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The prowling wolf
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had posted this in the vegan challenge thread, but thought it might be smart to create a thread of it's own about my problem.

I tried the 30 day vegan challenge and failed, and now I feel miserable about myself.

The problem is, I have a B12 absorption problem, I already was aware of this when I was omni and got injections, and now as a vegetarian with supplements it seems to be going well. However, whenever I try to be vegan my body gives me the same problems as when I really suffered from the B12 shortage, while I do take supplements.

Has anyone got any advice on going vegan with a B12 problem?
 

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This sounds like pernicious anemia. I suggest talking with your physician ASAP -- you may need to continue getting injections, as this is probably the only way to guarantee that the B12 is getting to your bloodstream.
 

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The prowling wolf
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieP View Post

This sounds like pernicious anemia. I suggest talking with your physician ASAP -- you may need to continue getting injections, as this is probably the only way to guarantee that the B12 is getting to your bloodstream.
I have talked to him, and my blood has been drawn for testing again today. New results will be in next week. However I've always had a B12 absorption problem, and he said I should eat meat, but I refused because I stand firmly for my principles. So now I am vegetarian, but I was hoping someone could give other advice or knows some website or proffessional I could email my question to?

Or might just getting injections solve it and I can still go vegan?
 

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Unintentionally Kittened
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What kind of absorption problem? Do you lack intrinsic factor or is your intestine physically damaged?

What kind of supplements do you take, sublingual or the kind you swallow?

Some people can't absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine. They can eat all the B12-rich animal products in the world and take a bunch of B12 pill but it wont help, they need B12 injections (or maybe sublingual supplements but i think if they want to take the route they should consult with a healthcare provider to make sure that method works).
 

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The prowling wolf
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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Originally Posted by RunnerVeggie View Post

Maybe I missed something - if you got injections even while you were omni, why would you stop getting them now? If you can't absorb B12, dietary supplements aren't going to help much.
Because my doctor is against the use of too heavy medicine if it can be done with less medicine, which is why I am being tested again today. I've only been vegetarian for two months, and I had my blood tested in December so this is all recent stuff I found out! I am still in the process of finding out what exactly is the best treatment; which is why I am asking for advice here.
 

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The prowling wolf
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by faded_amaranth View Post

What kind of absorption problem? Do you lack intrinsic factor or is your intestine physically damaged?

What kind of supplements do you take, sublingual or the kind you swallow?

Some people can't absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine. They can eat all the B12-rich animal products in the world and take a bunch of B12 pill but it wont help, they need B12 injections (or maybe sublingual supplements but i think if they want to take the route they should consult with a healthcare provider to make sure that method works).
They are still working on what kind of problem it is, I don't know yet. However various blood tests gave a lower than average b12 level, which is why I first got injections and when it got a bit higher I got pills. My blood has been checked again yesterday and I am getting the results next week because the doctor isn't sure yet if I have an absorption problem or not. I will know next week.

I just want to know beforehand, if it is wise/possible to be vegan nonetheless. Because I think my doctor doesn't agree; he wants me to start eating meat again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windigo View Post

I just want to know beforehand, if it is wise/possible to be vegan nonetheless. Because I think my doctor doesn't agree; he wants me to start eating meat again.
It is entirely possible to be vegan if you have absorption problems, but you MUST have a B12 injection every three months.
 

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I have absorption issues too and injections do pretty much nothing. I have been taking methycobalamin supplements and they are amazing. My levels are around 1000 now. I recently had some testing done and my levels were around 1200. I stopped taking the supplements for about 8 months and when I was retested I was down to 400. I started taking them again and just six months later I'm back around 1000.

I do tend to forget to take them everyday which I really have to be careful about since it drops so quickly. I highly suggest you try taking this as well. Methylcobalamin is an already converted form of b12 which is much easier to absorb then cyanocobalamin (which I apparently can't absorb at all).

I've been vegan for about 4-5 years now and I would have the same absorption problem even if I ate meat. So, it is possible to be a vegan even with this problem.

eta: After 5 months of injections my b12 levels had only been raised by about 100 which was useless since I was under 200 at that time. So the injections really didn't help and the doctor stopped giving them to me. That's when I switched to the methylcobalamin. And he did say it was due to absorption issues and not my diet. I wasn't vegan at that time, but I was vegetarian.
 

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Sorry you have a mystery problem, i hope you find a way to manage it and hopefully find out what is causing it soon. One thing i think may be important is to make sure you're not eating too much algae/seaweed. They make a nonfunctional analog of B12 that is a completive inhibitor to B12.

whisper, are you taking sublingual supplements or since it's methycobalamin it doesn't matter if you swallow it or dissolve it under the tongue?

On a lighter note i think NOT eating meat is better for my B12
I liked really rare meat and it was only a matter of time before i would have gotten my hands on carpaccio and tartare. It's possible to get intestinal worms from raw meat and those buggers are terrible for B12.
 

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The ones I get now are sublingual, but I have had chewable ones before.
 

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As far as I know (and I'm repeating other posters here), if you were an omni with a B12 deficiency, you have an absorption problem.

It's not a diet problem.

B12 is dang hard to screw up on. A healthy person could skip B12 for a month and probably not show any problems. The body is *very* efficient at recycling it, and thus it takes a long time to drop. We need it in such minuscule amounts that it's really hard for an omni or a vegetarian to get too little. Even as a vegan, a serving or two of almost any B12-fortified food is more than enough.

So get to a doctor to deal with this. It's not going to be solved through diet, but through treatment.
 
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