Health and the alphabet

We’ve all heard how important vitamins are to our health. Well, I found out last week that part of the reason I have been feeling like such a tired, crabby, idiot is that my vitamin B 12 level has dropped much too low. When I found this out, I had my typical reaction: “Well, that explains a lot!”

Yep, some of symptoms of B 12 deficiency are “…tiredness or a decreased mental work capacity, decreased concentration and decreased memory, irritability and depression.” (No, I don’t get all my info from Wikipedia; the Mayo Clinic site also has similar information.) The treatment is twice weekly injections of B 12 for several weeks, then a re-test of my levels and possibly continuing oral supplements.

As for why my B 12 level is so low, that’s still a mystery to me. I eat all the foods that are good sources of B 12 (all meats, eggs, and dairy), but for whatever reason it’s not enough right now. I’ll definitely look into this some more after I get the symptoms addressed.

I had my first B 12 injection today and I’m really hoping to feel some sort of improvement in a week or so. To me, improvement would be:

  • Not uncontrollably yawning during exercise. No, I’m not bored by my trainer, I’m just oxygen-deprived!
  • Feeling mentally alert and awake most days. I really do feel more “foggy” and just plain stupid lately. In the past couple months, I’ve even had a few days where I have trouble getting out of bed. I don’t mean having the will or volition to get out of bed, I mean having the energy to pull myself out of sleep and upright; it’s like trying to escape quicksand. And I thought those were just “really bad allergy days.”
  • Increased concentration. It’s hard to work when it’s hard to concentrate. There are evenings when I just can’t think about knitting, and forget about blogging! Too much concentration and energy required!

I try very hard to not use this blog for whining and moaning, but I just can’t help but feel pretty miffed that it took a trip to the allergist to figure this out. Why didn’t my own internist test my B 12 level when I presented with these symptoms last year? She offered me a script for an SSRI for my “moodiness” and one for Nasonex for my “allergies” instead. When it came to the SSRI, I said “no thanks!,” but after a year I finally took the initiative and decided to see an allergist to find out just what the heck I’m “allergic” to.

So far, the only allergies I seem to have are to those typical things that are pretty much a fact of life: mold, dust, and dust mites. My reactions weren’t that strong, though, so it shouldn’t be difficult to deal with them. I’m still undergoing tests for possibly food allergies, and have a few more visits until I finish getting tested for everything.

I’m now looking for a new internist or general practitioner, too.

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