Tag Archives: Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Is Calories In, Calories Out the Key to Losing Weight?

weight loss, apple, nutrition, orange, calorieIf you have ever tried to lose weight, then you probably have been told to track your calories. Most calorie trackers focus on keeping track of the calories you consume through food.  On the other hand, fitness trackers or workout machines may track how many calories you burn during the day. However, is there more to the story of weight loss, or is calories in and calories out the only key to success?  A recent report by health experts reveal that there may be more than simple math in the weight loss equation.

What are is a calorie?

A calorie is a unit of energy that is found in food and beverages. The four major macronutrients that consist of calories include:

  • protein at 4 calories per gram
  • carbohydrate at around 4 calories per gram
  • fat at 7 calories per gram
  • alcohol at 9 calories per gram

Whatever calories you consume that are not used as energy are stored in the body as fat. In simple terms, you may lose fat stores if you consume less calories than you burn.  Calories can be burned by physical activity, but calorie expenditure may also increase in those who are growing, injured, or ill.  This is because your body will need more energy to support such processes that involve cell reproduction and other related processes.

Are some calories healthier than others?

Not all calories are created equal. The recent report reveals a growing trend of people focusing solely on the number of calories in and calories out, rather than the quality of calories consumed. Although this may lead to a calorie deficit, and in turn weight loss, it is not necessarily healthy.

For example, a piece of candy and an apple may both contain 100 calories. However, the candy mostly contains empty calories because they contain little to no nutritional value. The calories in the candy are mainly from simple carbohydrates like sugar as well as fat.  However, in the apple, those same calories contain many nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Therefore, the calories from the apple will provide your body with more health benefits than the candy.

Weighing in on the “Calories In, Calories Out” equation

The latest diet craze known as CICO (Calories In, Calories Out), may lead to vitamin and nutrient deficiencies according to experts. If you are not looking at the nutrient quality of the calories you consume, then you may increase your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis, anemia, to name a few. In addition, if you restrict yourself of too many calories, then you may develop fatigue and malnutrition, which does your body more harm than good. Contact a registered dietitian to help you determine how many calories you need to support your lifestyle, while still helping you to lose any excess weight.

How to Work on Weight Loss

There is no one size fits all plan to help everyone lose weight. However, there are several things you can do today to get on the right track towards healthy weight loss and maintenance.

  • Watch your portion sizes at meals and snacks. A simple way to determine how much food you need to eat at each meal involves your protein and fiber needs. Most adults should consume at least 25 grams of fiber a day through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Your protein needs, in grams, can be determined by dividing your weight in pounds by 2.75.  Once you determine your fiber and protein needs, use a nutrition tracker to ensure you meet these needs with mostly whole foods, or foods that are minimally processed.  Also, chew your food more per bite, slow your pace of eating to 20-25 minutes per meal, and be mindful of the food choices you make by looking at nutrition labels before you make food purchases.
  • Stay active most days of the week.  Balance out each week with cardiovascular and resistance exercises. Cardio exercises include walking, jogging, swimming, or biking. These exercises work to increase calorie burn. Resistance exercises, on the other hand, such as lifting weights, doing push-ups, or using resistance bands, help to maintain lean muscle mass. Maintaining your muscle mass as you lose weight helps you to maintain calorie-burning power, also known as metabolism.
  • Get plenty of sleep.  Weight loss may be more difficult for those who do not sleep well.  This is because lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones that control hunger and appetite. Try to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping due to visiting the bathroom regularly, stop drinking fluids at least 2 hours before bedtime.  If pain is keeping you up, visit your doctor to get support.  If you are not sure what is causing your restless sleep, you may have sleep apnea. You can ask your doctor about getting a sleep study done to determine the cause of your sleepless nights.
  • Visit your doctor if diet and exercise are not leading to weight loss. If calories in and calories out are leading to weight plateaus or gains, then there may be an underlying health issue. Research has shown that some people who have a family history of obesity may have a harder time losing weight than those that don’t. This could be due to:
    • genetic factors.
    • increased risk of conditions like hypothyroidism or insulin resistance.
    • environmental factors such as growing up without knowledge of healthy eating behaviors.
  • Fill in your nutrient gaps with vitamins and supplements. At the very least, take a multivitamin such as Zestia by VitaSciences. Zestia contains a blend of Super Food extracts, probiotics, and digestive enzymes helps to support optimal health. If you live in a climate with little sunlight, you may also need to add a vitamin D3 supplement to your daily routine.  Low vitamin D levels can affect many aspects of health such as bone and immune health, to name a few.

