We finish our look at the B-Team today with Karen Langston, Nutritionist. Today we will be looking at B12 Deficiencies, should you take a multi-vitamin and how long does it take for vitamins to take effect. Today’s questions have always been on the forefront of my mind and I’m glad to share all this brilliant info with you, our followers. Next week we will be starting our look into vitamin D and Karen’s thoughts on the link between crohn’s & vitamin D.
CAP: What are common signs of a B12 deficiency?
Common B12 deficiency for most physicians is anemia and low energy. And this is where they stop; they will then give weekly or monthly injections of vitamin B12 in the synthetic form cyanocobalamin only. When in fact, there should be injections of both folic acid and B12 and possibly vitamin B6. Folic acid is converted to its active form, tetrahydrofolic acid (THFA) with the help of niacin coenzyme (NADP) and vitamin C. Folic acid is found in the body as methyl folate and requires vitamin B12 to convert it back to its active THFA form. Aha! Now can you see why B vitamins need to be taken together? When megaloblastic anemia occurs, which is the enlargement of red blood cells, both folic acid and vitamin B12 should be checked and administered.
I am more interested in energy levels, state of mind and the nervous system. If you energy levels are low, your state mind is negative and this keeps you in what I refer to as protective mode. There is no expansion of growth in the mind or the body. Think about it; you cannot feel wonderful when physically you are miserable.
Cobalamin plays a crucial role in the protection of nerves through the protective layer known as the myelin sheath. If you do not correct a vitamin B12 deficiency it can cause permanent nerve damage and neurological problems. I think this is why physicians are tuned into B12 only and not the others.
There are many common signs of a B12 and the most common ones that send you to the doctor are usually painful tiredness, exhaustion, waking up exhausted and having no energy and just want to sleep all the time.
This is a list of deficiencies that you may not think are linked to a B12 so give this list a try. This is a partial list from my symptomatology form when I am working with a client; go ahead and give yourself one mark for every yes; add them up if you have more than 12 talk with your doctor as you may have a deficiency of B12. If you have between 6 and 11 you may have the beginning stages of a deficiency.
Dark circles under the eyes.
Chronic fatigue or painful fatigue;
Wake up exhausted
Must nap throughout the day
Swollen or inflamed tongue
Burning sensation on the tongue
Numbness of the extremities and/or fingers, toes
Sore arms and/or legs
Weakness of the arms and/or legs
Memory loss or inability to remember common words while having a conversation
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Lack of appetite
Loss of taste
Weight gain especially in the abdominal area
Loss of balance and or stagger for no apparent reason
Feels like your feet are too big for your shoes that you have always worn
Legs feel tight
Red tongue or “strawberry tongue”
Ulcerations on the tongue
Yes yes yes! I don’t care what some dietitians and some physicians say. Unless you are eating 10-12 servings of 100% organic fresh produce each day, eating clean, pasture raised hormone, antibiotic and colour additive free meat, fish and poultry, your diet is made up mainly of nuts, seeds and unprocessed whole ancient grains, and you are drinking ½ your body weight of purified water each day, do not drink any caffeine products, cola, coffee, energy drinks etc., live in an environmentally sound home, with non- toxic residues, furniture, nontoxic household cleaners, non-toxic personal hygiene products and laundry cleaners, have a perfect digestive system where you have well-formed bowel movements that are solid, dark brown, floats and happens 3 times a day, you get 8 hours of sleep every night in a completely darkened room with no electronic equipment including your cell phone in your bedroom, and you have no stress what so ever, have never taken an antibiotic or over the counter remedy or prescription drug; then “yes” I agree with experts that you do not need a multivitamin! Now who do you know lives like that? Not even Dr. Oz or Dr. Weil can make that claim!
We are bombarded with toxins in our processed foods refined products and most of the foods that we consume today. Our municipal water is full of chemicals and excreted drugs that we are taking are wreaking havoc on our bodies. We are eating poor quality meat, fish, poultry etc., and if you have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s disease or Irritable bowel Syndrome for that matter you have been on numerous drugs and antibiotics. Your body is depleted; your drugs are depleting crucial nutrients and altering your gut bacteria responsible for your immune system; so why would you think you can get away with not taking a multivitamin?
Think of a car; if you do not get an oil change, give it gas, change its spark plugs and filter it is eventually going to conch out on you right? Your body is much the same. Take it down to a biological level here; your body is made up over 10 trillion cells. Your cells need amino acids from protein, energy from complex carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids and water to rebuild, rejuvenate and grow all of your cells in your body. I am hoping just from reading what B vitamins do that you understand the biological roles that vitamins and minerals as well as electrolytes play in the proper functioning of your body.
I would not take a capsule or a tablet if you have a compromised digestive system you run the risk of it never opening. I recommend taking either a liquid form, or a powdered form.
Liquid or powders will essentially bypass digestion and enter right into the blood stream where it can then go to where it is needed. When looking for a liquid multi/mineral supplement look for one that does not contain added sugars, synthetics and other fillers that may cause bloating, cramping and increased diarrhoea; with Crohn’s Disease there is enough of that already.
CAP: Once you’ve started taking a vitamin generally how long does it take for signs of improvement?
I have two that I recommend on my website and I know that the powder so far has been a huge hit, especially with the chaps, with one reporting that he felt instant results after 2 days and in his words “I saved his life and his Crohn’s is now not bothersome.” I of course did not save his life, he gave his body what it was calling out for; TLC from the right nutrients! I tried to convince him to take a probiotic but he was so happy with the greens powder that he was not messing anything up. If you want you can read more here http://karenlangston.com/2011/11/ask-karen-best-vitaminmineral-for-crohns-disease-on-a-budget/
But I must add to that “results like this are not typical to cover my butt.” To answer your question, it depends on how deficient you are; it may take a week or more, but generally within a month you should start to see subtle improvements. It could be that you are staying awake during the day, staying up later, and your mood has become lighter you are feeling more energy. I don’t want to say that it will happen overnight because I don’t believe that is possible and probably is more of a placebo effect. I believe in being honest.
If you do decide to take a vitamin supplement take a powder or liquid, where you can control the dosage. Start slow; there is no race here. I start my clients on a ¼ teaspoon per week and work up from there to the full dosage and go at their pace; if it takes a week or a month it does not matter. If you are really sick and you are not used to taking any type of supplement you may cause adverse effects because they will to a degree detoxify your system which may lead to some unwanted side effects like headache, increased diarrhea (and we have enough of that already) and flu like symptoms especially if you decide to take the greens powder. But before you purchase any type of nutrient, be sure to check with your doctor first.
But I can tell you this I know that when I was in my darkest days, I did not think I would ever be in a place of happiness, to have joy in my life or to be able to function as a human being and be a mother to my daughter. It was using vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and enzymes that got me to where I am today that fuelled an optimistic outlook and put the joy back in living.
Thanks Brad for this interview opportunity. If anyone has any questions I can be reached at Karen@IamWorthit2.com
My website: KarenLangston.com please hyperlink to http://karenlangston.com
623 252.HEAL (4325)