B12

7/2/12 19:24
darkemeralds: A falcon taking flight from a falconer's arm (Freedom)
[personal profile] darkemeralds
[personal profile] ranunculus recently posted about the beneficial effects a therapeutic dose of vitamin B12 has had on her overall well-being.

Many of the symptoms of B12 deficiency match those of hormone depletion--notably "brain fog"--and hormone replacement has already given me back my brain. I have no reason to think I'm clinically deficient in B12.

But the body's ability to absorb B12 from food diminishes steadily after 40 or so, and you can become completely depleted before the deficiency will show up in blood tests, so adding B12 to my regimen seemed a reasonable precaution.



B12

Maybe it's a placebo effect, or [personal profile] ranunculus' amazing powers of suggestion, or maybe it's coincidence, but damn, Skippy. I Zumba-ed my ass off last night. And it wasn't just more stamina: it was more strength. More...dare I say it?...grace. Which is to say better brain-to-muscle coordination. Faster processing of the dance cues from the instructor. Significantly sharper memory for what should come next in the routine.

And there's this smooth feeling, this rich, highly oxygenated, pulsing kind of vibrancy. I realized late last evening that I felt more wonderful than I can ever remember feeling (and I remember cocaine, okay?).

I tried to pinpoint what it was, but I finally realized that what it wasn't was the key: For one thing, nothing hurt. But more than that, it was quiet in my brain.

Monkey-brain, "roof-brain chatter," as my fave therapist used to call it, was absent. There wasn't a single negative voice in my head chanting the litany of shame, doubt, and fear that have been the soundtrack of my life. Everything felt wonderfully, magically neutral. Everything was A-okay, Captain.

No, I don't think all this magic came out of a $25 bottle of vitamin spray. I've been doing a lot of other things to improve what goes in on DarkEm-ville, and exogenous factors--like sunshine!--were favorable, so there was a convergence of goodness.

But vitamin B12: definitely one of the good things. Because I took some more this morning and the roof brain chatter is blessedly silent again today.



It's weird to think that all the vicissitudes of my younger years could have been relieved with some vitamins and hormones, and that all that damn talk therapy was probably pretty useless, but you know what? I'm getting used to the notion.

(no subject)

8/2/12 05:07 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
I'm a big fan of B12. I definitely notice when I have run out or when I haven't taken it for a while. Vitamin D makes a super-big difference as well.

(no subject)

8/2/12 06:23 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
Even here in Arizona, where we get plenty of sun, I don't get my D from the sun most of the year because it is too hot to even be out in the sun for the recommended 20 minutes per day. Usually, I get plenty in the winter but this year, we have had an unusually cloudy and cold winter so I realized I needed to start supplements again even though I usually take a break from D supplementation during the wintertime.

(no subject)

8/2/12 23:06 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
Yeah. Sunscreen has caused a lot of people to be D deficient.

Isn't the only way you can overdo D through supplements? The body, I thought, cuts off production after it has produced so much via the sun (10,000 IU/day iirc).

Interesting...

8/2/12 05:36 (UTC)
elke_tanzer: TW nexus (TW nexus)
Posted by [personal profile] elke_tanzer
Do you happen to know if there's a demonstrable difference between vitamin B sprays and tablets/caplets of B vitamins?

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 06:15 (UTC)
blueraccoon: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] blueraccoon
Yes, but how does it *taste*? I have massive issues with any kind of liquid or spray medication because most of it tends to make me gag. Even sublingual tablets bother me sometimes - there was one brand I liked, but I haven't taken it in months and I'd need to order it again.

(post-bypass patients are really prone to B12 deficiency, which is why I ask. In keeping with my "new me again" kick, i'm trying to get back on my vitamins - I need iron, vit d, b12, and probably a regular multi.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 06:25 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
A lot of B12 sublinguals taste awful but I do like Source Naturals orange flavor sublingual tablets. Their cherry ones make me shudder just thinking about them.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 06:26 (UTC)
blueraccoon: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] blueraccoon
Amusingly, I'd do better with cherry than orange.

