Tag Archives: Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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” 

 

 


  • Vitamin B12 and your Sex Drive

    Vitamin B12 and your Sex Drive: If your libido is low, then you may need for vitamin B12- it’s great for fertility and sustaining a healthy sex drive! Conversely, vitamin B12 deficiency can have the opposite effect, making it harder to conceive and carry a baby to full term.

    Let’s talk about Vitamin B12

    When you think about vitamin B12 deficiency, you normally link it with fatigue, memory loss, depression, and that annoying painful numbness in your hands, feet, arms, and legs.  These symptoms can be debilitating, and won’t go away until you replenish your vitamin B12 levels.

    But few people realize that vitamin B12 also plays an important part in your reproductive system functioning. With so much focus on the importance of taking plenty of folic acid, another B vitamin, during pregnancy, much of the attention is taken away from the necessity to also get plenty of vitamin B12 before, during, and after pregnancy.

    Vitamin B12 not only increases energy, revving up your sex drive, but it also promotes good fertility. In studies where women suffering from severe vitamin B12 anemia were trying to conceive, most saw positive results after supplementing with more vitamin B12.

    In men, vitamin B12 deficiency can lower sperm count and impair erectile functioning.

    Having babies

    Scientists believe that vitamin B12, along with other essential B vitamins boost the sex drive by regulating sex hormones, keeping them in good balance to enable fertility.

    Likewise, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause symptoms that negatively affect your ability to procreate, including low libido, impotence, difficulty conceiving a baby, depression, anxiety, miscarriages, premature births, and increased risk for birth defects and failure to thrive.

    Get checked!

    Before planning a family, it’s vitally important to make sure you don’t have vitamin B12 deficiency. If your blood test comes out positive or you experience some of the telltale signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, then increase your vitamin B12 uptake before trying to have a baby, and continue through the rest of your pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

    Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

    Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency to look out for:

    • Depression
    • Poor sex drive, loss of interest
    • Anxiety
    • Brain fog
    • Memory loss
    • Poor concentration
    • Constant fatigue
    • Painful tingling and numbness, particularly in hands and feet
    • Sore, burning red tongue
    • Difficulty walking in a straight line
    • Muscle pain, spasms
    • Decreased muscular coordination
    • Frequent miscarriages
    • Fertility problems

    More on B12 deficiency

    Have you noticed any of the symptoms mentioned, but didn’t know what they mean? For many, a diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency comes as a shock.

    That’s because many of us eat a healthy diet with lots of protein foods that supply vitamin B12. Yet, a rising number of people in the US suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption- that means that regardless of how much meat, fish, or poultry you eat, you still are unable to maintain adequate amounts of vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

    Many factors in American life contribute to this, including medications for diabetes and acid reflux, bariatric surgery, long-term pain medications, antidepressants and antibiotics, autoimmune disorders, and also old age.

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency Caused by 33 Medications

    To replenish vitamin B12 supplies when you are unable to absorb it through food, it’s necessary to take non-dietary forms of vitamin B12 that are absorbed through the skin and muscle tissues, bypassing the digestive system completely.

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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?

    Please share your comments below.


  • 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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  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment

    Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment methods vary according the severity of your symptoms, which country you live in, and what your healthcare provider allows.

    Vitamin B12 blood test

    Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment overview

    How much vitamin B12 should I take?

    The only way to treat vitamin B12 deficiency and reverse debilitating symptoms is to replenish vitamin B12 immediately. Taking B12 pills is not enough, as most people who suffer from this deficiency are not able to digest vitamin B12 from food or dietary supplements, due to a lack of intrinsic factor.

    The standard dose for treatment is 1,000mic of cobalamin, to be taken according to your doctor’s recommendation. How much vitamin B12 you receive depends largely on your physician’s prescription and your willingness to purchase extra vitamin B12 supplements from your own pocket, outside your healthcare providers’ budget.

    To give you an idea of the basic regimen for vitamin B12 deficiency treatment, consider this report by the PAS (UK-based):

    “The results of our Survey of members showed that Of those individuals receiving B12 by injection, less than 1% were being treated more than once a day, 1% were being treated daily, 2% weekly, 9% monthly, 15% two-monthly, 50% three-monthly and 10% were being treated at some ‘other’ frequency.  10% of our members use a form of B12- Methylcobalamin – which is not licensed for use in Europe or North America.”

