Are you sure you’re not short on Vitamin B12? This vitamin is important for your body. It helps manufacture your DNA and red blood cells. Since it’s not made by the human body, you have to source it from animal-based food or from supplements and take it in regularly. That way, you will get the benefits.
In case you suspect that you lack Vitamin B12, it’s recommended that you ask your doctor for a blood test. If you have this kind of deficiency then it’d be wise to take note of the info available here. Everything included in this article will help you on your way to recover from Vitamin B12 deficiency immediately.
What Are The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
- extreme tiredness, lightheadedness, weakness
- pale skin
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- heart palpitations, shortness of breath
- a loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea, or gas
- a sore and red tongue
- nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
- mouth ulcers
- disturbed vision
- muscle weakness
- psychological problems. It may include confusion and depression
- problems with memory, understanding and judgement
Causes of a Vitamin B12 deficiency
The most common cause of this deficiency in the UK is pernicious anaemia. It’s a condition where the immune system attacks healthy cells in the stomach. This prevents your body from absorbing vitamin B12 from what you eat. Another is lack of Vitamin B12 in your diet. This is not common, but can happen if you have a generally poor diet for a long time, a vegan diet (a kind of diet which doesn’t include animal products, such as meat, milk, cheese, and eggs.), or follow a fad diet.
Treatments you can try
In most cases of vitamin B12 deficiency, treatment can be administered simply with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins. In some cases, nasal therapy is recommended.
Regarding supplements, they are usually given by injection as a preliminary treatment. Depending on whether a person’s B12 deficiency is related to his diet, he’ll either need to take in B12 tablets in between meals or have regular injections. Sad to say, these treatments could be needed to be administered for the rest of his life.
In some cases, making improvements on your diet can help treat the condition and may prevent it from recurring. Commonly Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, yeast extract (like Marmite) and specially fortified foods.
For the elderly they should take a daily B12 supplement or a multivitamin that contains B12 on a regular basis.
Majority of the people with this condition can have treatment and be their problem solved. You must be warned, though, that any nerve damage that may happen because of the deficiency could be permanent.
Preventing B12 Deficiency
For most people they can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by consuming enough eggs, poultry, meat, seafood, or dairy products. In case your diet requires you to avoid animal products, or you have a medical condition that limits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, many experts strongly suggest to take in B12-containing multivitamin and consuming breakfast cereal that has vitamin B12.
If you regularly take in vitamin B12 supplements, inform your doctor, so he or she can make sure they won’t affect any of your other medications.
How to increase absorption of Vitamin B12:
- Eat or drink cranberry juice: A study in 2005 found out that eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice may help increase B12 absorption. 300 to 1,200 mg per day of cranberry capsules may also work.
- Add spice to chow: One study suggested that “piperine,” a component in black pepper, may help enhance the absorption of nutrients like vitamin B.
- Avoid too much alcohol: Don’t drink more than the recommended serving per day. 1 for women and 2 for men.
- Get a caffeine fix: Caffeine in coffee stimulates stomach acid production. This helps the body absorb vitamin B12. Be careful not to take in too much, as it’s possible that you may feel other symptoms (headaches, dizziness, and edginess.)
- Consume calcium: Calcium is essential for vitamin B12 absorption, hence it’s recommended that you get enough of this nutrient, too. A study in 2000 found, for example, that patients taking the diabetes medication metformin, which inhibits vitamin B absorption, were able to reverse low Vitamin B12 levels by increasing their doses of calcium.
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