Alright, remember a couple weeks ago, when I wrote about my immense fatigue? Most of that has gone away! I was very tired one day this week, but during the rest of the week, I felt great and energetic! Woah, what changed? And, no, it wasn’t caffeine (because that actually makes me sleepy due to my ADHD). The difference? I took my supplements: vitaminB12 and Magnesium.
I took both of those for a while, yet I stopped for the last couple of months because I ran out and thought I could do without them. Mistake number one. I lasted for about a good month and then––BAM––the energy level tanked. It’s similar to fueling up your car: once you have gas reserves, your car runs fine, but the minute it reaches empty, you’re hopeless.
Anyways, only a week has passed since I went back on those supplements, but wow, they’ve made quite the difference. If you’ve seen pictures of me on this blog before, you’ve probably noticed my grey hair streak––that’s from a b12 deficiency. Plus, my dad has a b12 deficiency. AKA, I was destined to have low b12 levels, and I hardly eat meat these days, so I’ve become more deficient. That’s why my b12 bottle strongly recommends the supplement for vegans and vegetarians.
But hold up––you’re probably wondering what in the world b12 and magnesium do. So, here’s a short lesson.
Vitamin b12 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps with metabolism, red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis, according to NIH. Looking at that alone, it’s not a surprise that I’m anemic––low b12 equals low red blood cells and anemia!
Here are nine signs and symptoms of b12 deficiency
I DEFINITELY had mood changes (the worst mood swings––I’d be laughing at one moment, completely depressed at the next, and sometimes just plain irritated for no apparent reason), my feet constantly fell asleep, I often became dizzy at work and was short of breath, experienced balance issues, and temperature changes (I didn’t really have pale skin or blurred vision).
So, the next step was finding out what sources of b12 I lacked. These are some common sources.
The NIH also states that pernicious anemia (the form I most likely have, although I haven’t received an official diagnosis), affects vitamin b12 absorption and results in gastric atrophy. If you remember correctly, I had gastritis up until last September. Well, researching my deficiencies has certainly helped me understand how that arose.
I take NatureMade sublingual b12, which the body absorbs easier than generic b12. My tablets have a 16,667 percent daily value. Well, it’s no wonder the supplement works so well.
What distinguishes pernicious anemia from generic anemia? MedicineNet actually says pernicious anemia is a type of b12 deficiency caused by too little b12. The most common cause is the loss of stomach cells that make intrinsic factor––a glycoprotein that helps the stomach absorb vitamin b12. Pernicious anemia is actually considered an autoimmune disease because the body produces an antibody against IF and also can attack the stomach lining cells (Hello, gastritis! That’s exactly what happened to me). However, it is easily treated with extra b12 and foods high in folic acid.
Pernicious anemia has many of the same symptoms of b12 deficiency (since they’re linked) but these are some additional ones I experienced: depression, amenhorrea, hair loss, weight and appetite loss, beefy tongue, sleep disturbance, irritability, sudden mood swings, vertigo, burning legs and feet, tinnitus, brain fog, brittle nails and dry skin, lack of coordination, balance problems, and sensory impairment. What a list of symptoms. I’m every doctor’s least favorite patient––I remember the first time I saw my PCP in September 2017 and showed him my super long list of symptoms.
Furthermore, Chron’s Disease and Celiac Disease can also cause a b12 deficiency (most likely due to an inflamed stomach lining). Since I’m also anemic and hardly eat beef, I take an iron supplement. I’ve recently discovered that certain breakfast cereals, such as bran cereals, are high in b12.
What b12 does
Here’s why you need b12, according to StyleCraze:
- helps cell division in cellular level metabolism
- synthesizes fatty acids in the body
- For maintaining important functions of the nervous system and brain
- DNA synthesis and regulation
Up next: magnesium
Well, I know perfectly why I’m deficient in this one: I’m a coffee lover. Which, sadly, means I have to decrease my coffee intake. Anyways, magnesium deficiency can result from calcification, too much caffeine, or stress (another thing I suffer from). However, magnesium comes from veggies, and I didn’t eat too many of those when I had gastritis because I could hardly digest anything high in fiber.
Plus, I have stomach acid issues, and stomach acid is necessary for absorbing both b12 and magnesium––and guess what? I took a PPI for my gastritis, which can contribute to an inability to absorb magnesium. Great––I fix my stomach problems and end up with something else. Oh well, I can always take supplements. I much prefer that over gastritis pain.
But upon further research, I found lack of magnesium results in acid reflux because the esophageal sphincters don’t close properly, according to Naturalife I had severe GERD last year because my sphincter kept relaxing and still have occasional acid reflux…coincidence? I think not!
So, how does this link to b12? I most likely suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since I’m both b12 and Magnesium deficient, which means I basically had no energy since the two serve as main energy sources for the body. On that note, magnesium deficiencies often coincide with other deficiencies, so it’s not anything unordinary.
Here are 10 signs of magnesium deficiency. I had all but calcification of arteries and pregnancy issues (obviously, because I’m single).
Where can you find magnesium? Thanks, Dr.Axe, for this list! I’e really learned to love spinach, pepitas, kefir, bananas, black beans, and fig bars.
So, if I haven’t made this clear already, please. Please. Take your supplements. I hate taking pills, but I know not taking them results in devastating consequences.