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How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Affect Your Body And Treatments You Should Try

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Affect Your Body And Treatments You Should Try

Are you sure you’re not short on Vitamin B12? This vitamin is important for your body. It helps manufacture your DNA[1] 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.

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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[2] 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.

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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.

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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.

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Preventing B12 Deficiency

For most people they can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by consuming enough eggs, poultry, meat, seafood, or dairy products.[3] 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Add spice to chow: One study suggested that “piperine,” a component in black pepper, may help enhance the absorption of nutrients like vitamin B.
  3. Avoid too much alcohol: Don’t drink more than the recommended serving per day. 1 for women and 2 for men.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.

Featured photo credit: freestocks.org via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1
[2] http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anaemia-vitamin-B12-and-folate-deficiency/Pages/Introduction.aspx
[3] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219822.php

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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