-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (November 16, 2016) “Finding a Balance” 

Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School (May 2014) “Eating fiber-rich foods helps keep the heart healthy”

Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School (updated April 11, 2017) “Why People Become Overweight” 

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (accessed November 27, 2017) “Protein”

Medline Health News (November 22, 2017) “It’s the Latest Diet Craze, But Is It Safe?”

Medline Plus (accessed November 28, 2017) “Vitamin D” 

 

 

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How Does Vitamin B12 Help my Body?

Vitamin B12 helps your body in many ways– it is one of the most crucial nutrients for survival, as it helps to maintain your nervous system, build healthy red blood cells, and sustain energy needed for day-to-day life.

How Does Vitamin B12 Help my Body?

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t get nearly enough vitamin B12 from diet or daily supplements, as there are many health conditions that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.

Vitamin B12 helps you function

It’s true- you cannot survive without healthy, constantly replenishing supplies of vitamin B12 cobalamin. This super-power is needed for just about every aspect of day-to-day functioning.

Vitamin B12 is the ultimate brain vitamin

  • Vitamin B12 promotes production of myelin, which coats your individual nerve cells and protects them from harm while also enhancing intercellular communication for quick reflexes.
  • Vitamin B12 helps to maintain normal, healthy cognitive functioning, including good memory, organizational skills, and emotional wellbeing.
  • Vitamin B12 helps your body convert carbohydrates into usable energy, which in turn helps to prevent fatigue and boost mental clarity.
  • Vitamin B12 helps to minimize homocysteine, a hormone frequently connected with early aging and dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Vitamin B12 prevents pernicious anemia

Vitamin B12 anemia, aka pernicious anemia (PA), is one of the most preventable yet widespread forms of nutritional deficiency in the US.

Vitamin B12 is needed to regulate the production of hemoglobin-toting red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen to your brain and the many organs of your body. Without sufficient vitamin B12, you run the risk for PA, a form of megaloblastic anemia that results from abnormally large, misshapen red blood cells that cannot function properly.  With time, the ratio of normal, healthy red blood cells to distorted, oversized cells dips to a dangerous low, and you begin the suffer the effects of low oxygen.

Signs of low oxygen include constant fatigue, dizziness, brain fog, confusion, and memory problems.

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In addition to decreased oxygen, pernicious anemia causes symptoms resulting from peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage), including:

  • muscle spasms
  • painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
  • muscle weakness
  • difficulty walking
  • vision problems
  • poor reflexes

Vitamin B12 is good for the heart

In countless studies, vitamin B12 supplementation correlates with healthy levels of homocysteine, a protein that in elevated amounts is associated with increased risk for heart disease and stroke. By constantly digesting homocysteine and keeping levels down, vitamin B12 helps to promote excellent cardiovascular health.

Vitamin B12 aids metabolism

Vitamin B12 is a favorite for athletes and anybody following a weight-loss regimen; it promotes DNA synthesis- it ensures normal cell growth and protects the cell membranes. Vitamin B12 also helps your body convert carbohydrates (such as glucose) and fats into pure energy, which in turn boosts stamina needed for sports endurance and overall mental well-being.

How have you benefited from supplementing with vitamin B12?

Are you happy with your current regimentation of vitamin B12 pills or shots?

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 deficiency and menopause: Signs and symptoms of menopause are sometimes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, or malabsorption of vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. To boost energy, sleep better, and balance your mood, it’s important to take extra doses of vitamin B12 during the menopause years.

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Vitamin B12 deficiency and Menopause: symptoms, treatment

Menopause is a phase that may stretch for several years; many women experience their first signs of peri-menopause (early menopause) in their 40’s, while still menstruating.

During the early stages, you experience fluctuation hormone levels that cause mood swings, headaches, hot flashes, memory loss, and brain fog.

All of these are symptoms that may also indicate depleted levels of vitamin B12!

Hidden vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is difficult to catch and treat, as the symptoms are masked by conditions such as menopause, clinical depression, hypothyroidism, or hypoglycemia- all of which cause ailments that are strikingly similar to the ones you experience when your vitamin B12 levels drop to a dangerous low, either from malabsorption issues or change in diet.

