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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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