I’ve said before that I really want to stay away from too much ‘health education’ stuff in relation to being a raw vegan and I will, but found a loophole when I figured that a little ditty about my B12 deficiency is more experiential than educational ;)
Funnily enough, I had diagnosed myself with a B12 deficiency late last year when I started noticing a lot of random things going on: I was feeling tired a lot despite the raw food which had, until then given me a lot of energy; I was a bit depressed/moody and wasn’t sleeping well; I was bruising more easily (although I am prone to bump into things!); I was having digestion issues; I had an itchy tongue and the weirdest tingling in my ring finger. I was doing a lot of reading on these things independently and had multiple trips to a GI specialist about my digestion but nothing was making sense. Then I read about B12 deficiency and suddenly everything made sense!
In May I went for my annual check up and found out my B12 levels were really low. You probably know that we get B12 from meat but it’s actually a bacteria that often develops in soil, animals eat the soil (and their feed which is often enriched with B12) and therefore provide a source of B12. Vegans don’t get it through soil consumption because we wash our vegetables too well these days! Your body stores B12 so you have a reserve of it, which is why it took over five years of no meat consumption for me to fall to such low levels.
Your options for B12 supplements basically fall into 2 categories as a raw vegan who doesn’t eat fortified cereals etc. – shots or supplements (sublingual supplements are most effective). My boyfriend had bought me supplements and I had been taking them periodically but didn’t like them, and apparently my levels were too low for them to be making a difference anyway. I ended up getting shots every day for 7 days, then every week for a month. A month later I feel unbelievably better, and the best news is I don’t have pernicious anemia which would mean I couldn’t digest it. Yay! Problem(s) solved :)