Too often, severe vitamin B12 deficiency, a.k.a., pernicious anemia, slips right off your doctor’s radar, especially during the menopause years. And it’s easy to understand why, especially when you consider that the most common symptoms- fatigue, achiness, poor memory, dizziness, and depression- are present in both vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and the many stages of menopause.

For that reason, premenopausal women and females already experiencing menopause are advised to test often for vitamin B12 deficiency, and recognize the symptoms, before their B12 levels drop to a dangerous low.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia can lead to neurological disorders, chronic fatigue, mood problems, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

That’s because vitamin B12 is essential for so many biological functions necessary for good health- reproduction, nervous system functioning, cognitive integrity, and metabolic energy.

So, when vitamin B12 levels plummet, you begin to experience a variety of health problems that affect all parts of your body, including those already ailing from symptoms of menopause.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms that Mimic Aging

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that mimic menopause include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Brain fog
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent breathlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle weakness and pain

Treatment

The B12, B6 and folic acid help with mood and to ease you through the transition.

The Linus Pauling Institute recommends 100 to 400 mcg per day of supplemental vitamin B-12 orally if you’re older than 50, an age that includes many menopausal women.

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Unexpected Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Fatigue, memory loss, and painful numbness and tingling are some of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Yet many people with even moderate vitamin B12 deficiency or worse, pernicious anemia, are surprised to learn that a host of other underlying health problems can also be attributed to not having enough vitamin B12 in your blood supply. Listed are some startling symptoms associated with severely low vitamin B12 levels.

Unexpected Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

 

Unexpected Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is such an important nutrient for survival; it should come as no surprise that a depletion of vitamin B12 should manifest itself in so many seemingly-unconnected ailments.

Scientists have seen where individuals may suffer for years from depression, heart palpitations, dizziness, or difficulty conceiving a baby without ever making the connection between that and vitamin B12 deficiency, where a few months of intense supplementation can reverse the symptoms.

Emotional difficulties, illness

Chronic depression, anxiety, and even paranoia are all listed as possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.  In patients diagnosed with mental disorders such as bipolar or schizophrenia, researchers have noted that an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency can worsen their symptoms even more so.

This is not to say that your anxieties or bouts of depression aren’t real. Rather, get your vitamin B12 levels checked, and see if supplementing with extra vitamin B12 has a positive effect on your emotional state- which it very likely will.

Never discontinue taking any antidepressants, antipsychotic or other medications without your doctor’s consent.

Infertility

Vitamin B12 deficiency is directly linked with many ailments that interfere with family planning. From the beginning, before trying to conceive, depletion in vitamin B12 can increase your risk for complications during pregnancy and nerve damage in utero.

Researchers have noted that mothers who have severe vitamin B12 deficiency before, during, or after pregnancy are more likely to suffer miscarriage, deliver prematurely, or give birth to a baby with neural tube defects and inability to thrive.

If you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s a good idea to take vitamin B12 injections or other non-dietary vitamin B12 supplementations before getting pregnant, during your pregnancy, and afterwards while breastfeeding.

For more, read Vitamin B12 and your Sex Drive

Heart disease

Vitamin B12 deficiency doesn’t cause heart disease, but it can inhibit your ability to synthesize homocysteine properly. Vitamin B12 is essential for digesting the amino acid homocysteine, keeping it in check and preventing hyperhomocysteinemia- elevated homocysteine in the blood supply.

Excess homocysteine is attributed to increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. Signs may include heart palpitations, fatigue, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

To keep homocysteine levels under control, it’s important to also maintain vitamin B12 levels in your bloodstream.

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Please tell us

Have you noticed constant tiredness, sadness, or brain fog? These are common signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Do you have questions about symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency? Please drop us a line below!

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia: Can’t sleep? Often, sleeplessness stems from low vitamin B12 levels. Though nearly everyone experiences occasional trouble with falling asleep, chronic insomnia can be part of a range of symptoms attributed to dangerously low vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Insomnia

Are you spending your nights tossing and turning, unable to get a restful night sleep? Acute insomnia has a short duration, while chronic insomnia will last longer – anywhere from days to months.

If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia—and a surprising number of people these days do—then taking extra vitamin B12 may promote good restful sleep at night, and it will also boost your energy during the day, increase your ability to focus, and promote digestive, cardiac, and immune health as well.

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Please note: Insomnia can result from an underlying medical disorder, in addition to vitamin B12 deficiency. Consult your doctor if you suffer from chronic insomnia.

