1157. Hidden Clues: B12's Unexpected Symptoms Revealed


Throughout the years, Dr. Martin has had the opportunity to counsel other doctors on nutrition. Unfortunately, family physicians receive little to no training about nutrition and that includes vitamin B12.

B12 is essential for making red blood cells, nerve function, and brain health, but so many of us are deficient. Poor diet, medication use, and digestive issues are all factors, but there are more that you probably didn’t know of.

Join Dr. Martin as he shares the unexpected symptoms of low vitamin B12.


Announcer:  You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by MartinClinic.com. During the episode, the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be, it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning everyone. Once again how are ya? Now guys, you got our email this morning. We talked about B12 and the reason we put that email out is because yesterday on our private Facebook group, we talked about B12 because one of our great followers and listeners, okay, and guys, can I say this? We appreciate you guys, so if you're not a member of our private Facebook group, I just wonder why? But when you come on there and you ask a question which we appreciate or if you want some advice. Anyway, I don't have to mention any names, but this wonderful lady says, well, look, she's tired all the time. She's exhausted, and the doctor office called her and the only thing they could find is that her B12 was elevated. I assured this lady, I guarantee guarantee it. It's not because you have high B12, okay?

Now when I talk about B12, there's them and us. Okay? There's two camps, okay? There's two camps. You have to understand that, and B12 of course has been around for a long time and the ability to test B12 levels have been around for a long time, almost a hundred years. And them they used to care about B12. At one time B12 was important to doctors. It really was. In the 1950s when I was a little kid, B12 was important and they gave out B12 shots almost like candy. Physicians were highly encouraged to give B12, and today you almost have to drill a physician's teeth without anesthetic to even consider B12 unless it gets flagged. And to be flagged low, B12, a mouse couldn't survive on low B12 when it's flagged. I mean it, and if it gets up into the six hundreds, they flag it as high. That ain't high.

That's not high B12, and I always tell people B12 is a water soluble vitamin. In all my years of practice over 45, I saw high B12, I mean where it was actually giving symptoms. Can I say never or once I mean it? I remember, okay, and I probably told you this story, but I'm a storyteller and I repeat, okay? I had a physician as a patient, okay? She came to see me. We went over all her blood work and I talked to her about nutrition and I really appreciated her because she wasn't feeling good and the answers weren't in medicine, at least not any drugs or anything, and her hormones were off and this and that, and I showed her that. Anyway, she had a few deficiencies, but about a week later, she gets a patient that's one of my patients and gets blood work done, calls me. Dr. Martin, this mutual patient of ours has very high B12.

It was kind of funny because I said, okay, what's the number? And she says, well, it's about 900. It got flagged on the blood work. I said, not high enough for me, and she just like you could almost hear, stop breathing on the other side because first of all, she didn't know what B12 really did. I mean, other than you learn this in medical school, you need B12 to make red blood cells, but they don't learn anything else about it, then it's a very finicky vitamin. Structurally, it's a very, very hard vitamin to digest. You need almost a perfect landing in your stomach for B12 to be absorbed. And I said, okay, let me ask you a few questions, okay? And I put her on the spot, but it was on the phone and some of it was in jest in a way.

I was just trying to tease her so that she could understand, and I said, listen. I said, what happens if you have high b12? And she said, I don't know. Is B12 fat soluble or water soluble? She said, I don't know. I said, it's water soluble and nobody in all my years, I said, when they have high B12, do they have any symptoms of it? I'm aiming high. I want optimized B12. And I said, the reason that I say that to you is because I test B12 all the time, and more than 80% of the population is low in B12, and I'm going to send you an email and I'm going to do what I'm going to do this morning by the way. We're going to talk about symptoms and I said, listen, watch for this in your practice.

When people come in to your office and they have these following symptoms, almost invariably if you test them, you'll find out. Now remember, the blood test for B12 doc is a hundred years old. It needs a birthday party and put to bed, and B12 is an essential vitamin. It is so key and most people are low, and I said, I'm going to give you some symptoms, but I'm going to tell you why they're low. Why doc? She said, why are they low in B12 today? Why is it much lower than it used to be? Well, I said, there's a lot of things that do that. One, if they have any kind of digestive trouble, they're probably low in B12. She said, oh, yeah, yeah. I said, well, like I said, you almost need perfection to assimilate B12 properly. I said, anybody that comes into your office, if they're on any medication, any but especially metformin, zantax, or any of those acid reflux medications, any of them, any non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, including the ones you get over the counter like Tylenol, Advil and others, you're going to be low in B12.

