Thursday, 28 July 2011

Day 950 - Vitamin B12

"Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin which is very important for a number of key biological pathways, including nerve function, cell growth, cell membranes and energy production.

It is an essential nutrient available exclusively from bacterial sources, ie in the diet, or through the action of gut bacteria. As Vitamin B12 is manufactured by bacteria in animal guts, you should be able to get it from red meat, fish and dairy products.

There are two main causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency – where the body can’t get B12 from your diet; and where the body can’t use it. Both can develop over a period of years or happen suddenly.

B12 is a robust molecule and survives cooking. One of the few things that can break it is a microwave oven. Even if you don’t use a microwave yourself, it’s possible that foods containing B12 have been irradiated to stop microbes growing, which might break down B12.

B12 deficiency typically makes you extremely tired (including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and can lead to depression; other symptoms include dizziness, hair loss, pins and needles, loss of memory, gastritis and constant headaches."*

* www.b12d.org
* http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb12/


I have been seeing the kinesiologist for about two years now. The last time I saw him my muscle testing showed that Vitamin B12 would strengthen my system. I am now on a rather high dose, at six a day.

I had taken these supplements already a few months ago but it appears that my body still has a deficiency in B12. I have done some research on this vitamin which, according to certain studies, a vast part of the population is deficient in. People who suffer from intestinal disorders are particularly at risk, as their bodies are unable to absorb the vitamin. Given that IBS, for example, is such a common illness, this to me could mean that a good part of the population may well also have a B12 deficiency.

Given my recent unsettled stomach and considering that I don’t particularly eat a lot of red meat or dairy products, let alone fish, lacking in B12 hasn’t come as too much of a surprise to me.

The headache is still hovering at a 1, which is perfectly acceptable to live with. When I think back at how bad it was at the beginning, at about 9/10, making me scream in agony at night and bang my head against the bed, I feel grateful not to feel like that again. And all I can do is hope it will not flare up to such horrid levels again.

The mystery remains as to what is causing it – even the kinesiologist, who is so passionate about his work and who is determined to find a solution to my headache, said to me the other day: ‘No wonder no one knows what your headache is - every time something new comes up!’. Even he is baffled as to what could be the underlying cause, but given the progress I have seen since my first appointment two years ago, my faith in curing my headache relies entirely on him.

16 comments:

  1. Hi, I just found your blog. I am very curious if you finally figured out what was the cause of your headache and if you are pain-free now. Thank you

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  2. Hello, kind of you to ask - unfortunately the headache is still there although it's very slight so things are much better than they were at first.. still haven't figured out the cause though.. I sincerely hope you're not a headache sufferer too, as it's such an awful thing to have to live with.

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  3. I keep my fingers crossed for you getting 100% fixed! It's great that your headache has at least diminished. best wishes!

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  4. I have checked in on your blog from time to time, as my 16 year-old daughter also has a permanent headache. She's had hers for 17 1/2 months. I am so happy to hear you're consistently at a 1. What an improvement. My daughter rates hers at about a 7 right now, which is still better than a 9/10. We have tried many of the same therapies that you have, and have also found help through kinesiology. Have you looked at Dr. Sarno's books at all? His theories have been quite helpful to my daughter. My daughter has also had quite a bit of stomach trouble, so she has that in common with you as well. Best wishes as you continue your search for answers and for *complete* relief!

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  5. Thank you everyone for all your kind comments. I really hope your headache or that of your loved ones improves.

    Katherine, I haven't looked into Dr Sarno's books, I'll have a look online now, thanks. How curious to know your daughter is having similar symptoms to me - such a horrible thing to have started at such an early age for her. I truly hope it gets better, and please do stay in touch and let me know if you happen to find the miracle cure! Best wishes

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  6. I have been following your blog since 2009 when my frequent headaches (20 years strong) became permanent. I was lucky to only suffer 5 months of permenance before I stumbled on a "cure". My doctor was never any help. During a blizzard, in painful desperation, I stumbled into a chiropractors office and after an examination he said he knew what was wrong with me and could help. I almost cried but, didn't entirely believe him. I was then headache free, without medication, for over a year. He didn't have name for this, but I believe it is called Cervicogenic Headache. Online searches reveal alot of different treatments, but the causes are all the same. What worked for me is Interferential Electro-Therapy, Therapeutic ultrasound, spinal manipulation, pressure point therapy on head and neck and I think, some magic. I am no longer able to see this chiropractor any more and can not find one that can help me (I am going to see the 4th new one monday). The permanent headache has been back for 2 months and I am barely functioning any more. I don't know what this Dr. did that is any different than others. If I would never have found him, I would never have believed that there is a "cure". Hopefully this may help others. There is a "cure" out there, it is just finding the right person to help.