Here are some ways that vitamin B12 and insomnia are related.

The vitamin B12-melatonin connection

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in production of melatonin, the body’s “sleep hormone” which helps you fall asleep at night and get deep rest until morning. Melatonin is one of your best defenses against insomnia, but you need healthy amounts of vitamin B12 as well.

Melatonin in the blood rises sharply at sundown, making you feel sleepy, and will usually remain elevated for approximately 12 hours – essentially throughout the night – before the onset of sunrise.

As we get older, and vitamin B12 levels begin to plummet, it becomes more difficult to enjoy a good night’s sleep, due to a reciprocal decrease in melatonin. For that reason many senior citizens struggle with both vitamin B12 deficiency and insomnia.

Doctors have recently observed that a large percentage of Americans over age 60 suffer from a severe vitamin B12 deficiency.  Without vitamin B12, your body cannot produce sufficient melatonin, which is needed to help one sleep.

Many people who suffer from insomnia take melatonin pills to help them get to sleep. However, boosting the body’s ability to produce it by increasing vitamin B12 is a more naturally efficient option.

What is vitamin B12 good for?

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is one of the B complex vitamins. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Vitamin B-12 is instrumental for maintaining healthy nerve cells, synthesizing DNA and RNA, and regulating blood cells.  A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability, digestive issues, and shortness of breath.

The elderly, vegetarians, and vegans tend to have a higher risk of developing a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 for insomnia

If insomnia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, then it’s important to supplement with extra vitamin B12 immediately; untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve cell deterioration and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 deficiency blood screening while discussing insomnia, and begin supplementation right away.

Take vitamin B12 with folic acid

Taking folic acid (vitamin B9) along with vitamin B12 is also helpful for insomnia, as vitamin B12 assists folate in building red blood cells and absorption of iron, both key components for good sleep health.

For some people, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is yet another cause of insomnia. Research has shown that RLS is related to a folic acid deficiency, and that taking more B vitamins can reduce RLS, helping to provide a full night of sleep, even in people with severe insomnia. It is thus recommended to take vitamin B12 along with vitamin B9 for maximum absorption.

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Your turn!

What do you do to prevent insomnia? Do you also struggle with vitamin B12 deficiency? Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms cannot be ignored! If you have any of the most common symptoms- fatigue, depression, memory loss, painful “pins and needles” in the hands and feet- then you’re in for a shock. There’s a lot more to vitamin B12 deficiency than you may realize.

 99 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms- the Definitive List

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B12 is essential for so many primary biological functions that are necessary for survival- your nervous system, hormonal balance, cognitive functioning, metabolism, cell formation, to name just a few. It’s no wonder that when vitamin B12 levels are even marginally low, the results can range from annoying and disturbing to debilitating and catastrophic.

Pernicious anemia

In years past, pernicious anemia from severe vitamin B12 deficiency used to be fatal. Today, thanks to vitamin B12 supplementation, we are able to maintain normal levels of vitamin B12, even in spite of vitamin B12 malabsorption from autoimmune disorders and gastrointestinal illnesses.

But until you learn to recognize the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you’re at risk for pernicious anemia and all the damage that it can cause throughout your system.

Symptoms of low B12

Here are 99 ailments that often occur in people with moderate to severe vitamin B12 deficiency, including comorbid conditions and direct symptoms.