Bariatric Advantage had a cherry (I think) that was pretty good, but took forever to dissolve. I had a liquid once that used a dropper to go under your tongue but again with the gagging. SIgh.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 07:20 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Mozzie in the hospital playing with bendy straws. (Bendy)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
:D

Well, I'm not sure about even recommending that you try the cherry ones although enough people must like them that they keep selling them and I have found that the quality of their supplements overall is quite high.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 18:59 (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ranunculus
According to my doctor there is no additional benefit from taking B12 as a sub-lingual. He says that a couple of recent double blind studies found no greater absorption from sub-lingual than pills from those that are swallowed.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 19:01 (UTC)
blueraccoon: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] blueraccoon
That's probably true for regular people. However, I had roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery which means my digestive system was rearranged and what's left of my stomach does not absorb b12 very well, so if I'm going to get any benefit from it at all I need a sublingual or drops or something that doesn't require stomach absorption.

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 19:15 (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ranunculus
You should probably do some more reading up, the way I understand it massive doses (2,000 micrograms) are absorbed all the way down the digestive system. In normal absorption of B12 it needs to mix with gastric acid to be able to bind with protein and thus be carried through to the end of the digestive tract, where it is normally absorbed. With massive doses there is passive transfer throughout the system, no binding in the stomach needed.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-B12/NS_patient-vitaminb12

Re: Interesting...

8/2/12 19:17 (UTC)
blueraccoon: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] blueraccoon
No offense, but I'm going to trust my surgeon who's done a ton of bypass operations, my doctor, everything I've read on the subject of post-bypass malabsorption, the WLS community, and the nutritionist I spoke with before the surgery. Trust me, I know what I'm speaking about on this. Post-gastric bypass patients are prone to vitamin malabsorption, especially with B12, iron, and vitamin D among others. It's not uncommon for bypass patients to need monthly B12 shots.

(no subject)

8/2/12 06:35 (UTC)
ext_1026: made by lanning (Default)
Posted by [identity profile] lyrstzha.livejournal.com
Wow, I'm glad B12 is yielding such great results for you! That's excellent.

(no subject)

8/2/12 11:29 (UTC)
sffan: (G - Starbucks)
Posted by [personal profile] sffan
Guess what? Vitamin B deficiency is one of the things that can happen when you go gluten free. So, not a shocker that you (and I) may be a little low. What's stupid? I have a bottle of vitamin B on my desk at. Do you think I remember to take the damn things? Of course not.

(no subject)

8/2/12 12:01 (UTC)
kis: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] kis
**nods** It's rather amazing to think that adding a few chemicals here or there can change your personality quite drastically. The one that springs to mind is testosterone for women. I know they give some women it after hysterectomy, and I've heard women on it talk about how much more confident they feel. Now I'm translating about testosterone treatments for post-menopausal female sexual dysfunction ...

I worry about balance though, and about what's normal and what's not. A post-menopausal decline in sexual desire seems perfectly reasonable in terms of Nature, though possibly not psychologically. IDK.

As for other attempts at tweaking through supplements, as I'm sure I've mentioned to you, I ploughed my way through an immense tome on the subject and it seemed to me that if you take one thing, you need to take something else to balance the damage you might be doing. OTOH, the science has probably moved on from then (it was about 15 years ago) and B vitamins are water-soluble anyway.

Which was all my long-winded way of saying Good Luck with it!

(no subject)

8/2/12 12:40 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Misty illustration of the houses of healing in Minas Tirith (Tolkien - houses of healing)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
I've got to get some of this! Since October I've been pretty much exhausted every single day, and it's a good day when I don't also have a headache. Vitamin D (along with a lightbox) has pretty much eliminated the crushing depressions I used to get through the winter, and potassium daily has got rid of my swollen ankles, so I'm quite prepared to believe that some other vitamin might actually give me some energy back. It's that or HRT, and if B vitamin supplements means I can get through this without HRT, that sounds like the lesser of two evils.

I've been amazed at the difference chemicals make to the way you experience the world. I don't think they change your personality, but they make the difference between you on a good day and you on a terrible day while also being ill. Having lived for so long with semi-permanent depression, I'm all for medicating the shit out of my moods. Anything that gets that sucker to go away - anything at all - is better than living with it.

Which is why it always annoys me that my family think depression is 'selfish.' Sheesh, do you realise how much effort I make *all the time* to keep that thing at bay? It's not like being worried - it's not about something - it's physical, chemical. I wish I'd known that earlier.

(no subject)

8/2/12 19:08 (UTC)
ranunculus: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] ranunculus
B12 can affect depression, if the stuff I'm reading about it is any indication.
Personally I was both slightly depressed, unable to move (that feeling of "exhaustion") and unable to think clearly. This led to being angry with co-workers and generally not being very nice to be around. B12 has been AMAZING. Within a couple of days I could think again, and two days ago I actually worked up a sweat walking up a hill up here in nice cold Oregon. I can't remember the last time that happened. Respiration and heart rate went up as well!

