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If you have gut troubles, you’re mostly likely  B12 deficient.

And it’s quiet possible that at least some of the symptoms we put down to “normal” aging like loss of memory, slow thinking ability and slower mobility, could be partly caused by B12 deficiency.

So the next time you witness someone having a ‘senior moment’ suggest they get their B12 checked.

B12 deficiency effects nearly half of our population and it’s as common in younger people as in the elderly.

B12 deficiency is often missed for two reasons in our normal medical checkups.

First, it’s not a common ‘routine’ check and second, the low end of the laboratory reference range is too low.

This is why most studies underestimate true levels of deficiency.

Sadly, many B12 deficient people have so-called “normal” levels of B12.

WHY DO WE NEED IT?

B12 works together with Folate in the making of our DNA and red blood cells. It also helps with production and function of our nerves.

Severe B12 deficiency in conditions like pernicious anemia used to be fatal until scientists figured out death could be prevented by feeding patients with B12 high raw liver.

And anemia is the final stage of B12 deficiency.

Long before anemia sets in, B12 deficiency causes many other problems, like fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems.

WHY’S IT SO COMMON?

Gut problems seem to be the number 1. health complaint and core issue today.

Certainly in my practice this is the case.

So the more gut problems, the more B12 deficiencies are showing up.

The absorption of B12 is a complicated process and there’s a lot of factors that can go wrong.

CAUSES OF B12 MAL-ABSORPTION ARE:

  • Imbalanced good/bad gut bacteria (Dysbiosis)
  • leaky gut and/or gut inflammation
  • Low stomach acid (which is so very common!)
  • pernicious anemia (autoimmune condition)
  • medications (especially PPIs and other acid-suppressing drugs)
  • alcohol

Therefore, B12 deficiency can happen even if we eat lots of B12- containing animal products or are on a Paleo diet, because any gut issues are preventing the absorption anyway.

WHO’S MOST AT RISK OF B12 DEFICIENCY?

  • those with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Celiac or IBS
  • vegetarians and vegans
  • those on diabetes drugs
  • those who use acid suppressing drugs
  • those over 60 of age

B12 is the only vitamin that has ‘cobalt’ which is made in the gut of animals and it’s the only vitamin we can’t get from plants or sunlight which makes it difficult for vegetarians and vegans.

There is really good news though… B12 deficiency is really easy to diagnose and treat!  Particularly compared to treating the diseases that the deficiency can cause.

Of course, treatment depends on the cause.

Those with inflammatory gut disorders, pernicious anemia or neurological symptoms caused by this, have probably had poor B12 absorption forever, which means they’re probably going to need to have ongoing B12 injections.

So if you think you’ve a B12 deficiency, go get tested by your GP, so that you know for sure.

If you’re deficient, we need to work out what’s causing the deficiency in the first place e.g. gut inflammation, then choose how to supplement you (either tablets, injection or nasal)… and for how long.

Research is showing that all of these conditions have B12 deficiency in common:

  • Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss (collectively referred to as “aging”)
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
  • Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Learning or developmental disorders in kids
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Autoimmune disease and immune disregulation
  • Cancer
  • Male and female infertility

I hope this helps you… I’ve certainly noticed that many people aren’t aware of how common, serious and easy this deficiency is to fix…. so share this post with ‘your people’ and lets spread the word!

Meanwhile, if you have any questions on our own personal situation, go to the Nutrition For Life Community and ask me a question in the forum OR you can private message me.

 

 

 

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