  1. Symptoms of anemia- peripheral (megaloblastic) anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency
  2. Painful tingling and numbness in extremities (hands, fingers, toes)- paresthesias
  3. Peripheral nerve damage from demyelination
  4. Poor motor control in arms and legs
  5. Constantly dropping things
  6. Dizziness, poor equilibrium
  7. Gait disturbances, difficulty walking straight
  8. Vertigo, sensation of spinning when at rest
  9. Confusion
  10. Slow thinking, brain fog
  11. Difficulty remembering words or names
  12. Agitation
  13. Depression
  14. Chronic overwhelming fatigue
  15. Poor concentration, attention problems
  16. Difficulty completing tasks
  17. Mood changes
  18. Memory loss
  19. Unusual sudden anger
  20. Psychosis
  21. Age-related dementia
  22. Paranoia
  23. Hallucinations
  24. Anxiety attacks, panic
  25. Sore muscles, painful burning
  26. Tremors, trembling
  27. Frequent muscle fatigue
  28. Difficulty building muscle tissue, even with exercise
  29. Exercise requires several days of recuperation
  30. Neck pain
  31. Headaches
  32. Tight muscle pain in the arms and legs
  33. Joint pain
  34. Morning muscular stiffness
  35. Muscle spasms, twitches
  36. Tender spots as evident in fibromyalgia
  37. Bursitis- pain in elbows, shoulders, and hips
  38. Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold foods- pain in mouth, teeth
  39. Sore tongue, burning sensation
  40. Red tongue that is abnormally smooth, without texture
  41. Canker sores, mouth pain
  42. Sores at corners of mouth
  43. Dry mouth
  44. Altered sense of taste
  45. Unusual thirst
  46. Metallic taste in mouth
  47. Olfactory hallucinations
  48. Pain in bladder without uterine infection
  49. Stomach pain
  50. Nausea
  51. Constant bloating
  52. Difficulty swallowing food
  53. “Frog in throat” sensation
  54. Acid reflux, GERD
  55. Heartburn
  56. Flatulence
  57. Loss of appetite
  58. Constipation
  59. Diarrhea
  60. Esophageal ulcers
  61. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease
  62. Dairy sensitivity
  63. Unusual weight loss or weight gain
  64. Poor libido
  65. Hormonal problems
  66. Low sperm count
  67. Erectile dysfunction
  68. Infertility
  69. Post-partum depression
  70. Frequent miscarriage, early abortion
  71. Failure to thrive in infancy
  72. Language delays
  73. PMS, difficult menstrual periods
  74. Chronic yeast infections
  75. Early onset menopause
  76. Pale complexion
  77. Heart palpitations
  78. Shortness of breath
  79. Weak pulse
  80. Thyroid disorders– Hashimoto’s
  81. High levels of homocysteine
  82. Sensory issues- hypersensitivity to touch, scents, textures, tastes, bright lights  and noises
  83. Sleep problems, insomnia
  84. Sleep that does not restore energy
  85. Night terrors
  86. Vision problems- blurring, photosensitivity, poor night vision
  87. Optic neuritis
  88. Tinnitus – ringing in ears
  89. Hyperacusis- extreme sensitivity to sounds
  90. Low body temperature, always feeling chilled
  91. Neural tube defect in children
  92. “Electric shocks,” pain that shoots down arms and legs when you bend your neck
  93. Poor reflexes from impaired nerve cells
  94. Frequent bruising
  95. Constantly itchy skin
  96. Eczema
  97. Early graying of hair
  98. Hair loss
  99. Thin brittle nails with ridges

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Depression Symptoms associated with B12 Deficiency

Fact: most people with vitamin B12 deficiency suffer from depression symptoms, as well. Unfortunately, many don’t connect the dots between the two conditions. As a result, they may never find the relief that comes with vitamin B12 supplementation, despite taking antidepressants for anxiety or chronic depression for many years.

Depression Symptoms associated with B12 Deficiency

The B12 deficiency epidemic

There are a few reasons why vitamin B12 deficiency can slip past the radar when it comes to emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, and paranoia.

1) Many doctors simply don’t test for low vitamin B12 when their patients come to them complaining of long-lasting depression. As a result, a startling number of B12 deficient people never get diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, and never get the treatment they need.

2) If you’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression all your life, then you may not notice signs of early vitamin B12 deficiency that mimic chronic depression. Overwhelming sadness, foreboding, panic attack, brain fog, fatigue, and memory loss are all depression symptoms that also occur with depleted vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

3) Vitamin B12 blood tests often produce inaccurate results. So, even if you suspect you have vitamin B12 deficiency and go in for testing, you may never get the diagnosis you need in order to receive authorized vitamin B12 supplementation from your healthcare provider.

For that reason, many people who suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia (the autoimmune form of B12 deficiency) opt to order vitamin B12 online, in order to get enough vitamin B12 to reverse symptoms of depression, nerve damage, fatigue, and cognitive impairment.

4) Certain medications, including antidepressants, increase your chances of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, as they interfere with your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly from the foods you eat.

If you are currently taking antianxiety drugs or antidepressants, then you should supplement with extra vitamin B12 at the same time, in order to prevent anemia.

Depression symptoms from B12 deficiency

Unless it’s treated, vitamin B12 deficiency with depression can become a vicious cycle. Scientists have found that patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder experience of worsening of symptoms when vitamin B12 levels are low.

