For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^
Have you ever experienced some kind of medical issue that no one could explain? Honestly I’m sure everyone has at one point or another because there are so many things that can wrong with a human body, and it’s a sad fact that doctors these days are rushed to the point of barely caring to look at you for more than five minutes.
With that cheery opening out of the way, let me get into today’s “About Me” topic: I have had low B12 for a long time. I first found out in college, and got shots for it for a while because the supplements didn’t seem to help. Later on I started taking supplements again, but eventually went off them, until a few months ago when I got some blood work done and found out that my B12 levels were literally through the floor. Not just low, but “how the hell is this even possible” low.
Now, first off, some of you are probably thinking, “Psh, big deal, it’s just a vitamin. How bad could it be?” But the truth is that B12 is surprisingly important to a healthy body and mind. Being deficient in B12 can cause anemia and extreme fatigue, along with contributing to such things as depression, balance issues, confusion and poor memory, and neurological issues that cause soreness and numbness in the hands, feet, and mouth. It can even contribute to heart problems. In short, it can screw you up just a wee bit.
“So what? Just take the damn supplements and be done with it then!” Ah, but it’s not necessarily that simple, because B12 deficiency can be caused by the body’s refusal to actually absorb the vitamin. Take myself, for example. B12 is naturally found in animal products – meat, chicken, eggs, etc – which is why vegetarians often end up deficient. But I get plenty of those. At a minimum I have some kind of chicken, beef, or pork once a day, and it’s usually a generous portion. By all rights my B12 should be at very healthy levels, and yet it’s not, which means my body probably just doesn’t want to absorb it.
“So…the shots then? Because that goes right in to the muscle, right?” Yes, this is true, and in actual fact I’ve also found that taking an extremely large supplement (far more than a normal person would need) works as well. So there’s no problem, right?
Strictly speaking, yeah, just pumping myself full of the vitamin daily helps, but it’s one of those band-aid situations where you’re not really fixing the problem, because the real issue is why won’t my body absorb the vitamin properly? And so we come back to the opening sentences of this post, because no one has been able to tell me. It could be caused by gastrointestinal issues – which I, granted, have suffered from but mostly got under control by increasing my fiber intake quite a lot. It could also be caused by anemia, but I’ve been tested for that and nothing was found. Then you get into the domino effect possibilities. This causes this, which causes that, which leads to B12 not being absorbed properly…but to be honest, no one seems to be interested enough in the issue to dig that deep.
So for now, I sit here and pop my vitamin daily, feeling better but also painfully curious. Why does my body hate B12 so much?
Do you have any deficiencies or issues like this that are unexplained? Please feel free to comment down below!