Updated March 21st-2020 to reflect the most accurate information possible.
Do you have Vitamin B12 deficiency along with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism?
You may think that in the modern world, vitamin deficiency is rare, but it is relatively prevalent thanks to poor dietary habits and reduced absorption due to various problems in the digestive system. And Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common particularly among vegetarians and vegans, apart from people with gut disorders or those who are on long term antacids. This all important vitamin is necessary for optimum health and also helps with the nervous system and brain function.
If you also have low thyroid levels caused by Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, you should be all the more careful as the same factors that cause Hashimoto’s can lead to low Vitamin B12 levels.
How Vitamin B12 levels impact health
This vital vitamin is extremely important for good health and the symptoms of its deficiency can easily be assigned to other causes. Among the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are:
Deficiency of B12 shows up in many ways
- Weakness, tiredness
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath.
- Pale skin.
- A smooth tongue.
- Constipation, diarrhea,
- Loss of appetite, or gas.
- Nerve problems like numbness or tingling,
- Muscle weakness,
- Problems walking- Balance disorders
- Vision loss
In older people, such symptoms may easily be ascribed to dementia or even old age and ignored.
Loss of brain function may also be found in patients of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and a Vitamin B12 deficiency can compound the problems. Therefore, it is all the more important to identify and treat this vitamin deficiency particularly in patients of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism.
Auto-immune diseases and B12
As some of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency are common, it is necessary to screen the blood or even more specifically the urine for the deficiency and treat it. Some people who suffer from B12 deficiency are prone to an auto-immune disorder called pernicious anemia. This can be serious and it is important to manage and treat it. As it is, people with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism are at greater risk of developing other auto-immune disorders.
Among other problems, deficiency of this all important vitamin puts you at greater risk of developing ailments like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Other auto-immune diseases
How A Damaged Digestive System Causes Vitamin B12 deficiency
While vitamin B12 is mainly absorbed in the far reaches of the small intestine, its digestive process actually starts in the stomach. Autoimmune diseases that destroy these specialized cells, then, impair the body’s ability to absorb B12 from diet – these diseases are called atrophic gastritis and pernicious anemia.
While most people are aware of the dictates of a good diet and nutrition, and they may eat their fruits and vegetables and follow all the diet rules as advised by medical experts, they still may not get their quota of required allowances of the necessary vitamins due to malabsorption syndrome.
Causes of B12 Deficiency
- Atrophic Gastritis
- Pernicious Anemia
- Low acid secretion
- Extra acid secretion
- Taking antacids
- Taking proton pump inhibitors
- Suffering from gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Weight-loss surgery
- Some prescription drugs
If you are suffering from any kind of digestive disorder, Leaky gut, Atrophic Gastritis, Pernicious Anemia, H.pylori infection, it may be difficult for vitamins and other nutrients to be properly absorbed. The end result is a B12 deficiency. People who suffer from auto-immune diseases like Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and other autoimmune disorders, often also suffer from a damaged gut.
In the case of a B12 deficiency, it is important to address the issue of an improperly working digestive system at the same time you supplement with B12.
If You Are Vegetarian You Are Prone To B12 Deficiency
While plant sources like spirulina, algae and other grasses may be rich in Vitamin B12, the bioavailability of this vitamin is not great and it is easy to suffer from a deficiency.
In fact, often the blood test reading for this vitamin among this group of people may be incorrect and vegetarians and vegans may need to supplement their diet with B12.
If you have Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, I highly recommend you get your B12 levels tested and if necessary take supplements of B12.
What Kind of B12 Should You take?
It is also important to take the right form of B12 as meythylcobalamin is more readily absorbed than cyancobalamin.
Another form of B12 that I like to use is a liposomal Hydroxy B12– while it is a bit more expensive, it has better absorption.
B12 will also help improve liver detoxification and helps in reducing inflammation.
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People Who Read This Article Also Read
- B12- A Silent Epidemic With Serious Consequences
- Symptoms of B12 Deficiency Everyone Should Be Familiar With
- B12 Deficiency, Thyroid Disease and the Connection to MTHFR
- Common Nutritional Deficiencies Seen In Thyroid Disease and Hashimotos