Listed are some depression symptoms and mental illnesses that may become aggravated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Overpowering sadness
  • Strong sense of doom
  • Extreme distractedness, inability to focus
  • Crushing fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety, panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucination
  • Delusions
  • Severe memory impairments
  • Irritability
  • Unusual aggressive behavior
  • Moodiness

If you suffer from depression symptoms, then please see a doctor and discuss medication options. Also, consider adding regular high-dose vitamin B12 to your daily routine.

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100 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Don’t ignore possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- often, the only way to effectively catch vitamin B12 anemia before it becomes debilitating is by recognizing some of the earliest signs, such as constant daily fatigue, memory problems, depression, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities.

100 Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Vitamin B12 blood tests may be helpful for diagnosing severe pernicious anemia (which used to be a fatal disease), but their track record for preventing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the moderate range is not reassuring. That’s because the range for detecting depleted vitamin B12 is set too low, producing inaccurate test readings when more vitamin B12 is needed to provide relief and prevent nerve damage.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, then it’s advisable to start a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements, and track results.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

This is a complete list of all possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. You may have only a few or more of these symptoms. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects people differently, according to the level of depletion.

  1. High levels of homocysteine, which are linked with heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Sore muscles, painful burning sensations.
  3. “Electric shock” sensations that shoot down your arms and legs whenever you bend over.
  4. Difficulty building muscle mass, even though you’ve been exercising regularly.
  5. Neural tube defect in newborn babies.
  6. Aching prickling and numbness in hands and feet caused by paresthesias.
  7. Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) caused by the degradation of myelin, a protective coating that shields your nerve cells.
  8. Poor, slow nerve reflexes.
  9. Quivering, trembling muscles.
  10. Muscle fatigue following light physical exertion.
  11. The need to take a few days to recuperate after even moderate exercise.
  12. Neck pain.
  13. Persistent headaches.
  14. Tight muscle pain in the arms and legs.
  15. Joint pain.
  16. Muscle stiffness each morning.
  17. Tender spots on your body which are often associated with fibromyalgia.
  18. Pain in elbows, shoulders, and hips from bursitis.
  19. Poor control or arm and leg movements.
  20. Frequent “clumsiness,” things always falling from your hands.
  21. Dizziness, unsteadiness, poor stability on feet.
  22. Difficulty walking in a straight line.
  23. Occasional vertigo, a sensation that the room is spinning.
  24. Confusion, getting perplexed easily.
  25. Muddled thinking, brain fog.
  26. Difficulty remembering words that are on the tip of your tongue.
  27. Forgetting names of familiar people.
  28. Irritability.
  29. Depressionthat lasts for months without any apparent cause.
  30. Chronic overwhelming daily fatigue, despite sleeping well.
  31. Poor concentration, ADD-like symptoms.
  32. Getting distracted easily.
  33. Difficulty finishing tasks or chores, finding it hard to stay organized.
  34. Mood swings.
  35. Memory impairments.
  36. Aggressive behavior that is new, unusual.
  37. Neurosis, fixations.
  38. Early-onset dementialinked with old age.
  39. Paranoia, peculiar suspicions.
  40. Hallucinations, deliriums.
  41. Recurrent panic attacks.
  42. Baseless anxiety, sense of doom.
  43. Strong tooth pain when drinking or eating very hot or cold foods.
  44. Sore tongue, “burning mouth” sensation.
  45. Red tongue that is abnormally slick, without bumps.
  46. Continuous canker sores, mouth ulcers.
  47. Cracked sores at both corners of your mouth.
  48. Dry mouth, unpleasant taste in mouth.
  49. Bad breath, halitosis.
  50. Altered palate, food tastes different.
  51. Strange thirst, constantly feeling dehydrated.
  52. Unusual metallic taste in mouth.
  53. Olfactory hallucinations, noticing odd scents that aren’t apparent to anybody else.
  54. Pain in bladder in the absence of uterine infection.
  55. Stomachaches that happen often.
  56. Nausea, recurring need to vomit.
  57. Constant stomach bloating.
  58. Difficulty swallowing.
  59. “Frog in throat” sensation
  60. Acid reflux that occurs regardless of diet.
  61. Constant heartburn, despite eating healthy.
  62. Flatulence.
  63. Loss of appetite.
  64. Constipation, difficulty having regular bowel movements.
  65. Everyday diarrhea.
  66. Esophageal ulcers.
  67. Dairy sensitivity.
  68. Unusual weight loss or weight gain.
  69. Reduced libido.
  70. Hormonal imbalances.
  71. Low sperm count.
  72. Erectile dysfunction.
  73. Infertility.
  74. Post-partum depression.
  75. Frequent miscarriages, spontaneous abortions.
  76. Poor development in newborn babies.
  77. Language impairments in children.
  78. PMS- pain and emotional problems prior to menstruating.
  79. Yeast infections that occur often.
  80. Early onset menopause.
  81. Face is abnormally pale in complexion.
  82. Heart palpitations throughout the day.
  83. Losing your breath easily.
  84. Weak pulse.
  85. Thyroid disorders, including hypothyroid or hyperthyroid.
  86. Sensory impairments, such as hypersensitivity to touch, fragrances, textures, flavors, lighting and noise.
  87. Sleep problems, such as insomnia or waking up easily.
  88. Sleep that doesn’t refresh your mind, you still feel exhausted in the morning.
  89. Night terrors.
  90. Vision impairments, such as blurring, double vision, sensitivity to light.
  91. Optic neuritis- nerve damage in the eyes.
  92. Constant ringing in the ears from tinnitus.
  93. Hyperacusis- extreme hypersensitivity to certain sounds, such as Styrofoam or scratching.
  94. Constantly feeling cold due to low body temperature.
  95. Bruising easily.
  96. Constantly itchy skin.
  97. Eczema, dry skin rashes.
  98. Premature grey hair.
  99. Hair loss not related to age.
  100. 100. Thin, ridged nails that break easily.

