Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for August 16, 2006

I was talking to my mother the other day about my recent discoveries and I was explaining about tingling in my head and how it was related to the myelin sheath. She told me that she has felt the same kind of tingling in her head and often wondered if it was the same as mine. She says it’s very mild and doesn’t happen all of the time. My mother is a vegetarian and has been for most of her life so there’s no way that it could be related to riboflavin and magnesium deficiencies.

I grab my newest book “Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements” and I take it into work. It’s a long commute so it’s perfect reading. I look up myelin sheath in the rear index and to my surprise there is a listing for page 127.

It talks about the role of vitamin B12 in the development of the myelin sheath and I already knew that. But it goes on to say that vegetarians often need B12 supplements as significant quantities are found in animal foods.

I think my mother has a B12 deficiency so I call her up and tell her to see her doctor for a blood test and she agrees. She says that she has taken B12 from time to time but never noticed any difference. Doctor Google?

Does this affect all vegetarians?

Reports from around the world reveal that many long-term total vegetarians (vegetarians who do not use any eggs, meat, fish, poultry or dairy products) are especially at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Unfortunately, many total vegetarians fail to recognize the seriousness of B12 deficiency. Total vegetarians often have low serum B12 levels and may manifest neuropsychiatric disorders. While oral B12 supplements can restore serum levels of B12 and eliminate macrocytic anemia, the neurological disorders may persist even months after treatment. In some cases the damage done to the nervous system is not reversible.

On rare occasions a lacto-ovo-vegetarian (one that uses dairy products and eggs, but no meat, fish or poultry) may also have a low serum B12 level if their intake of vitamin B12 containing foods is very low. Most of those with low serum B12 levels can correct the macrocytic anemia with oral B12 supplements or an injection of B12. In one study, the serum B12 levels of adult lacto-ovo-vegetarians dropped 35 percent only two months after switching to a total vegetarian diet. This rapid drop may be the result of low B12 stores in the liver. It should be emphasized, however, that vitamin B12 deficiency most often occurs in total vegetarians.

Vitamin B12 also maintains the fatty sheath, called myelin, that surrounds and protects nerve fibers and promotes their normal growth. Like insulation around copper wires, this sheath allows your radiating network of nerves to send their electrical messages without short-circuiting. When B12 is missing, the myelin sheath breaks down, which eventually leads to nerve damage.

August 16, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , , ,

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