I previously touched upon. And it may be a common problem that you had been experiencing for many years now, but have not given it much thought as to what may be the real cause that is making you feel more than just chronically fatigued. In fact it may have never dawned on you, or your doctor for that matter, that you have a deficiency in Vitamin B-12.
The world and society that we live in today, more than ever before, is riddled with a conglomeration of unescapable stressors that cause our immune systems, to function at far less of an optimum level than we would like them to function at. That is why if we are not already taking a multivitamin supplement that contains at least 400mcg. of folic acid and an equal amount of vitamin B-12, than perhaps we should revisit the breakdown of the type and amount of vitamins we are really consuming on a daily basis.
Multivitamin and mineral supplements generally are not a substitute for those three well balanced meals that we should be eating regularly throughout any given day. Often it is important to eat a variety of foods that contain a high amount of vitamin B-12 as well as folic acid. Foods such as eggs, organ meats (ie.) liver, certain fish and cheeses for example, to name a few of many, are really essential in maintaining health and avoiding pernicious anemia, which can also be a direct result of a vitamin B-12 deficiency.
On the other hand you may be consuming just the right combinations of green leafy vegetables, eggs, whole milk and other dairy products and maybe even raw oysters-another delicacy that is very high in vitamin B12. And despite all of the correct things you are doing good and putting into your body, you still may find that when your Complete Blood Count is reviewed by your physician, that it is apparent to him/her that you still are plagued and have all the signs and symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency.
B vitamins alone including vitamin B9, better known as Folic Acid, as mentioned, are no doubt important to our overall health and well being. And in addition do help our bodies immune system combat the stressors once again, that life can weigh us down with.
However some people and even physicians, as I had spoke about earlier in the article, totally forget about vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is one of the biggies of the B-vitamin family. A real powerhouse vitamin if you will. And a lack of it in your body that goes undetected over a long period of time can cause more harm than good. And if you think that the anxiety and depression you were previously suffering with was a big problem. Well let me inform you that those former issues will be nothing compared to what can result from a continued deficiency of vitamin B12.
Chronic inflammation, irreversible nerve pain, irritable bowel sydrome, constant migraines and autoimmune system problems (ie.) RA, or Rheumatoid Arthritis, are a few more problems that can be the direct cause of vitamin B-12 malabsorption syndrome. Should I go on, or have I convinced you that vitamin B-12 deficiency is nothing to take lightly and can make your life much less desirable than you would like it to be.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is also known to cause its victims hands and feet to fall asleep and on a continual basis. In addition it is not uncommon to hear individuals who talk about chronic back pain, also talk about sciatica, or a pins and needles type feeling in their feet. Does this sound like you too? If so you may truly have a chronic back pain problem and also suffer from Sciatica which in turn, is also causing those pins and needles feeling.
But just to reiterate and place some additional light on the subject. Vitamin B-12 can be the real cause of that chronic back, or any other pain you have been suffering with over the years. So as you can see from my examples in the article so far, vitamn B-12 malabsorption syndrome, often referred to as vitamin B-12 deficiency, can be a real ugly foe to deal with. And if you thought that vitamin B-12 deficiency is not a real disease-think again! In fact it is classified as a real disease process under the ICD-9 handbook of identifiable diseases.
So far I have given you a good deal of information about Vitamin B-12 deficiency that you may have previously been unaware of. So If you thirst for more knowledge on the topic than I invite you to read on further, as you will learn there is much more to digest in terms of vitamin B-12 deficiency and how it can be prevented and treated.
The good news is that if you think you may indeed suffer from a B-12 maladbsorption issue- than there is definitely help on the horizon and a solution to your problem in the long run. So no one with vitamin B-12 deficiency has to suffer needlessly, just because his/her doctor has overlooked this as a possible cause of their prior symptoms.
A lot of different disease processes and illnesses including as previously mentioned, depression, can make you feel chronically fatigued. Having a long, stressful day at work can also rob you of the energy that you may have once possessed earlier in the day, when you had first risen from an otherwise restful sleep.
However when it comes to your health, you have to treat it like your wealth. Without your heath, you literally have nothing, no matter how well off you are, or in other words-no matter how much of one particular material possession that you may own. So when it comes to your health, you also have to be somewhat frugal, as you would when it comes to watching your pennies, or overall wealth. You also have to be your own MD at times, or personal investigator.
Doctors often do not always have the correct answer you are looking for, or have the answer you were wanting to hear. So because of this very reason, you have to do your own research and help your doctor by giving him/her suggestions in relevance to what may be ailing you. Whether it is a vitamin B-12 deficiency, or some other ailment causing you to feel much less than chipper.
In other words you literally have to give your doctor help with solving your mystery illness, or sickness. Spell it out to them in plain english-don't even think about giving them a hint or two. This may just be ignored, or go right over the top of their head. Simply stated, you cannot be too reserved when letting your personal physician know that you think you may possibl have a B-12 deficiency, that is causing your fatigue and you are going to be embarrassed because they may in be silently thinking that you are a little looney.
Nonsense! don't be thinking this at all, or else you will be the one who will suffer the consequences in the end. If there is something on your mind when it comes to your health, you have to speak up right away-do not be shy! It is not uncommon for your doctor to also tell you that your B-12 values upon completing a CBC, are within normal range and I've heard this from the horses mouth.
I would also like to point something else out in reference to the previous point I had just made about blood counts and normal ranges. At times blood counts performed in laboratories can come back with errors. And in addition to those errors, what is a normal blood count, when it comes to B-12 vitamin deficiencies, may be perfectly normal or vice versa in another country.
