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Last August, I found I was B12 deficient. I took supplements for 3 months and went from 180-something to over 1000. That should have been enough to keep me going for a long time. Last week I was tested again and it was 156. How could my body use up it's stores so quickly? I'm anemic as well (hemoglobin 9.9, ferritin 3), but my GP said they are separate issues. I'm not worried about the anemia -- I'll just have to suck it up and start guzzling the nasty Floradix -- but I do wonder why the B12 would fall like that. Any ideas?
 

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Well what kind of supplements are you taking? The best way to get b-12 is from eating meat, dairy, eggs but if you are a vegetarian, you are going to have a problem. If you are taking pill supplements you need to crush them into a powder. It it's a capsule open it up and take what's inside. You can try this test, put your b-12 into a glass of water and if the pill isn't dissolved in 10-15 minutes your body isn't getting the benefits of taking it. There's also been questioning whether vitamins are really a good way to obtain the nutrients you need. I hope this helps.
 

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If you have a gut malabsorption issue, the oral supps often don't provide lasting serum levels. They can help stabilize, but they don't last long. I had the same problem, though my B12 levels have finally normalized after being gluten-free for a few years. Now, if my iron would do the same, I'd be thrilled.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>jocelyndale</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7937202"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If you have a gut malabsorption issue, the oral supps often don't provide lasting serum levels. They can help stabilize, but they don't last long.</div>
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This is what I'm wondering about. At first I thought that because my levels went right up on the supplements that it must mean I *am* absorbing it properly. Now, I can't think of anything else that would make the level fall so dramatically other than the mega-dose supplements "fooled" the test when in reality the b12 hadn't been absorbed in a useful way. I've been referred to a hematologist, but the NHS can be s-l-o-w so I wanted to see what I can find out before I go.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ravenna206</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7936393"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well what kind of supplements are you taking? The best way to get b-12 is from eating meat, dairy, eggs but if you are a vegetarian, you are going to have a problem.</div>
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Lots of vegetarians eat eggs and dairy. It is vegans who don't eat any animal products and therefore need to supplement. I agree w/ you that the ideal way to get nutrients is through food, but sometimes diet alone isn't enough regardless of what you do or don't eat.<br><br>
I'm not taking any supplements right now. I never needed them before, but last summer I had some blood tests that revealed b12 deficiency. I took oral supplements for 3 months (doc wanted to give me an injection, but I decided to try the orals first). After the 3 months, my levels were very high, so I discontinued the supplements.
 