How’s your B12?

Sometimes, daily fatigue, dizziness, and muscle pain is a result of low vitamin levels, particularly in energy-boosting vitamin B12. A blood test will tell you if you need to increase your vitamin B12 intake.

Vitamin B12 can be found in most protein foods, such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products. If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then you may require extra B12 outside of the food pyramid.

An easy way to maintain healthy vitamin B12 levels is to use vitamin B12 supplements that replenish cobalamin in the blood supply quickly and efficiently.

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Warning Signs of Low B12

The signs of low B12 start with tiredness and depression. Memory loss, as well. To get better, you have to start taking vitamin B12 right away. In time, low vitamin B12 in your blood can lead to nerve damage, pain, and life-threatening illness. Listed are some of the early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.

 

Warning Signs of Low B12

How low is your B12?

Signs of low B12

Depending on how much vitamin B12 is in your blood supply, signs of low B12 can vary from medium to severe symptoms.

  • Fatigue- feeling of always being tired, even after sleeping well the night before.
  • Depression- lasting sadness that doesn’t seem to go away.
  • Memory problems- forgetting things you used to remember easily, like names and everyday words.
  • Anxiety- you feel nervous, moody, easily angered, and have panic attacks.
  • Numbness- your arms and legs “go to sleep” all the time, you feel pain and tingling in your hands and feet.
  • Brain fog- your thinking is slow, you start speaking in a dull voice, you get confused and have a hard time staying focused.
  • Sleep problems- it’s harder for you to get to sleep and stay asleep the whole night, and you don’t wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Weakness- you feel like you’re not as strong as you used to be, your ankle twists easily, you drop things more often than usual.
  • Balance problems- you fall down often, feel dizzy and out of sorts.
  • Altered taste- food tastes weird, and your tongue feels like it’s on fire sometimes.
  • Ear ringing- you have a constant ringing sound in one or both ears from tinnitus, and your ears may feel “full.”
  • Heart tremors- you’re out of breath and your heart beats quickly.

What is vitamin B12?

People get vitamin B12 from eating beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. In order to have enough vitamin B12 in your body, you have to keep eating meat all the time.

This is a problem for people who are not able to digest vitamin B12 from food. For them, it’s vital to take special forms of vitamin B12 that are not swallowed. Instead, B12 vitamins that enter through the skin into the blood supply are needed.

Know the signs of low B12

To find out if you need more vitamin B12, your doctor may ask you to take a simple blood test. This is helpful for ruling out severe pernicious anemia, a deadly disease. But to check for medium-low vitamin B12, these tests are really useless.

That’s why it’s so important to know the symptoms of early vitamin B12 deficiency. If you feel tired, confused, or sad each day, then it’s a good idea to try upping your vitamin B12. See how you feel in the next few weeks. Since vitamin B12 is safe to take in any amount, there is no risk of danger.

Chances are very good that you will start to feel better, with more energy and a healthy mood.

