B12 deficient from bulimia

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I've felt tired since I was 18 and I've recently discovered I'm b12 deficient at 35! Now that I know, all my other strange symptoms make sense...painful tongue, low immunity, ringing in my ears, IBS, memory loss and extreme tiredness.

I've always suspected it had something to do with the fact that I've been bulimic since I was 13 but, having educated myself a bit more about PA, I'm now pretty curtain it's due to bulimia. Is there anyone else who is b12 deficient and has an eating disorder? I'd be interested to hear from anyone suffering or recovered.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I read your post this morning, and there are a lot of parallels between our story's!

    I started to have problems with tiredness when I was about 13 but I have always been a fussy eater, but to be fair to mum she did ensure I had a fairly well balanced diet when I lived at home, but I was getting more and more tired, which made me more stressed and depressed, which meant I was not eating properly, so I spent most of my teens and very early 20s being slightly underweight.

    Unfortunately all my G.Ps thought I was anxious and depressed so from the age of 17 to 28 I was prescribed antidepressants on and off for years, so my eating habits and weight fluctuated and in between all this I left home and came back a few times! Then at the age of 28 I was prescribed a antidepressant which strangely did help a bit, plus I went to university (again ) which enabled me to live a lifestyle which sutited me, but I was still often tired.

    Then I finished uni, I muddled on for a few years, then I became a student mental health nurse at the age of 32 again I muddled through a couple years of the course, this is where the wheels fell off my life! ... my weight was increasing (it still is a issue), I was getting more depressed despite being on antidepressants, even more knackered, having migraines/head aches, I was always prone to getting bugs but I would catch every plauge going, all in all I felt dreadful. So I was forced to give up on my nursing course, but during this time I moved to another town/city so I changed G.Ps where thankfully I G.P discovered that I was B12 deficient at the age of 34/35.

    I have to be honest once I got into a good regime of taking (the correct type) B12 and folic acid, I did feel confident and well enough to come of my antidepressants (it's another story how to come off antidepressants), so at the age of 36 I'm finally antidepressant free and depression free! Unfortunately I'm not able to work or return to nursing because I have been unfortunate enough to develop a couple of conditions linked to the B12 deficiency or conditions which effect the B12 deficiency.

    What I'm trying to say is that the bingeing could of been your body desiring certain nutrients, and because you felt so rough it gave you the unfortunate effect of developing full blown bulimia. And clivealive is 100% right the Blulimia has not helped, but as I said earlier you should improve when you settle into a routine/regime, and hopefully you won't develop further issues like I have.

    If you have any other please don't hesitate to ask, Im sure someone will be able to give you a answer or respond smile

    Good luck

    Kelly

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    • Posted

      I have just re read what I typed, and realised I didn't really put much about my eating habits, just to summarise, I feel that I was B12 deficient but because of mum looking after my diet, I couldn't increase my B12 (not that it would of made a difference), so I became even more tired and even more depressed, so this had a huge effect on my eating habits, so much so I'm sure in retrospect I was probably borderline anorexic, and I'm also pretty sure I have been through phases of binge eating (with out vomiting), and I have been through phases where I have exercised like crazy and tried to control my diet. Since I was 13 I believed there was something chemically wrong with me, that's why I was knackered, and subsequently that's why I may putting it bluntly, why I often had the desire to stuff my face.

      All I'm trying to say quite often with B12 deficiency and PA, things can be a bit chicken and egg " what came first?"

      Good luck

      Kelly

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah.

    I was diagnosed only 3 weeks ago. I've been very depressed since. Shocker, right? I too, am a recovered bulimic. Age 16 to 27, hard core except the duration of my two pregnancies and then intermittently till about 35..if I felt too full. Still have the scars on my knuckles. I was tired, felt fatigued, hips were so achy, hair loss, blurry vision in one eye, ringing ear, heavy periods. Figured now that I'm 47 as of last month that she was trying to tear me down with age. It was incredibly difficult to maintain daily life activities. My doctor listened to all my complaints, drew 13 vials of blood and diagnosis found. My vitd was 17. My vitb12 was 99. My iron was 9. I've got the dreaded antibody. I have questioned both sides of my family. No one has been diagnosed with this. None had red blood cell abnormalities. None of them had digestive issues passed down the line. I have been fretting about my kids having this. I plan to get them tested, as they are young adults now...but I am still not over the anxiety of this diagnosis. I couldn't handle it at this time if I found out so given neither are symptomatic now, I've been having them take oscal tablets with d3 and calcium daily, sl b12 drops daily and a few times a week, iron pills, 328mg. Can't hurt to keep up the stores if they haven't depleted them, right? But after seeing your comment, I started looking around and sure enough, this may be the link I have been trying to find all along. Bulimia, I think is my issue too. If this was passed in families, I would have found at least one other. I mean seriously....just one! But I haven't. Since it's a digestive auto immune condition, someone would have presented by now other than just me. Now my dad had colorectal cancer. I haven't seen him since I was 13. I heard it killed him 10 years ago. However, I'm told it wasn't because he was always sickly as a child and young adult and that's why, but told he pumped meth , cocaine, heroin, pills and heavy alcohol abuse more than half his life for at least 30 years. That he was destroyed inside out with cancer therefore not so much a genetic disposition but self inflicted. A few family members has diabetes 1. So again, no link to PA specifically. I am really hoping and praying that it was my bulimia that did this to me. I would not want to pass this legacy down to my kids. Who would? I will fight whatever comes to be here for them. I've overhauled my diet. No soda which I've drank for 43 years. Low carbs, balanced fibers, no alcohol. Sure I kick myself today for not doing this in my earlier years instead of treating myself so poorly. This is my cross to bare. But I am trying to give my gut the most balanced environment I can and the weeks into therapy I feel so much better. Mentally, I'm getting over my anxiety. Seriously though, been going nuts trying to find a link. At this time, it gives me hope for my children. I hope you are doing well today. Sorry for the short novel.....

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    • Posted

      Have you had your Folate tested as this is essential to process the iron and Vitamin B12 and gets "used up" in doing so..

      I'm not a medically trained person but I've had P.A. (a form of B12 deficiency) for 45 years so I know how important it is to have a "healthy" level of vitamin B9 (also known as folic acid).

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    • Posted

      He hadn't mentioned it. Do we only have issue absorbing b12....we can absorb b9 through supplement by mouth? If so I will start the standard dose.... I could say that I am about 90% back to normal. Cleaned my house today, colored my hair and gave myself a manicure. I had been so depressed and anxious I had let it all go. I'm in week 3.

      I've seen your other posts. You have such a wonderful attitude. Thank you for your valuable info.

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    • Posted

      Please do ask your doctor to check your serum Folate level

      ."Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 in making red blood cells and helps iron function properly in the body. Vitamin B9 works with vitamins B6 and B12 and other nutrients in controlling the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine."

      Vitamin B9 (Folic acid) University of Maryland Medical Centre

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    • Posted

      So I looked at my blood work and my folate level was 11.4 at the time. Anything above 3.0 ng/ml was normal according to lab corp. 😉

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    • Posted

      Just keep your eye on it and perhaps increase your intake of leafy green vegetables, sprouts, broccoli, spinach, peas, beans etc.

      Personally I have taken 1 – Folic Acid 400µg as a "maintenance dose" together with 1 – Iron Ferrous Fumerate 210mg for more years than I can remember but then I have B12 injections every three weeks.

      I wish you well for the future

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