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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone educate me about B12 deficiency? My partner just got some labs back today saying he was low on B12. I think this explains the tingling in his fingers and his metal fog.<br><br>
He was also diagnosed with Lupus or a Lupus-like disease almost 2 years ago (symptoms: swelling in joints, pain in joints, general achiness and feeling bad, positive ANA). Could they be related?<br><br>
Of course, his dr just recommended supplements, didn't talk about figuring out why he's deficient in the first place.<br><br>
So, what should we know? Steps to take? I'd like to get on this, as serious B12 deficiency can cause some scary things.<br><br>
Thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br><br>
~Julia
 

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Is he a vegetarian/vegan?
 

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I am B12 deficient. What kind of supplements did the dr say to take? If he eats meat then taking oral supplements will NOT help because he will not absorb it digestively. He'll need to get B12 injections. Some people get them once a month, some once a week or more often. I get mine twice a month, but probably need to increase that though I need to get in regular enough to get my B12 up I need to do them myself at home instead of what I'm currently doing - going to the clinic.<br><br>
Yes the deficiency will cause numbness, pain & tingling in the arms/legs/hands/feet. It will also cause brain fog, stumbling, memory lapses, lack of energy. It can mimic auto-immune disorders such as MS, Lupus, etc.<br><br>
Alot of people cannot find out WHY they're deficient. The most common cause is being vegan/vegetarian as most people get enough B12 through eating meat. Other causes can be diabetes, taking antacids.<br><br>
Most people who are deficient don't absorb it becuase the lack the intrinsic factor in order to absorb it, why they lack it is what is unknown.<br><br>
3 things to look up are - pernicious anemia, sock-glove syndrome & peripheral neuropathy
 

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My son and I are both B12 deficient. For me at least, it runs in the family. For him he has other health issues that I assume are causing it. The research goes both ways as far as whether IM injections are better than oral supplements. Most of my reading brought me to the conclusion that IM injections used to be far superior but that they're realizing oral supplements work just as well for most people.<br><br>
What's his number if I can ask? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Has anyone tried a B12 nasal spray? I'm just asking out of curiosity. I don't think I have a B12 deficiency but I've heard of B12 nasal sprays that can be ordered from compounding pharmacies. Are they as effective as B12 shots?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice!<br><br>
We aren't vegetarians, though we try to eat meat infrequently. And almost no red meat ever. Maybe 8-10 times a year (and sadly, in the form of fast food hamburgers!). I thought I had read something about it being more common in red meat?<br><br>
His Dr. prescribed sublingual tablets or drops, twice a day. We have drops right now, but he's just started taking them.<br><br>
Sadly I don't know his number as all his test results came back written: normal or low. Thanks for the information! He's going to call and see if they can fax over the actual results.<br><br>
Carrie, can you talk more about B12 deficiency being misdiagnosed as autoimmune disease? Or do you know of some books, websites, etc. that talk about that? We've been wondering if he really had lupus, some things weren't adding up. The last specialist he saw would only say he had a "lupus-like" disease, wasn't positive he had lupus. Of course, he didn't want to investigate what that was!<br><br>
Thanks again for any more advice anyone has!<br><br>
Julia
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh another question(s).<br><br>
Is this something that needs to be monitored for the rest of his life, or can we get his levels back up to normal and then he's good?<br><br>
Also, the Lupus medicine he's on often causes loose BM as a side effect. Can that inhibit B12 uptake, as it seems it's usually absorbed in the colon? Though he has had the tingling fingers before the lupus diagnosis and the medication.<br><br>
Thanks again!<br><br>
~Julia
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Carrie, can you talk more about B12 deficiency being misdiagnosed as autoimmune disease?</td>
</tr></table></div>
It isn't so much that it is misdiagnosed, but that most dr's don't test for B12 deficiency, especially when people get older. They chalk the fatigue & such up to "getting older". The symptoms are similar & so they go with lupus or ms or chronic fatigue. When you don't absorb B12 it attacks your peripheral nervous system(causing the numbness/pain in the hands,arms, feet & legs). Then it attacks your central nervous system(causing MS like symptoms).<br><br>
I went on oral supplements for 8months & by the time I went back into the clinic I had every one of the MS like symptoms back & they were getting worse daily.<br><br>
Since you rarely eat red meat, the oral supplements will help.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">IM injections used to be far superior but that they're realizing oral supplements work just as well for most people</td>
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it depends on how a person is not getting enough. If a person does not absorb it digestively then taking an oral supplement will NOT help as they still won't digest it. If they are simply not getting it becuase they don't eat foods rich in B12(like red meat) then taking an oral supplement WILL help.
 
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