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Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

Many people today suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency that hasn’t been diagnosed. To cure vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to understand how you got it and which B12 supplements are the best to relieve symptoms and prevent pernicious anemia.

Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

1) Get a blood test- save results!

Some of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are easily confused or misdiagnosed. Memory problems, fatigue, and depression are sometimes attributed to old age or mental illness without testing for low vitamin B12 levels; that’s why getting tested is an important first step in curing vitamin B12 deficiency.

A simple blood test can determine if your vitamin B12 levels are at a dangerous low. This is important to know, because severe vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia) can lead to irreversible nerve damage, mobility problems, handicaps, and sometimes death.

Once you get blood test results, save them in your personal files for future reference. You may need to repeat tests often, so it will help to have a record that you can use to track vitamin B12 serum levels.

2) Know the symptoms of B12 deficiency.

Sometimes, the symptoms you’re experiencing can speak volumes when blood test results show a “medium range” of vitamin B12 deficiency.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for patients to be turned away by their healthcare providers simply because their vitamin B12 levels were not low enough to qualify for supplementation.

Common symptoms of medium-low range vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Slow talking
  • Brain fog
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands and feet)
  • Anxiety
  • Pale complexion
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Muscle pain and spasms

3) Understand your diagnosis.

What’s the cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency? Is it because you follow a vegan diet? If so, then you have dietary vitamin B12 deficiency, and any quality vitamin B12 supplements can help reverse symptoms.

For many others, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 from food or dietary supplements. In such a case, the only cure for vitamin B12 deficiency is through supplements that enter the blood stream directly, bypassing digestion in the stomach.

4) Get the right vitamin B12 supplements!

Vitamin B12 injections and other forms of B12 that are absorbed through the skin are the only option for vitamin B12 malabsorption.

The following are risk factors for vitamin B12 malabsorption:

  • Family history for pernicious anemia or intrinsic factor antibody
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Gastric bypass surgery
  • Medication for diabetes, GERD, depression, or frequent infections
  • Alcoholism

5) Increase potassium and iron as neurological symptoms improve.

During your course of vitamin B12 supplementation, you may need to increase your intake of foods containing potassium. First, ask your doctor to test your potassium. Then, eat more foods that are rich in potassium, or take supplements.

6) Take as much vitamin B12 as you need.

It can take a while to reverse the signs of prolonged vitamin B12 deficiency. Understand that you’re perfectly safe in taking as much vitamin B12 as you feel you need, and that according to the FDA, these are no side effects associated with “too much vitamin B12.”

7) Take vitamin B12 supplementation into your own hands.

Your healthcare insurance may only agree to cover a minimal amount of vitamin B12- enough to prevent nerve deterioration and death, but not enough to cure constant fatigue, memory loss, irritability, and that general feeling of being out-of-sorts.

Many patients have to use over-the-counter vitamin B12 supplements, in addition to B12 injections that they receive by their doctor.

Don’t let your healthcare provider dictate how much vitamin B12 is enough- if you need more than the allotted dose, then you may have to shop online for quality non-dietary vitamin B12 in order to really boost energy and fight fatigue.

8) Make sure pernicious anemia is noted.

If your doctor believes that you are unable to digest vitamin B12 from foods, and that you need lifetime vitamin B12 supplementation, then make sure “pernicious anemia” is listed in your health records.

9) Check folate levels.

You may require more folic acid, which works in conjunction with vitamin B12.

10) Check iron levels.

Signs of fatigue can also be caused by low iron, so make sure your doctor monitors you for low and hyper iron levels.

11) Take more B vitamins.

Vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 work together, so it’s a good idea to take B-complex vitamins along with your regular doses of vitamin B12.

12) Be your own advocate!

Unfortunately, many doctors refuse to believe that a set of debilitating neurological symptoms can be cured with a vitamin- even vitamin B12 deficiency! You may have to shop around for a more sympathetic doctor.

Also, you can push for more testing- other ways of diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Serum MMA – (methylmalonic acid)
  • Urinary MMA
  • Active B12 (HoloTc or Holotranscobalamin)
  • Elevated homocysteine
  • MTHFR – methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (gene mutation)
  • Gastric Parietal Cell Antibodies
  • Gastric Intrinsic Factor Antibodies
  • MCV level (mean corpuscular volume)

 

Do you have questions about vitamin B12 deficiency cures, symptoms, or diagnosis? Please feel free to comment below.

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