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  7. Not sure if it helps but I suffered a severe continuous headache for ~ 9 months after taking a supplement containing folinic acid.
    After much frantic searching for a cause I found that repeated application of a hair tonic containing caffeine, reduced and then 'cured' the headache...
    I put this down to poor metabolism as I also have issues with solanine...
    Stu

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  8. Hi
    I used Pure Vegan B12 spray.There is also a cheaper version that does not advertise vegan but says so on the label called Pure Advantage B12. The ingredients are identical.

    Vitamin B12

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  9. I had a headache for 300 days straight. Supplementing with B12 actually made it worse. Food sensitivity testing revealed a long list of culprits, the worst for me being gluten. After removing all the sensitive foods, the headaches reduced gradually and were gone in about 3 months. Then I re-introduced foods one at a time to find out the worst culprits. Now, without the offending foods, B12 can be tolerated well .Neck massage and Ginkgo Biloba have helped increase blood flow in and out of the brain, giving me some relief.

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  10. I've had a vitamine B12, B6, and B1 injection cut the severity of a month long headache radically. I was surprised. A week later it came back. My doctor here in Mexico ordered tests for parasites. I have a history of permanent migraine which is controlled by 25mg amitriptyline for a month every few years. (Sudden withdrawal of amitriptyline works wonders long term, while tapering off makes the migraine come back.) This particular headache isn't affected by amitriptyline. Hopefully the doctor will find something.

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  11. Hi I suffer chronic constant headaches pulsating throbbing and tension in the head. My headaches started around 20 from then on it has destroyed my life unable to hold down a steady job i struggled through life. I have not yet met anyone in the medical profession who truly understands the destruction this constant pain has caused me. The strange thing is I feel ashamed to talk about it, people just look at me bemused when i try to explain the constant pain. Hope you find some solution.

    Steve

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  12. Hello all. Perhaps many of you have already checked this out, but "nightshade" vegetables trigger headache in ALLOT of people. Nightshade includes all white potatoes, tomato, egg-plant, all peppers except black pepper, and tobacco. There are other headache triggers like wheat gluten, eggs, and peanuts. I suffered headaches all through my school life, and it ruined my devlopement. Headaches are no joke. After stopping the above foods, my headaches were far fewer and not as severe. At least try eliminating these foods. It works for many people, and you don't need a big doctor bill to try it out.

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  13. 15/20 years out of 37 living with this permanent left sided pain.
    took a lot of diferent drugs, corresponding, each, to a diferent diagnosis. None (indometacin, neurontin, dental prosthetics, the lot...) worked. Well, something seems to work: it consists on 3 beers. I once tried paki canabis &, thou it made me (even more) stupid, I was painless for 20 straight hours.
    I figure that what ever it is, it won´t go away & that it is tension (or stress) related. But, i´m not permanently stressed, and am permanently in pain.
    So, i´m thinking about a cirurgery, wich basicly consists on carpet bombing: the trigeminal root compression.
    Will let you guys know, if it works. If it doesn´t, i´ll have a numb cheek plus a the "old friend".

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  14. Have any of you guys tried supplementing with magnesium? Combining the oral and transdermal magnesium works well for most people suffering from severe headaches. Magnesium citrate in liquid form is well absorbed, you can find it in the laxative section in any pharmacy, and it's cheap, $ 1 for a 10oz bottle at Walmart; drink an ounce of it, three times a day; I have taken up to two ounces with every meal without any issues. For transdermal/topical supplementation, magnesium chloride (also called magnesium oil) works well and you can buy it from most vitamin stores; apply it to your skin daily; it stings a bit if you have sensitive skin, try it on your legs first; an 8 ounce bottle will cost you around $8. Another quick way to get relief is to take an Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) hot bath; fill your tub with hot water, add 2 to 4 pounds of Epsom salts, immerse your whole body for 10 to 30 minutes; most people get relief in 10 minutes or less; drink plenty of water after the hot bath because, although not obvious, you will sweat while taking the hot Epsom salts bath; you can buy the Epsom salts from many supermarkets or pharmacies, Walmart sells it for 88 cents a pound. Come back and comment if this helps. Magnesium is a safe mineral, but people with kidneys issues should consult their doctor first before supplementing with magnesium.

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  15. Like some others, the opposite happened to me: a good dose of b12 (which was necessary to have an effect) caused headaches. But someone said to take potassium supplements in that case, which solved the "B12 causing headaches" for me.

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  16. For those who are B12 deficient, not sure if this helps or if anyone is interested but I recently heard about a new oral prescription alternative to the injections called Eligen B12. I recently read that it works even if you don't have intrinsic factor (so even if you don't have normal gut absorption), which would mean no more shots. Apparently it came out a month or two ago. Has anyone tried it??

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