Now, it may not get flagged as low because the ranges are from here to eternity I told her. I said, you have to understand you need optimized B12, and the other reason I said is because people out there have bought the lie that red meat's not good for them. She said, yeah, you told me that was a lie last week when I was in your office. Yeah. I said, remember I told you. Red meat is the best thing you can eat. There's nothing on the planet better than a steak, and people haven't got the memo. They've been lied to. They've been told that I need chicken If I'm going to eat meat at all, I'm going to have some chicken and salad. I said, there's no B12 in chicken nor in salad. She said, I love chicken and salad. I said, I know you do, and that's why you're not feeling good.

Remember I told you that last week and she had a little chuckle and I said, okay, so those are the reasons that people are very low in B12 today. By the way, they don't have enough acidity in the stomach. People today have changed their pH in their stomach. That causes malabsorption of a lot of things, but especially B12, and I say it's an epidemic today, and I don't use that word lightly. People are extremely low in B12. If your B12's not at least at 800, you are low in B12. Okay? Then I said, let me give you patients. My experience, people that have come in and here are some maybe weird symptoms, okay? One, they're yawning all the time. What? Do you know patients like that say, yeah, yeah. They're always yawning. I said, they're sucking for air. They're not making enough red blood cells. They got low B12, they're short of breath. They go up a flight of stairs and they're sucking for air. I said, invariably, that's low B12.

I said, again, don't rely on the blood work. Well, you can, but make sure it's up at 800 to 1200. That's sort of the sweet spot for B12. I said, okay, anything else, doc? Oh yeah, I just got started. Look in the mouth, get them to stick their tongue out and look for a real smooth tongue, usually low in B12, any mouth sores recurring low in B12. Even cold sores, numbness around the mouth or whatever. I said, any of those mouth symptoms, any heart palpitations. You know what I found with people with heart palpitations? They don't eat enough meat. They don't eat enough red meat and their heart is talking to them because they don't get enough coq10 and they don't get enough B12.

Numbness in the hands and feet. One of the things in diabetic neuropathy, I mean millions of people suffer with this, and one of the things is in diabetic neuropathy is they take metformin, okay? They take a medication called metformin. It's the number one selling diabetic drug of all time. It's the Wayne Gretzky of diabetic medications, even outsells insulin, Metformin. And if you left it up to doctors, they'd have everybody on it, and I told this physician, I said, anybody that comes into your office and they're on any kind of medication, but especially metformin, guaranteed they'll be low in B12, guaranteed. Anybody with diabetic neuropathy is low in B12.

B12 is a nerve vitamin. When I ever saw a patient with MS, low in B12, they were low in vitamin D too, Parkinson's, low in B12, low in vitamin D, every one of them, and they felt better when you gave them B12. It was amazing. I said, doc, you got to go back to the 1950s again, where doctors did house calls and they had B12 shots ready to go in their doctor's bag. You remember doctor's bags. My dad had one. I love that thing. All sorts of neat things in there, but all I'm saying is B12 was so common, and by the way, the best way to get B12 is not a B12 shot. It used to be until they made sublingual underneath the tongue. I had a patient, hey doc, like it takes so long for that to dissolve. Yeah, I know. Suck it up buttercup. You don't want to just swallow B12, you're not going to get it.

People take B12 every day. They usually take the wrong type and they're not taking the methylcobalamin but they don't take the sublingual. I said, you're not getting that. You need sublingual B12, let it dissolve in your mouth. It's the best form. When you're deficient in B12. It's much better. You take B12 every day. Look, if you can get a B12 shot and give yourself a B12 shot, I've got no problem with it, but I'm telling you what's better is every day top up your B12, and I tell you that because of my long clinical experience with B12, I'm telling you, okay, short term brain fog and short-term memory B12, it's a nerve vitamin. It's a brain vitamin. Every nerve in your body, the myelin sheath need B12. Any neurological problem needs B12. Weakness not strong. A lot of times people don't realize that they're low in b12. B12 is a very important vitamin even for your muscles.