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I have been on supplements for b12 deficiency for almost 5 years. I have to take the shots as I do not absorb B12 digestively(I am a meat eater too). I get them twice a month.<br><br>
Normal B12 is 300-800, I feel my best when my levels are in the 1200's. The B12 raised my hemoglobin levels, but ONLY when I am on my shots. If I get lax about taking them it drops fast.<br><br>
When I first started getting the shots I was getting them once a month. It took 7months for me to start to notice a difference. Then I"d go on an energy high for 2 weeks and crash for 2 to the point where I slept all day long because my levels had dropped so much. After 3 months of that I went to shots twice a month. I have gone through periods where I never got my shot for 2-4months(usually during the winter). When I don't get my shot I get to a point where I don't want to go get it because of the energy it takes to go to the clinic. Every time I do this I notice the difference right away and it takes longer for my body to re-build its supplies up. I went through a phase where i tried taking oral supplements. It lasted 10 months. My symptoms started coming back at about 5months. The last month though every day they were getting worse and worse. I was almost at the point I was when I started taking the shots in the first place.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What are symptoms of B12 deficiency?</td>
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It depends on the severity of the deficiency. For me it had attacked the peripherial nervous system and was working on the central nervous system. My arms, legs, hands & feet(sock-glove syndrome) went numb all the time. That is often the "ah-ha" to B12 deficiency. My entire left side of my face would go numb. I was extremely clumsy and didn't have the best control over my muscles so my arms would knock into things all the time and talking I'd get tongue twisted alot. I bruised extremely easily, they would last for weeks before starting to turn yellow & fade and they were huge, bigger than they should have been for bump that caused it. I would also wake up with bruises where there was no injury/bump and in odd places(like the back of my calves & thighs or my bum). Multiple bruises at once, it was nothing to have 13 quarter or larger sizes bruises on my legs at 1 time. most I had no idea where they came from. I had bad memory loss, was extremely tired. I would get up and walk 2 feet then lay down and take a nap because I could not walk any further. I was being tested for MS because alot of the symptoms I had are symptoms of MS, but it was from the B12 deficiency attacking my central nervous system.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Carrie, your post was so helpful -- thank you!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7945925"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The B12 raised my hemoglobin levels, but ONLY when I am on my shots. If I get lax about taking them it drops fast.</div>
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I wonder if this is my situation. I've never had the shot, but maybe I need it.<br><br>
As far as symptoms, I am absolutely dragging myself around. When I go upstairs I am so out of breath I have to sit/lie down. I'm irritable and feel overwhelmed when normally I can cope with anything. I have tingling in my hands. Omgosh, the clumsiness! I never even considered that could be related. It's just like you said, my arms knock into things and I'm like, "How the heck did I do that?" I'm constantly dropping/juggling things as if I have no contol. Wow!<br><br>
My GP has prescribed an oral b12 supplement. I imagine it will raise my serum levels like it did last time, but I'll have to pay more attention to how I feel see if it's actually helping my symptoms. I know from past experience that the Floradix does wonders for my iron/energy levels, but if I stop taking it, they quickly fall again. Hopefully the hematologist will sort things out.
 

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I definitely don't understand B12 (just re-read your thread title) but I have a little to add. Iron, copper, and B12 are all needed to make hemaglobin, so a lack of any can cause anemia. B12-deficient anemia is also called pernicious anemia. If you don't get enough B12 then your body won't use the iron available to make more hemaglobin--so maybe you're consuming enough iron (and/or copper), or maybe you're not. But it seems like you have to address the B12 issue first, since you know it's a problem.<br><br>
B vitamins are water-soluble, so even though your levels were high while you were taking the supplements, your body can't store it up the same way it could, say, vitamins A or D. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10

B12-deficient anemia is also called pernicious anemia.
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My mil has pernicious anemia, and I'm pretty sure it's only called that if you lack intrinsic factor and therefore can't absorb dietary B12. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me!<br><br>
If you don't get enough B12 then your body won't use the iron available to make more hemaglobin
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That makes sense in my case. Based on my diet, I ought to get enough iron, but not necessarily enough B12 (or maybe I'm not absorbing what I do get).<br><br>
B vitamins are water-soluble, so even though your levels were high while you were taking the supplements, your body can't store it up the same way it could, say, vitamins A or D.
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I thought that the body *does* store B12. Am I mistaken?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Good luck!</td>
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Thank you.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My mil has pernicious anemia, and I'm pretty sure it's only called that if you lack intrinsic factor and therefore can't absorb dietary B12. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me!</td>
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This is true, you can't properly absorb B12 digestively. Since your B12 level dropped after you stopped the oral supplements you probably have PA. I do have PA and when I tried the oral supplements for 10months my level stayed up until about month 5 on them. Then it started dropping. Some people can take B12 orally but also have PA just a milder case of it. The hand numbness thing, look up Peripherial Neuropathy.<br><br>
I will be taking the shots for life.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I thought that the body *does* store B12. Am I mistaken?</td>
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Yes and no. It doesn't store it like other vitamins but you will have a supply of it. Most people get enough in their daily food to keep their levels where they need to be. When you eat a good supply of B12 foods but your B12 level is low then you don't digest it properly and you need supplements.
 

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Start researching low stomach acid.<br><br>
B12 needs the "intrinsic factor" in order to be absorbed.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JaneS</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7979928"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Start researching low stomach acid.</div>
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I just took a quiz about this and I don't think it's a problem for me.
 