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    Vitamin B12 deficiency is anemia

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is a worldwide epidemic that can lead to pernicious anemia, a condition that was once lethal but it still disabling to this day.Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency in the earliest stages can include chronic fatigue, memory problems, depression, and painful numbness and tingling in the extremities. Untreated, as vitamin B12 levels plummet, symptoms worsen- an indication of a gradual breakdown in the nervous system, as evidenced in peripheral neuropathy.

    Your body cannot produce enough red blood cells to sustain good health when vitamin B12 levels are low. To prevent pernicious anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency treatment must begin early-on, and continue for life.

    Diagnosing vitamin B12 deficiency

    A standard blood test can detect if your vitamin B12 levels are dangerously low. However, it may not warn you when vitamin B12 levels are dipping from a low to medium range, as the tests only serve to pick up potentially lethal cases of pernicious anemia.

    According to the Pernicious Anaemia Society (PAS), nearly 44% of people with vitamin B12 deficiency are initially and wrongfully diagnosed with a different condition. About 22% suffer from their symptoms for two years before they ever get treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency.

    This is unacceptable- if doctors would only pay more attention to the underlying symptoms, then their patients would be able to get their treatment immediately and cheaply.

    Which types of vitamin B12 are the best?

    The best kind of vitamin B12 to take is the kind that enters directly into your bloodstream and results in complete relief and recovery from your symptoms. Your doctor will prescribe vitamin B12 shots, but to reverse the symptoms, you may have to purchase more vitamin B12 online in order to top off your B12 levels.

    Upshot- Don’t take chances with vitamin B12 deficiency. If your doctor doesn’t approve the amount of vitamin B12 that you need to restore energy and relieve pain symptoms, then it’s absolutely crucial that your take matters into your own hands.

    Which type of vitamin B12 deficiency treatment do you currently use? 

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  • 35 Signs of Neuropathy to Watch

    The most common signs of neuropathy are chronic pain and numbness in the extremities (hands and feet), but there are many other important symptoms that sufferers don’t know to look out for. See this list of the most common signs of neuropathy.

    35 common symptoms of neuropathy

    If you experience any of the symptoms listed below frequently, then it’s important to tell your doctor immediately.

    Neuropathy can occur from vitamin B12 deficiency, autoimmune illness, diabetes, alcoholism or several other underlying conditions.

    35 signs of neuropathy

    In a survey conducted on nearly 1,000 people diagnosed with some type of neuropathy, the majority reported experiencing some of the following symptoms moderately or severely:

    1. Tingling, stinging in the hands and feet
    2. Crushing fatigue
    3. Weak muscles
    4. Burning  sensations
    5. Chronic pain
    6. Painful numbness in the hands and feet
    7. Hypersensitivity in pain points on body
    8. Difficulty standing or sitting for long stretches
    9. Difficulty walking, gait disturbances
    10. Balance problems, dizziness
    11. Sensitivity to very cold and very hot temperatures
    12. Muscle spasms, twitching
    13. Fluctuating body temperature
    14. Pain that worsens in the evenings
    15. Itching in the extremities
    16. Lightheadedness when getting up
    17. Eye problems
    18. Crawling sensation
    19. Constipation
    20. Reduced reaction to pain stimulus
    21. Scalp irritation, itching
    22. Changes in perspiration
    23. Vertigo
    24. Diarrhea
    25. Increased heart rate
    26. Urinary Incontinence
    27. Reduced sensitivity to changes in temperature
    28. Nausea
    29. Head pain
    30. Reduced appetite
    31. Impotency
    32. Frequent urinary tract infections (UTI’s)
    33. Unhealthy weight loss
    34. Frequent vomiting
    35. Facial swelling

    Neuropathy treatments

    Treatment for neuropathy depends on the cause. For diabetic neuropathy, it’s important to wear tight socks and check your hands and feet frequently for cuts and bruises. Also, if you take metformin, then you may need to supplement with vitamin B12 regularly, as this diabetes drug prevents proper absorption of vitamin B12 in food, leading to vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Peripheral neuropathy is a typical symptom of pernicious anemia (autoimmune vitamin B12 deficiency), so again vitamin B12 is rated as a crucial supplement for preventing symptoms.

    Other treatments that help with neuropathy are pain relief creams, alcohol avoidance, exercise, smoking cessation, prescription medications for neuropathy.

