Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is imperative to our health.
Unfortunately, many are deficient in this vitamin. This vitamin has a huge impact on our body, and if we have little to none, it can cause neurological issues and chronic health issues. It is important that people are aware of their vitamin B12 levels and know what warning signs are of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
7 Warning Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
You will first experience dizziness and vertigo. It can happen when you start to walk downstairs or upstairs, or fumble when getting up out of a chair. It can be harmful to you in chronic cases. Your doctor will be the best person to consult about chronic vertigo associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency.
You’ll begin to lose memory of where you left a book or your car keys for an example. It doesn’t translate to you having starting signs of dementia. Forgetfulness is common with a deficiency in vitamin B12, and as you get older you will become deficient of the vitamin. It’s advised that you take a vitamin B12 supplement and have your levels tested.
3. Muscle Weakness
If you feel weak while carrying a bag of groceries, your muscles could be deprived of the vitamin. When our muscles have no vitamin B12, they begin to be less oxygenated, leading to weakness. It would explain why you have a hard time picking up a box or carry a purse.
4. Pale Skin
Having a pale complexion is a symptom of a deficiency in vitamin B12 believe it or not. This means you have no erythrocytes, leading to increased production of bilirubin, which turns your skin pale.
5. Pins and Needles
Lacking vitamin B12 can trigger paraesthesia that comes with a pins and needles feeling. You’ll feel a prickling, tickling, numbing feel in your hands, feet and through your whole body.
It is nerve damage that is the culprit behind the pins and needles symptom. When your deficient in B12, it reduces your level of erythrocytes leading to oxygen deprivation in nerve tissues.
6. Unexplained Fatigue
You will sleep and then wake up feeling sluggish and tired still. It is a symptom of a deficiency in vitamin B12. Again, it is due to reduced erythrocytes in the body, leaving organs depleted of much needed oxygen.
7. Eye Problems
You will experience vision impairment and changes due to a lack of B12. In rare cases, it has caused nerve damage in the optic nerve leading to neuropathy. Damage to the optic nerve can result in blurred/double vision, reduced center vision, shadows, tracers and light sensitivity. To help aid you of vision ailments, take B12 supplements.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
Here are some health benefits that come from having a sufficient level of vitamin B12 in your system:
1. Prevents Heart Disease and Stroke
Heart disease is the main contributor to death in America, and taking extra measures to nurture cardiac health is essential. New research has found that high levels of homocysteine can raise your chances for heart disease than cholesterol. Homocysteine, a non-protein amino acid triggers inflammation when vitamin B12 levels are depleted. Taking vitamin B12 can lower your risk of a stroke or heart disease.
2. Prevents Nerve Damage
A deficiency in the vitamin can affect the myelin sheath of our nerves, resulting in reduced protection from damage and toxins. When our nerves are without myelin, they are killed. It will eventually lead to nerve disorders and delay signal transmission from and to the brain.
3. Supports Energy
Having a sufficient level of vitamin B12 in your body can result in a healthy and functioning body. When deprived of this nutrient, body cells become starved making you sluggish and tired. Our body metabolism relies on B12 to make carbs into useful glucose—an important helper in energy production. Suffering from low energy and fatigue is common with the deficiency.
4. Helps Digestion
B12 helps to ensure stability in the digestive tract by helping to produce enzymes to digest food in the stomach and maintaining optimal metabolism. B12 helps to steer bad bacteria from the gut and keep it filled with healthy bacteria. It will help you prevent candida, inflammatory bowel disease and various digestive issues.
5. Helps Produce Erythrocytes and Prevent Anemia
Having the right level of vitamin B12 can maintain healthy production of erythrocytes to prevent megaloblastic anemia caused by chronic fatigue and weakness.
6. Good for Bones
B12 helps to lower homocysteine levels in the bones of osteoporosis patients. Patients who have bone issues are from having low amounts of vitamin B12.
Natural Sources of Vitamin B12
Here are some foods that contain high levels of vitamin B12:
• Beef and chicken liver — 81 milligrams in 3 ounces
• Salmon — 19.5 milligrams in 108 grams (1 filet)
• Herring —18.7 milligrams in 143 grams (1 filet)
• Mackerel — 15.3 milligrams in 3 ounces
• Sardines — 13.3 milligrams in 1 cup
• Tuna — 9.3 milligrams in 3 ounces
• Trout — 9.1 milligrams in 1 filet
• Organic yogurt — 1.3 mg in 1 container of plain Greek yogurt
• Turkey — 1.1 milligrams in 3 ounces
• Raw milk — 1 milligram in 1 cup
• Beef tenderloin — 0.9 milligrams in 3 ounces
• Lamb — 0.8 milligrams in 3 ounces
There are other sources of vitamin B12 in non-vegan sources like nutritional yeasts, cereals, cheese, almond milk, soy milk and coconut milk. Vitamin B12 can ensure prevention of many diseases ad other health problems that are associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency.
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