If you suffer from B12 deficiency and feel like you’re dying, you’re not alone. Watch the following interview with fashionista Carrie-Ann Kay, alongside Dr Chris:
This feeling is actually a very common complaint.
After a certain stage, B12 deficiency does make you feel like you’re dying. With symptoms such as depression, fatigue, irritability, imbalance, pins and needles, tinnitus, mouth ulcers, vision problems, mental impairment, and general cognitive decline, B12 deficiency can become true hell. That feeling is so common, that if you start googling “B12 deficiency”, “feel like I am dying” is one of Google’s first auto-complete suggestions.
Check out this article by Jessie Stephens in Australian website MamaMia, where she describes a phone conversation she had with her sister:
I’m freaking out. I feel as though I’m 20 seconds behind… like I can’t have a proper conversation with anyone because I can’t digest what they’re saying. I feel as though I’m stuck in a dream. Or underwater. And I have no control over it.
She then describes her situation:
I found myself struggling to tell a story; I’d start speaking and get confused and tired half way through, as though I couldn’t maintain a coherent train of thought. At times, I felt drunk without having had a drink. I wondered if it was vertigo. Or perhaps a middle ear infection that was putting my balance off. I’d been anemic in the past, so the fatigue was somewhat familiar, but the other symptoms were not. I went to the doctor about a very persistent cold that I’d had for weeks, and she suggested a blood test. I was seriously deficient in vitamin B12 – something I’d never heard of. The doctor prescribed vitamin B12 injections once a week for three weeks. And after my first injection, I was human again. Within an hour, my mind cleared. I felt liked I’d be injected with 14 hours sleep. I’d woken up from the dream and felt like myself. Rapidly, all my mouth ulcers disappeared.
As you can see, vitamin B12 deficiency is no joke.
But why do these effects occur?
Why B12 Deficiency Can Feel Like Dying
When you have B12 deficiency, especially when it’s been present for a long while, your brain simply isn’t working at full capacity. This often happens without you even knowing. You feel horrible and exhausted beyond words, and that cloud of fatigue just won’t leave. It all happens because of two biochemical reactions that B12 deficiency impairs:
- Converting methylmalonyl-coenzyme-A to succinylcholine-coenzyme-A.
- Re-methylating homocysteine to methionine.
These two reactions are what vitamin B12 is necessary for. They’re the precursors leading to the myriad of benefits and roles of vitamin B12 in our body, like formulating new red blood cells, synthesizing DNA, and regulating the nervous system.
When there’s a shortage of B12, your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. You become exhausted, because these cells are supposed to carry oxygen around the body, and now there’s not enough of them. As the B12 deficiency progresses, the myelin layer around each nerve starts to strip, and you begin to feel weird neurological sensations. The symptoms become so debilitating that it’s easy to think you’re dying.
However, there is hope.
What You Can Do About It
When you reach a stage in your B12 deficiency where you feel as if you’re dying, it often indicates an advanced deficiency, and most probably neurological symptoms are present. Think cognitive decline, tremors, pins and needles, etc. If these symptoms have been present for a while, some of the damage may not be reversible with treatment, at least not fully. However, making your life better is definitely possible.
Within 48-72 hours from beginning the B12 injections, a rapid increase of immature red blood cells will take place, and subsequently the gradual correction of anemia. Full correction may take up to 3 months, because the life cycle of red blood cells is 90 days, so only after that period will all of your red blood cells have been renewed.
After that period, even though some neurological damage may still exist, you’ll at the very least have corrected your anemia, and the chronic fatigue should have finally left for good. You’ll no longer feel like you’re dying, because you’re no longer B12 deficient.
But please, don’t wait. If you have B12 deficiency and feel like you’re dying, it means you should start injecting B12 immediately. Don’t fear any potential side effects, because B12 has no toxicity levels. Excess is quickly urinated, so there is no risk of overdose.
So, don’t wait. Inject daily, for at least three months.
You’ll feel alive again.