#vitaminB12 #b12deficiency #B12Absorption #b12Vegans
Prolonged Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause cosmetic problems like grey hair, hair loss, pale skin, change in skin complexion and so on. For this you many not go to doctor. But there are other symptoms like Weakness, unusual tiredness, numbness or tingling sensation in buttocks, hands and feet, depression and so on.
In my case, 5 years ago, I suffered from b12 deficiency. I saw a sudden grey hair, increase in hair loss and moreover a tingling/burning sensation in hands & feet. I went to the doctors. The doctors ran through so many tests, including damn expensive Xrays, MRI scanning and some stupid nerve conduction tests. Everything came normal. At the end, they have had done the B12 test and found that the levels were very low.
I did not know the reason, why they had to do all expensive MRI scans before this. Why could not they start with B12 test. That way I would have saved some money.
Then I asked the doctor, why I got this deficiency. The doctor said, you are not eating meat, that’s why you got this.
Well, whatever, I got B12 shots followed by B12 supplements and I am finally recovered. But a question haunted me for long time, why I got B12 deficiency? I was not happy with doctor’s answer that I did not eat meat and meat products. I know 1000s of vegans and vegetarian people, but they never had B12 deficiency.
Then my research finally gave me the answer.
B12 is stored in the liver. It is essential vitamin for DNA, cells and everything. A healthy range should be b/w 200 to 900 ng/ml (nanograms/millilitre)
Your body uses it regularly for functioning, and it the levels decrease gradually. But it gets replenished from food. The food we take, helps to fill it up again. So at any time, it should be balanced.
But why do we get deficiency? Are we not eating enough food? My friends and family, all eat the same type of food. Why only I got deficiency?
The real problem lies not in the food but in the absorption. Whatever food you eat, the nutrients from that need to be absorbed by your body. That absorption happens when you maintain good acidic levels in your stomach.
Did you ever had acidity or Gastritis? When you have that, what we do. We go to doctor and get some antacid pills or syrup. Or, we just go to medical store and get some pills/tablets for acidity like rabeprazole, pantaprozole, esomeprazole and so on. We don’t stop there, we will continue using it for a week or sometimes for months and years.
During this time, we are actually lowering the acid produced in the stomach. Nutrients, especially vitamins like B12 is not absorbed by body at low acid levels. Your stomach need to have that acidity to absorb the b12. So what happens, even though you eat good food, you are not supplying enough nutrients.
When this happens over weeks and months, there is no absorption of b12 but there is usage. That causes the reduction of Vitamin B12 in body. When it is lowered more, you get b12 deficiency.
So, the real culprit is the antacid pills or the treatment you get for acidity. Most of the times, the antacids are themselves prescribed by doctors, that’s why they don’t want to discuss with you on what caused the low levels.
Ideally, whenever you have acidity, try to take natural remedies like Aloevera juice or ginger water to control it naturally. If you still need to take antacid pills, take B12 and multivitamin supplements along with antacid pills to increase more input.
That way you can prevent b12 deficiency in the future. But if you already have deficiency, you need to take supplements and B12 shots as recommended by doctor to restore the levels quickly. And then consume more B12 rich foods like liver, fish, Meat, eggs, Yogurt, milk and cheese. Also, make sure you don’t have acidity.
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