• Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Correct It

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  • Vitamin B12 is extremely important for your overall health. A deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms digestive problems, hormone stability, mood swings, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath and many more listed below.  Also find out how to make sure you're getting enough B12 vitamins.

    According to recent research, one in every four adults in the United States suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin is dubbed the energy vitamin and its shortage can result in an array of health problems, including some potentially very serious conditions. Despite being a water-soluble vitamin, B12 gets stored in your liver, kidneys and other body tissues, so the deficit can go unnoticed for a number of years. That is where the danger lies. By the time the condition gets detected, there might be some irreversible damage done already.

    B12 is important for the functioning of the nervous, digestive, vascular and reproductive systems. It regulates hormone production, supports a healthy immune system, builds the red blood cells and DNA. It is connected with your cognitive abilities and mood stability. Its influence spreads all the way from being happy to passing on your genetic material. So I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a good idea to be on the lookout, and spot the minefield before it explodes.

    fatigue

    Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency

    The symptoms are often not very specific, so vitamin B12 deficiency can go unnoticed for a long period of time. It is also easily mistaken for other conditions, and therefore remains misdiagnosed. A careful interview and a blood test are required. You are considered to be B12 deficient if your concentration of vitamin is less than 150 pmol/L. If you are between 150 pmol/L and 200 pmol/L, the serum MMA (Methylmalonic Acid) is also checked to establish the need for further investigations. B12 is scientifically known as cobalamin, so this name is sometimes used to describe the condition or its cause.

    The most common symptoms include:

    – fatigue and lack of energy
    – shortness of breath
    headache
    – cognitive problems, such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating
    – pale or yellow skin (jaundice)
    – stomach upset and weight loss
    – changed sensation in the limbs (pins and needles, desensitization)
    – muscle weakness
    – mood swings
    – dry mouth
    – ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
    – difficulty sleeping – B12 affects the production of melatonin which is known as the ‘sleep hormone’
    – white nails may also be a sign of anemia

    In severe cases it can lead to depression, psychosis or dementia. The symptoms can develop gradually and intensify over time. Since B12 is involved in so many of the body’s functions, the lack of it can lead to numerous life-threatening conditions. Reduction in B12 has been linked to cardio-vascular disease, cancer, stroke and birth defects.

    How do you prevent and treat it?

    We should get 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. As mentioned before, the easiest way to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency is by eating the right food. Different meats, sea food, milk and eggs all contain it. If you eat meat and seafood, check its origin and support organic and free-range options.

    Vegetarians and vegans have to make sure that they get enough of this vitamin. The non-animal options include consuming nutritional yeast and vitamin B12 fortified products, such as B12 fortified almond milk and cereals, and some breads. Soy milk is also fortified with B12 but make sure to find non GMO source of soy milk.

    There has been some controversy around eating cereals, as they are often highly processed and are packed with sugars. They are not considered healthy and are best replaced with oats and oatmeal. Tempeh, miso and seaweeds have also been reported to contain B12.

    A very good source is also spirulina – a high-protein super food that is made of two species of blue-green algae. Spirulina has a very high nutritional value and contains 60% proteins, so it’s perfect for strict vegetarians.  Spirulina is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants, such as beta carotene, selenium, zinc, iron and vitamins C, E and B complex. Eating seaweeds in general has great health benefits.

    If you cannot get enough of vitamin B12 through nutrition, you will have to start taking B12 supplements and B12 containing multivitamins. In severe cases, you might need vitamin B12 injections. This is also the case for people suffering from pernicious anemia.

    To avoid permanent neurological damage, it is very important to recognize and treat the disease in its early stages. Be proactive, especially if you fall into one of the risk groups: you are over 50, vegetarian or vegan, after a weight-loss surgery or taking metformin. If you suspect vitamin B12 deficiency, talk to your doctor, and consider changing your diet or start with the supplements. Vitamin B12 is one of of the 5 essential nutrients you may be missing from your diet.

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    Read full article: http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/warning-symptoms-of-vitamin-b12-deficiency/


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