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ok, is there anything going on health wise or dietarily that would cause your body to dump more than the normal amount? Some of those might be taking a proton-pump inhibitor (such as Prilosec/Prevacid) or other medication which causes B12 dumping or might be frequent antibiotic use (which kills the bacteria that reuptake the b-12 you release) or other liver-digestive tract problem?<br><br>
Generally speaking if your liver and stomach/intestines are working properly, B12 will NOT be an issue, even for most vegans (and certainly shouldn't for dairy/meat eaters).<br><br>
I would definitely look into intrinsic factor, it is more than just stomach acid and can cause problems beyond B12.
 

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I just found out that I low in B12 at my check-up this week.<br><br>
I do eat meat and I don't have any of the symptoms described.<br><br>
Went out to buy a mutivitamin today. Not sure if it will help.<br><br><br>
I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread in hopes of learning more. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>NatureMama3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7987285"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">ok, is there anything going on health wise or dietarily that would cause your body to dump more than the normal amount?</div>
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Nothing I'm aware of. The only medication I take is thyroxine (I'm hypothyroid). The last time I took an antibiotic was in 1993, so no issue there.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">My mil has pernicious anemia, and I'm pretty sure it's only called that if you lack intrinsic factor and therefore can't absorb dietary B12. If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me!</td>
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So I had to go searching to educate myself and I found myself slightly confused. I think in the most correct sense, you're right, but it seems that in more common usage, the term pernicious anemia will be used for anemia caused by lack of B12 regardless of the cause of the B12 deficiency. So I think you're more right than I am, but I think I understand why I thought what I did. But I'll be more exact in the future. How's that for roundabout? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
I found a good starting point for mineral/vitamin interactions at ithyroid.com. When you mentioned being hypo, I thought you might be interested. The guy who gathered the research on the site subscribes to the theory that hypothyroidism is due to significant mineral imbalances (presuming it's not a result of, say, RAI after a diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or something like that). I did a lot of reading there and decided to treat myself. That's beside the point, but he may discuss B12 in relation to other minerals/vitamins--the relationships are really complex and I'm pretty new in understanding them all. I wanted to mention it since he discusses lots of side effects of being both hypo and hyper.
 

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I'm a vegan who does very well with a VegLife iron/b12 supplement.<br><br>
I'm so sorry that it is so bad for you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> I hope you find a good solution.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just took a quiz about this and I don't think it's a problem for me.</div>
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What quiz? The only definitive test I know is to supplement your stomach acid with Betaine HCI with a regular sized protein containing meal. If you get burning then you don't need more. If you don't get burning, you do.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>nomadmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7987482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Nothing I'm aware of. The only medication I take is thyroxine (I'm hypothyroid). The last time I took an antibiotic was in 1993, so no issue there.</div>
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This is only T4, you could have problems converting it to T3 in the cells of your body.<br><br>
I would go to Armour/desiccated thyroid. Have you read any of Dr. Broda Barnes' research on BBT and thyroid function? Also Mary Shomon. And Dr. Stephen Langer.<br><br>
Your thyroid hormones effect enzyme production and the workings of every cell in your body.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JaneS</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7991557"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What quiz?</div>
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This one:<a href="http://altmedicine.about.com/library/weekly/bl_quiz_hypochlorhydria_test.htm." target="_blank">http://altmedicine.about.com/library...dria_test.htm.</a><br><br>
When I had the other blood tests, they did a thyroid profile as well, and my TSH, T3 and T4 were all good. I've been taking thyroxine for 10 years and my disorder is auto-immune in origin (confirmed by antibody tests). I don't know if there's any connection to the B12 issue, and I don't know how that would be determined. They're both so complex! I wouldn't take the Armour thyroid because I'm vegetarian, but I appreciate your reply.<br><br>
*The link doesn't take you to the page w/ the quiz -- but if you click on the link and type "hypochlorhydria screening quiz" in the search feature it will take you to the right page. Scroll to the bottom to take the quiz.
 
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