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Vitamin B12 deficiency


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Does anyone here have to deal with a Vitamin B12 deficiency? I imagine it is fairly uncommon for the Whole9 crowd, since B12 comes from animal meats and products.

My story:I'm 250+ pounds on a 5'9" frame. I never recovered after having a baby, weight-wise. I was diagnosed with depression after the pregnancy. Diagnosed with hypothyroidism after the pregnancy. Diagnosed with IBS after the pregnancy. Do you see a theme? Basically, my body wasn't so happy being pregnant! I have done low-carb and "paleo-like" diets in the past to amazing success. I feel great! I have energy! Sex is better! Food is delicious! Etc. I never stick to it for more than 4-5 months, though, and I've suffered the consequences.

After a year of feeling off, a lot of personal stress, gaining even more weight, I decided to try a Whole30. I was committed. Until the end of week one when I started getting constant, mild vertigo. The walls would move around me, I was mildly dizzy all the time, and everything was just plain weird. I thought the drastic dietary change could be to blame, so I went back to the SAD way of eating, but the symptoms persisted. After a LOT of tests, including an MRI, it all boils down to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. My levels were on the low side of normal, but I was experiencing all those troubling neurological symptoms (which normally aren't found in people unless they have a VERY low level).

I'm now taking B12 injections to normalize my levels, but I'm wondering how in the world I could be deficient in a vitamin found in so much food I'm eating. I have a suspicion my gut is so damaged that I'm not absorbing it.

Is anyone here B12 deficient? Did you find relief through the Whole30? Did you have to make other changes beyond the Whole30?

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mild to severe B12 deficiency is probably more common than you think...stick to the whole30 and then a paleo lifestyle of eating. I have done B12 injections (Doctor's RX) before and it made a big difference coupled with my whole30/paleo eating.

Patience, patience, patience is key here...think about how long you ate SAD or suffered from a deficiency and then project that onto how long it should take to recover. It is likely to take more than a few weeks, maybe even months. These things take time. Keep posting on the forum for support. Community is everything.

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I was dealing with similar issues about a year and a half ago. I had many of the same symptoms you described, with neurological ones as well. I was convinced I had MS.

An MRI was negative for MS, but I had some funky blood work, so my hematologist did many follow up tests to see if it could be some sort of lymphoma or blood disorder. Turns out all those were negative too.

Actually, I had very high B12 but I did have a folate deficiency. While not B12, folate is one of the B vitamins, so it makes sense that we were having the same symptoms. She put me on a high dose of B12, folate and vitamin D and my symptoms began to improve very quickly.

I have suffered from GERD, other gut issues and psoriasis, and Im positive that leaky gut was the catalyst to the development of these conditions. It also makes sense that I had low folate and vitamin D, as my gut couldnt absorb the vitamins properly.

Id suggest b12 or folate supplementation. Id even look in to seeing a hematologist, as that is the doctor that diagnosed and solved this problem for me.

Best of luck!

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Hi dcrachel, I'm in my second week of whole30 and have had the exact same symptoms, vertigo, feeling hot, dizzy, tightness in my chest and just a general unpleasant weird feeling. I've been looking on the forums for someone with the same experience but haven't found anyone thils now. I'd put it down to low BSL as I've experienced hypoglycemia in the past and they seemed to improve when I added more sweet potato and fruit to my day but are not going away totally. I take a mulitvitamin daily so I thought I should be right but after reading your post its made me think I need to check things out a bit further. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have Pernicious Anemia(my stomach does not absorb b12) and Hoshimoto's (hypothyroid). I take monthly injections of b12 and synthroid. I just started the whole 30. I'm on week 2. It's been hard because I'm a wine drinker. I started drinking wine to help with the neuro damage from the low b12...it helped take the tingling away at night. I'm a egg/milk vegetarian. I am loving the program! I have less bloating at night. I didn't feel like I looked pregnant last week at night!! Big improvement for me. I am an endurance athlete and ate some rice and quinoa before my 18 mile trail race on Saturday. I signed up for the race before I started the program. That would be the only time I ate off the plan. I can agree about feeling low energy. I wake up tired everyday and just tell myself it will go away if I work out and then I work out and I feel great! It's like amnesia because by the next morning I wake up and I feel tired and I tell myself I will feel better...see my cycle? I would love to hop out of bed full of energy and I'm hoping this program helps me. Did they check to see if you were absorbing b12?

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  • 5 months later...

I have a B12 deficiency along with iron and zinc and magnesium. Around the time i was diagnosed with this my mum was diagnosed with Coeliac and now I have been too as we discovered our symptoms were almost identical. I am so exhausted all of the time. Falling asleep driving, lying on top of my bed every day what the kids run riot around me. It's such a struggle to pull myself together and I barely recognise myself from who I used to be. The tingling and numbness drives me mad along with restless legs and pins and needles on my scalp. I have followed low carb before and did start tinder an improvement but after emigrating its been difficult. I just discovered the Whole30 two days ago and immediately bought the book and today is day one. I can't wait to get better. I can't eat to go on like this for much longer.

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I have a B12 deficiency along with iron and zinc and magnesium. Around the time i was diagnosed with this my mum was diagnosed with Coeliac and now I have been too as we discovered our symptoms were almost identical.

Forgive me if I'm stating the obvious to you, but do you get B12 injections? I had B12 deficiency but after full testing, discovered it was caused by pernicious aneamia. Basically this means my stomach doesn't produce intrinsic factor so, no matter how much is in my diet, I can't use it. I get injections of it every 2 months. It's also very common in people with coeliac disease and tends to cause numbness and tingling. If you haven't been checked for this already, it would be worth doing, the injections do make a real difference.

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I finally cured my restless legs and leg cramps with daily magnesium and extra salt (I'm not much of a salt eater by nature).

Since you're Aussie too, the magnesium I use is MagMin and I get it from Amcal chemists, it comes in a giant bottle if you'll be taking it a lot, way cheaper.

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I have shown low b12. I take a shot once a month and that seems to be working for me. I was having vertigo issues and it turned out to be a condition where I have too much cerebral fluid in my head. It's more common in obese women of childbearing age. I'm pretty sure it started when I was pregnant because I have felt off since then. It's only been recently that I've been able to piece everything together and get a diagnosis.

If the b12 doesn't help, you may want to look into psuedotumor cerebri (also called intracranial hypertension). Your symptoms sound similar to mine. Luckily, I don't have the bad headaches like some people have with this condition.

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