Saturday, November 29, 2014

Vitamin B12 has made my canker sores better

Check this the hell out. Internet browsing plus real data making a positive change in my life. tl;dr: I used to get canker sores a lot, then I started taking B12 daily, and now they are much less bad.

Long version: since I've been a kid, I got canker sores in my mouth pretty often. They are painful. One day last year I started tracking them. Then one day this year I was browsing the internet and saw this great infographic about supplements. I noticed there's a study about vitamin B12 helping canker sores. So I bought some B12 and kept tracking.

Every day I recorded how bad my sores were, from 0 (no sores) to 10 (terrible). Here's a graph:

Darker red = worse. Also, if it's light gray, that means I recorded data and I had no sores; if it's white, I didn't record data. Got lazy a bit. Y'know. The day I started taking B12 was June 14 2014, so in the bottom row, about midway through.

Then I compared average badness per day. In 2013 it was 1.8. In early 2014 (pre-B12) it was 3.4. After I started B12, it was 0.9. T-tested pre-B12 vs post-B12, and it was y'know significant P < .0000 etc but that's kind of BS because for so many reasons I can't use a T-test here (data's not normal).

Also, there are many data sins of different magnitudes here: collecting data on arbitrary periods each year (both starting with a sore), ignoring seasonality, using colors that we probably don't perceive linearly, scoring differently at the ends (e.g. 2 means I have a tender spot but no sore, so I really don't mind) etc.

But! There's theoretical backing too: I asked my dentist if B12 should help canker sores. He said, oh yeah, whole B complex is great for that kind of thing. Well dang, why didn't anyone tell me? But anyway, now I know, and now you know too. At least for me, seems to be working.

3 comments:

AbleTasman said...

This is so cool. I can't believe you took a scientific approach to your health. Fantastic. My mom always said I got such things because I was ornery, which is true. So I'll have to track my orneriness to see.
I use a Vitamin B Complex; think that's the same thing.
Good onya!

iris said...

This is some pretty impressive stuff.
On a *very* related note, I had a rather chronic condition that was semi-undiagnosable, but landed me in doctors' offices and on antibiotics for *years*. It was at the point where I was taking prophylactic antibiotics so I wouldn't need more antibiotics (yay, medicine?). Needless to say, I became a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Aaaaanyways, it was a series of "People who bought this also bought..." Amazon.com jumps (plus review-reading) that got me to a supplement that has somehow solved my problem. I think I've been on antibiotics once in the past two years. (It turns out, if I had gone to a naturopathic doctor, they could've pointed me to it almost immediately, just like you and your dentist).

Now I sound like some weirdo spam reviewer, but you know me and I'm not making this stuff up. The Internet is an amazing place.

Dan Tasse said...

Internet, it's true, Iris is a real person. (or at least a spammer with the same haircut.)

Dang! Glad that you eventually found it. Weird, huh, how you just need one bit of information, and then life gets wayyy better. But, I mean, we have all this information all the time, why is it so hard to get the right info?

Well, y'know, I'm sure someone somewhere is working on it. I hope, anyway.