You got nerves going to muscles. You know that? Yeah, and a lot of times I see people they're wasting away. I said, watch doc. Watch your patients observe when they walk into your office. Have a look. God gave you eyeballs. Use them. Oh, I used to love the old physicians, observant all the years in practice, did I ever see one depressed patient or anxious patient that didn't have low levels of B12? If I did, I don't remember. I said, doc, if they're depressed or anxious, which anxiety over a period of time will lead to depression and they're low in B12, invariably. I know these are weird type of symptoms. You ever get a little twitching in your muscles or whatever that could be B12. Might be magnesium too, of course.

But you'd be shocked how many young ladies that came into my office and man, oh man, I already had the results, and then I go, you're in for some serious trouble. What? Well, you're extremely low in B12. You're extremely low in vitamin D and you're buying this vegan nonsense. You're buying it. Oh, Dr. Martin, I don't eat anything that's got eyeballs. I know, but that don't make it right. The rest of your life, I said, you promise me if you're going to remain a vegan, even a vegetarian, I said, promise me you're going to take vitamin D every day and you're going to take B12 every day. Okay? Those are the consequences of your choices. My head used to explode when I get young ladies in and they were on the birth control pill and they were 14 years old, my head would explode. I said, do you know how serious that medication is? You know how that's going to mess you up hormonally and strip away B12 from you?

And I don't blame the kids. They were never told of long-term consequences. They had bad periods. They were put on the birth control pill. Our mommy would put them on there because they were scared the kids were going to get pregnant. I said, I know, I know. But jeepers creepers, you understand that these have got huge, huge ramifications health wise. You're giving a kid a loaded gun aimed at themselves. One of the reasons there's so much breast cancer, you're giving them horses' urine. You wouldn't believe people that have been to see me know that I was pretty personal. I said, well, look, I mean like these young girls. I said, would you stop drinking that oat milk and would you stop drinking those green juices? Oh, my head would explode. Oh, Dr. Martin, the green smoothies, Ooh, they're not good for you. You know how many oxalates are in there? And there ain't no B12 in there. I can tell you that.

So brain fog, anything neurological, sucking for air, shortness of breath. Oh, here's another one. Dizzy, dizzy, Lizzy, I used to call him. I get up fast, and I said, well, you're low in B12. B12 is so important. Tinnitus, a lot of them. Well, insulin, tinnitus, insulin, and low B12 if you want to be a holistic physician. I told this young physician, smart girl, I said, if you want to be holistic, I said, you got to expand now, your thinking, and we live in a day and age where the world has changed and you better be ready for it if you want to practice just traditional medicine and everybody walks out with a prescription of some kind. I said, look for underlying factors, be functional in medicine.

Medicine's wonderful if you take the whole picture. And I said, if you do nothing else in your practice, nothing else. I said, if you optimize their B12 and optimize their vitamin D, I said, if you did nothing else, you are going to get great results just by doing those two things. Now, there's other things, obviously, and I had given her nutrition 1 0 1 already, that 93% of the population are carboholics. We consume enough sugar. It's craziness. Okay, I'm breathing. I'm not sucking for air though. Okay?

No, but you know what? It's incredible. I had my B12 tested. Just tell you about me personally. Nobody eats more red meat than meat. Okay? I saw Linda and we were laughing last night. I was out at a restaurant and I saw one of our followers and she recognized me, and her name is Linda. Linda, if you're watching this morning, it was nice talking to you. She said, Dr. Martin, every time you say, listen, Linda, I'm laughing, okay, but I love red meat and I don't think anybody in the planet eats as much red meat as me, including bacon, but even me last year I got some blood work done routinely, and my B12 wasn't optimized. I just about passed out, but I'm getting older. I hate to admit it. I'm a senior, and I said to myself, hey dummy, better start taking that B12 supplement because I always take vitamin D, but B12, I eat so much red meat, but I want to optimize it. Guess what? Back taking my B12 every day and my numbers have gone right back up and I'm happy about that. I want to protect my memory.

Okay, guys, we love you guys. Thank you so much for your faithfulness to this program. It's a resounding success us a million and a half downloads just about right now, and that's you guys and share this information because guys, here's what it is. It's us against them, and them, they and them out there, and a lot of them are in our families. They don't listen, but you listen, you make the right choices. Start with you. Okay, guys, you know what tomorrow is? Question and answer Friday. I can almost guarantee you we're going to have fun. I can say that. We're going to have a lot of fun. Guys, we love you dearly and I mean it. Talk to you soon.

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