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:00 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: picture of an 18th Century naval officer showing leg in white breeches and stocking (RN - leg fetish)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
I am definitely going out tomorrow and getting some, because I'm weepy with exhaustion after just going out for a couple of hours drive, and my brain is full of fog, and although the vitamin D is still doing wonders for the SAD it's hard to remain chirpy when I'm so tired all the time. It can't hurt to try this out. I'll report back in a fortnight to say if anything has changed or not :) And thanks for the tip even if it doesn't.

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:43 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Roguish looking 18th Century young man in wig and pink silk suit.  Says 'real men wear pink.' (Real men wear pink)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
Thanks! It's a great aesthetic shame that men don't wear stockings any more :)

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:59 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Admiral Lord Rodney's knee (RN - Rodknee)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
Oh, and it's a good look too :)

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:31 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Damian O'Hare as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (Damian - hat)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
Probably "lazy" too, right? *g* That's the one, though to be fair any kind of illness without visible symptoms was regarded as laziness, so it wasn't confined to depression.

I have to admit to being reluctant to go to the doctors for anti-depressant drugs, because they seem to have the kind of side-effects that makes it not worth while. But most of the things that have genuinely helped me in my life have been alternative (herbal) medicine and supplements anyway - it's because of vitamin D that I don't think of February as the suicide month any more. And who'd have thought that Evening Primrose oil would be so effective against PMS? Or pumpkin seeds against insomnia? The world seems to be full of things designed to relieve our suffering, so it seems a bit ridiculous to go "oh, no thanks, I'd rather be miserable/foul tempered/and not sleep."

And yes, I have a whole load of issues, but the fact is that when I'm healthy, hormonally balanced and not vitamin deficient the issues become something I can deal with easily - which leads me to suspect that they were never really the problem at all.

(no subject)

8/2/12 23:44 (UTC)
alex_beecroft: Judge Anderson, veteran of the psychic wars (Judge Anderson)
Posted by [personal profile] alex_beecroft
Availability too - I don't think health food shops have been around all that long, at least not here in the UK. In my 20s you were lucky if you could get a multivitamin tonic from the chemist, whereas nowadays you can go to any high street and get all sorts of weird things you never knew you could possibly need.

But yes, if you didn't know that this was due to hormones, which could be regulated quite easily with a dose of something that'll be effective within ten minutes, you would be forever beating yourself up for being unable to control it. And others would join in, as though you could do something about it by mere determination. It's like expecting people to re-grow a severed limb by willpower alone and then guilt tripping them because the human body doesn't work that way. Thank goodness for knowledge, indeed :)

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:14 (UTC)
twasadark: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] twasadark
Oooh! I'm glad you posted about this. I've struggled with depression for years and my doctor recently told me that my B12 levels are low but not "officially" so. Anyhow, I've been taking 1000 mcg in tablet form every day and haven't noticed a huge difference. But maybe I should be upping it to 5000 mcg as is in this spray?

(no subject)

8/2/12 22:36 (UTC)
twasadark: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] twasadark
That's good to know - I'll give it a shot. LIterally, lol!

(no subject)

8/2/12 23:14 (UTC)
jumpuphigh: Pigeon with text "jumpuphigh" (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] jumpuphigh
If you have problems absorbing B12, 1000 mcg isn't enough to show a difference. I've found that I respond better to different brands. Some brands, even at the same dosage I take of my preferred brand, I might as well be taking a sugar pill.

(no subject)

9/2/12 01:45 (UTC)
twasadark: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] twasadark
That makes sense - I'll definitely have to experiment. Thanks for the idea!

(no subject)

22/2/12 10:12 (UTC)
tehomet: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] tehomet
I'm so glad for you.

Don't know if I told you this before, but my mother and sister have a congenital deficiency regarding B12. Or rather, they can't absorb it from food or tablets. So they get shots. My mother's experiences before the squack copped on that she lacked B12 (lengthy blackouts, temporary blindness, etc) are legend in the family. I got blood-tested when I was younger and don't have the same issue, but I take a daily multivitamin just to be on the safe side. All of which TMI is by way of saying: This stuff matters more than we (as a culture) realise.

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