Vitamin B12 Defeciency. A Scary One This.

I seem to be surrounded by women suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency. Not kidding – mom, sister, friends, acquaintances, obscure aunts – you name them. It has unsettled me enough to want to get a blood test done of my own (I am certain I will be deficient, just know it!) So will a lot of you, by the way. It’s more common than we think.

The ailment was unknown to me till just about a year ago. I mean I sort of knew about B12 in a vaguesh, distant sort of way, but not more than that.

Then, all of a sudden almost every woman around me seemed to have only one problem – a B12 deficiency. This thing was like an epidemic, like it was airborne or something. I kid you not. Even friends I had not met in ages (and frankly even forgotten the existence of before they sent me chirpy messages on Facebook and I felt pressured to accept) seemed to have only one complaint (ok not only one, there’s always the maid crisis that binds us all, here in India – when I say us I mean people like us – well off, affluent enough to afford help) but apart from that one chronic problem, there was B12. Someone I know now has a neurological disorder because her B12 deficiency went undetected for too long. Another close friend had to recently take B12 injections because she was so low in it that she could not get out of bed without a yelp.Yet another friend was so depressed I had to talk her off the ledge and turned out that she too had a deficiency. She’s MUCH better now after the suppliments.

As about sis, she’s been plagued with migraines, aches, general weakness and of course depression for, well I can’t even remember for how long. Long enough to be worried I guess. I’ve been telling her to get her B12 checked. I freely impart this newly acquired knowledge to anyone who complains of anything and cares to listen (seriously – B12 has also been linked to heart trouble, cancer, Alzheimer’s, stroke – the works)  But sis being sis and working like a zombie from morning to almost morning was not in a mood to be lectured, which by the way I didn’t do, but that’s what my unsolicited advice felt like to her. Also, she usually calls me from the car on her way back home from work when she’s stuck in traffic and her daughter is waiting at home. She’s not at her best, understandably, at this time, so anything anyone says that even remotely resembles a sermon, she rejects outright, usually with sentences like “you don’t know how tired I am. I don’t have the time to go to the doc”.

Anyway, long story short, after a couple of fainting episodes, rapid pulse, rushing to the Emergency at the hospital etc, she sort of got the point about the usefulness of doctors in life. She got diagnosed with high blood pressure and  was being treated for that but her pains just would not go. I gently brought up the point of B12 again, to little avail. Most physicians seem to miss this rather obvious possible cause for body aches and other ailments. So her B12 kept dipping and headaches kept getting worse (there’s also migraine in the family, so that helps!!) and her blood pressure kept rising due to the headaches. The doc kept upping her medicine which gave her palpitations. Agh. I, of course, never let go of my rant, but who listens to siblings who are not doctors? 

So now it’s finally come up. She went for the test (don’t  ask) and guess what? Her B12 is so low that the doctor fell of his chair and wondered how she’s up and about. When she called me I wanted to say soooooo much, but of course I didn’t (i knew that was not the time).

Now my mum has been diagnosed with the same thing and has to take nasal sprays to get the stuff into her blood stream quickly. She has a vitamin d3 deficiency too,which is the other point I want to make. This too is low in a lot of people and somehow never gets discovered. My older daughter has it too and is on supplements.

So if you have a chronic, inexplicable condition and can’t quite understand why you are feeling this way, you need a vitamin B12 and D3 test. If you suggest this to a doc he/she’ll give you the are-you-the-doc-or-I look, but never mind that. Do the test anyway if you feel you should. I am going to do it this week.



Filed under mommyrage

13 responses to “Vitamin B12 Defeciency. A Scary One This.

  1. Wow, a really revealing post, if I can say that!! Maybe I ought to do these tests! Thanks for posting!

  2. intuitiveblogging

    Good reminder–I need to go and get that tested myself!

  3. Bangalore-mom

    Thanks for letting us know….am one of those….Where do I have time for tests types…am going to get one tomorrow though!

  4. mana

    If you are vegan, are you most likely prone to vitamin b12 deficiency. I’ve been trying new technology from a referral of my friend 🙂

    • crabbymommy

      Yes, I forgot to say that in my post. Thank for adding this. B12 is ONLY found in animal products, which explains why a lot of Indian women are deficient in it.

  5. Thanks for this, it was like a wake up call. I’ve been putting off getting myself tested for Vit D deficiency and the thyroid check for decades, will add this one to the list. My usual response when I read about stuff like this, usually in the papers is to Google it like a psycho, convince myself I have/ don’t have it and then Google some more to see what I can do to avoid getting it-which I then usually follow for about a week. A lot of my friends have been diagnosed with Vit D deficiency recently, I’m convinced I have it too.

    • crabbymommy

      I got my results. Vitamin D is 10. Hah. 10! It should be something between 75-100 at least! It made me laugh!!

      Better do yours fast. I have the “risk of getting bone disease” as says the report! Sigh.

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  9. Thank you wonderful message. I did not know till today that this deficiency is a significant factor in maintaining to improve my heart problem. Today my doctor prescribed Vit B12, D 3 test for my next visit. This made me to search in Google on this topic and hit a jackpot with this mail. Otherwise I never heard of this test! Thank you once again for your very informative write up. VNRao Feb 05, 2013

  10. NevadaSmith

    So did her blood pressure also come down?

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