What I am referring to here, is that In Japan and China for example, a vitamin B-12 blood count that is 500 or below, is considered on the borderline and treatment with vitamin B-12 1000(mcg), Micrograms should be started, and given once a week, for three weeks simultaneously, then once a month therafter.
In the U.S. most physicians will not suggest vitamin B-12 shots be given to an individual patient unless their B-12 values fall to 200, or below. I know an individual whose doctor said that their B-12 level of 336 was still within the normal range. However their physician is basically following the guidelines that the U.S. has implemented for B-12 values and not what China, or Japan goes by.
So which country and its physicians has the right answers and standards that should be followed, and who is wrong when it comes to referencing vitamin B-12 deficiencies and preventing disease? Maybe neither are wrong and it all lies within the individual makeup of the person who is the targeted candidate with the B-12 deficiency.
But besides suggesting other probable, or possible causes for not feeling well and being abnormally lethargic. Possibly a person who has an undetected vitamin B-12 deficiency, is without a doubt experiencing other problems throughout their body; Including that constant dragging, tired feeling and depression I also spoke about earlier on in this article. These in turn could be beginning signs and symptoms of a blood cancer, or lupus. Something certainly to think about carefully isn't it?
Two significant factors that can help you identify a possible vitamin B-12 deficiency is by taking a close look at your fingernails. This may sound a bit ridiculous but actually it is a known fact that your fingernails tell a lot about your overall health. Someone who has a vitamin B-12 deficiency will have fine ridges running vertically through the fingernail. And if you gently run your fingernail across the fingernail with those fine lines, you will feel these ridges as well, if you cannot visually see them.
One other important sign that you may have a B-12 deficiency is also found by looking beneath your nail beds. Normally a healthy individual and one who does not have a B-12 deficiency problem, will have prominent half moons showing beneath their nail beds. A lack, or disapearance of these milky white half moons under the nail beds, can be the direct result once again, of a vitamin B-12 absorption problem.
But a complete blood count (CBC) will without doubt, confirm for sure if you have a vitamin B-12 malabsorption syndrome problem or not. This along with the lack, or disappearance of the half moons from beneath your nail beds are real strong indicators that you certainly could have some sort of a B-12 deficiency problem.
There is also another big problem that is sometimes overlooked in individuals who suffer from B12 deficiencies. This is called vitamin B-12 intrinsic factor. If you carefully study the diagram I have included at the end of the article, in a bit more detail, you will see that even though this process may appear complicated by viewing it within the diagram.
It nevertheless points out that if something within this cycle is just a little out of balance, than a good deal of things, such as vitamin B-12 deficiency can take place. And despite all of the correct things you do, in the way of taking the right vitamins and foods you consume. The result is you will not be able to absorp the vitamin B-12 from those foods, because you may still lack that very important intrinsic factor.
Basically the intrinsic factor is a group of complex proteins called glycoproteins that are secreted by specialized cells in your stomach given the fancy name of Parietal cells. In turn this process is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B-12. Hence if the intrinsic factor is absent, or if there is some other disease going on within the stomach wall such as cancer or a gastric ulcer, than that essential vitamin B-12 you need to prevent the deficiency will not occur.
Some common things you can also do to help remedy or reverse a vitamin B-12 malabsorption, or vitamin B-12 deficiency if you already have the problem, is to take the most active form of vitamin B-12. And this is called-(Methylcobalamin)-another long and fancy word. Just try to simply remember vitamin B12 and you will be okay.
Recently I was in a health food store with a friend and I asked him to repeat Methylcobalamin back to me three times and do so quickly. I asked this just out of curiosity to see how he could locate the product on the shelf, by asking a clerk. He told me that he would rather say the word aluminum three times quickly instead. Because after locating the store clerk and asking where the Methylcobalamin was, he managed to do nothing more than confuse the poor store clerk, who had no idea what he was mumbling about.
The best Methylcobalamin, or vitamin B-12 to take is the liquid form. The reason for this is because it is usually placed beneath the tongue (sublingually) and is more readily absorbed by the bodies cells in this form. However there is also a tablet form of active Methylcobalamin, which is also placed beneath the tongue. And it dissolves rather almost as quickly because of body temperature.
I personally do not recommend any one brand over the other, but I have heard good things about the methylcobalamin made by the company Wonder. Just think of Wonder bread and when you are in the health food store next time, and you will have a much easier time of picking it out on the shelf. Just do not try to say the word Methylcobalamin!
I find that Methylcobalamin 3000 to 5000 mcg. taken three times per week sublingually, is a good starting amount, especially for someone who has less than normal values of vitamin B-12 as part of overall their serum blood levels. However always consult your physician at all times before taking vitamin B-12, whether it be in the tablet form, or a liquid form in the bottle. Your physican is always the best judge, for the most part, when it comes to suggesting what vitamin and mineral supplements to take.
There is always the slightest chance that a prescription medication that your doctor has previously prescribed, could interfere, or cause a reaction with (OTC) vitamins like Vitamin B-12. So a good rule of thumb to remember, is always ask first before you start taking B-12, or any other herb or supplements on your own for that matter.
One other noteworthy piece of information to mention while on the subject of vitamin B-12 deficiency and the concommitant use of prescription drugs. And that is-prescription medications can also be a direct cause for a deficiency of this vitamin. To add, smoking and drinking are a few other causes of a deficiency of vitamin B-12 which in turn, can lead to a vitamin B-12 deficiency within the cells of the body.
So if you are at times a little too fond of the bubbly-whether it be beer, wine or liquor. And in addition may also be a habitual smoker. Than giving up these two habits alone, will not only help to improve your overall health, but also possibly prevent a vitamin B-12 deficiency problem as well. Remember being frugal with your health, just like that of your wealth, can help you achieve a better standard of living, and a much better quality of life! The best of health to you.