Question about b12 deficiency and ibs - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Question about b12 deficiency and ibs

Zeffy90 profile image

I read online that ibs can cause vitamin B12 deficiency. If so, is taking b12 pills enough or do you still need injections?

10 Replies

No, IBS is a symptom. Some conditions that cause IBS-like symptoms can also cause a B12 deficiency.

If you have pernicious anaemia then you will have low stomach acid, which can cause the same sort of bloating, gas, diarrhoea, that is associated with IBS. Drinking something acidic (vinegar, lime juice, etc.) helps some people.

Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth can also cause symptoms of IBS and can hinder B12 absorption.

If you have PA then oral B12 will be useless. If you have SIBO hen they may help.

Do you have a B12 deficiency, or the symptoms of a deficiency?

Zeffy90 profile image
Zeffy90 in reply to fbirder

I have a b12 deficiency (tested in July, 24 pg/ml). I was already taking b12 pills but they did nothing. Now I'm self injecting. My health improved but I still have IBS. I don't know yet if I have pernicious anemia. I can't reach a specialist in this period. I'm trying to guess the cause. Obviously I will contact a specialist when possible. Thank you for the usefull informations. So it can't be SIBO since I was already supplementing with no success?

fbirder profile image
fbirder in reply to Zeffy90

Your symptoms may be caused by SIBO (which is often present with PA). They may be caused by low stomach acid (which can cause SIBO). Or they may be due to one of the other, unown, causes of IBS.

If you have a B12 deficiency that can not be successfully treated with pills, but does respond to injections then you probably do have PA. And you probably do have low stomach acid.

You can try drinking a small amount of an acid with large meals. I prefer lime juice, others like apple cider vinegar. I dilute about 30 mL of lime juice to about 200 mL with orange, tonic water, or plain water. I drink it throughout the meal, starting about one-third of the way through.

The other thing that can help is a probiotic. There's one called Symprove that works very well, although it is expensive.

Zeffy90 profile image
Zeffy90 in reply to fbirder

Recently I tried betaine hcl after a protein meal, but for some reason my stomach really hurts after taking it and I become really anxious. Gonna try the lime juice. Thanks for the help.

Lunario profile image
Lunario in reply to fbirder

Good that your health improved, hopefully your stomach will be better soon also.

Try to avoid too much fat, drink lemon juice alongside your meals as fbirder suggested. Eat a Mediterranean diet. You could try to start your day with a nice oatmeal, add a finely diced apple, chia seed, linseed and a bit psyllium husks. Cracked Nuts and cinnamon are good, too.

Eat slowly and chew every little bite well. If you have problems with lactose, you can use hot water and add just a little lactose free milk for the better taste of your muesli.

A couple of months ago there was an article in the Spiegel Magazine about the guts and what keeps them healthy and how supportive a healthy bowel for the rest of the body is. That's why I eat this as often as I can. For me, IBS is no issue anymore. I hope I can maintain this state, maybe it's worth a try for you too?

KashifSb profile image
KashifSb in reply to Lunario

hi Lunario, I have IBS D. My B12 level was borderline 212 pg/ul. Now I am self injecting. What i got to understand that if you have SIBO or IBS thn your body stomach produce less acid which cause B12 to go down . my qs is if i take lemon juice with would it also help me as I m IBS D sufferer

Lunario profile image
Lunario in reply to KashifSb

As I mentioned above I find oats, apples and psyllium husks very helpful. I should add bananas and figs.

Lemon juice helps with digestive problems caused by reduced stomach acid. So, I think it might be helpful if you are suffering from IBS-D.

It's all a bit of trial and error to find out what is individually helpful, you could also try to eat broccoli, spinach, and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut or kimchi (not too spicy, of course).

What I can tell from my personal experience is that my diarrhea and constipation problems disappeared after I commenced B12 therapy and put those viands on my diet list.

Try to avoid stress, the stomach can be very sensitive to it. Maybe you can find a nutritionist if this doesn't help.

KashifSb profile image
KashifSb in reply to Lunario

great help indeed. bundle of thanks lunario

Lunario profile image
Lunario in reply to KashifSb

Thanks for your reply.

I forgot to mention that it's likely to be deficient in other nutrition too when you are lacking of stomach acid: Vitamins A, D, E, K, B1, as well as iron and zinc. Iron should be supplemented under medical advice only, be careful with vitamin A and E. Like with B12 overdosing is not possible with B1. Don't overdo it.

Another thing that is helpful with abdominal fullness and bloating is "tea" of caraway seed. Drink it unsweetened, for me, it works like a miracle.

KashifSb profile image
KashifSb in reply to Lunario

this will help a lot. May God bless you always

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