    What other signs of neuropathy have you experienced? If you found this helpful, then please share with others who suffer from neuropathy or are involved in neuropathy awareness groups.

    Image by imagerymajestic


  • Sure you’re Getting enough Vitamin B12? Infographic

    So, you think you’re getting enough vitamin B12 in one day? If you’re one of many who suffer from vitamin B12 malabsorption, then you need upwards from 1000 micrograms of B12 each week. Sounds easy? Guess again.

    Sure you’re Getting enough Vitamin B12? Infographic

    Vitamin B12 deficiency epidemic

    Vitamin B12 occurs only in animal-based foods such as beef, chicken, fish, and dairy products like cheese and eggs. If you’re a vegan, then it’s time to start taking vitamin B12 supplements, in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, a condition that back in the 20s was a fatal disease known as pernicious anemia.

    Scary stuff.

    These days, vitamin B12 deficiency is still epidemic, though not as pernicious as it used to be. Still, many people are at risk for permanent nerve damage resulting from long-term vitamin B12 deficiency, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re getting enough into your blood supply.

    The reason for the epidemic is simple– these days, there exist more factors that lead to vitamin B12 malabsorption than ever before. Your ability to digest and use vitamin B12 from foods diminishes exponentially with each risk factor.

     B12 deficiency risk factors include:

    • Family history for pernicious anemia
    • Family history for autoimmune disease
    • Gastritis or other damage to the stomach
    • Gastrointestinal illnesses such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or GERD
    • Lupus
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Alcoholism
    • Bariatric surgery, such as gastric bypass
    • Vegan dieting
    • Migraine
    • Medications for diabetes, acid reflux, depression, and birth control

    Foods with vitamin B12

    If you’re not able to digest vitamin B12 from foods, then doctors recommend anywhere between 1000 to 3000 micrograms of vitamin B12 each week in order to prevent deficiency and start feeling better.

    How much is that? Our infographic gives you an idea- to get just 1000 micrograms of vitamin B12, you would have to eat 11 servings of clam chowder…14 plates of fried liver with onions…or 17 sushi rolls of fish eggs.

    Though beef is touted as one of the best sources of vitamin B12, you would actually need to eat 80 servings of beefsteak to get even close to the amount of vitamin B12 you would need to get your B12 levels back to normal.

    That’s why it’s so important to take your vitamin B12 supplements, if you are experiencing even mild to medium symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Your life and your health depend on it. Take as much vitamin B12 as you feel that you need until symptoms of tiredness, sadness, sluggishness, and memory problems disappear.

    There is no danger of overdose with vitamin B12, so it’s perfectly safe to take more than you think you’ll need, to be on the safe side.

    Here is our free infographic:

    Foods with vitamin B12
    Infographic by Vita Sciences and the Vitamin B12 Patch

    Download this infographic.

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  • Vitamin B12 Anemia during Pregnancy- Don’t Ignore This

    Preventing anemia during pregnancy means more than just checking your iron levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia can cause  many problems that can harm your baby, yet it’s often brushed under the rug. In fact, vitamin B12 blood testing doesn’t always detect the earliest signs of vitamin B12 anemia during pregnancy, or afterwards.

    Vitamin B12 Anemia during Pregnancy- Don’t Ignore This

    Family planning with vitamin B12 in mind.

    Vitamin B12 is so important for so many stages of life- it helps your make plenty of healthy red blood cells needed for oxygen. Vitamin B12 also protects your nervous system. This important plant-based vitamin is excellent for metabolism, energy, memory, and good mood.

    For family planning, vitamin B12 is crucial for fertility, development, and your child’s ability to thrive.

    According to studies, women with vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia are more likely than others to experience infertility, multiple miscarriages, and spontaneous abortions.

    Fertility

    Among the many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems that can interfere with family planning. Difficulty conceiving, low libido, impotence, and miscarriage are all impairments that occur with pernicious anemia or medium-range vitamin B12 deficiency.

    Miscarriages

    If you have too much homocysteine, then you are at risk for preeclampsia and miscarriage. Vitamin B12 helps to control homocysteine, so it’s important to keep taking your vitamin B12 supplements.

    To prevent blood clotting, you should also keep folate levels in check, as well.

    Neural tube defects

    In a study by the National Institutes of Health, doctors saw that neural tube birth defects happen more often when the mother has vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia.

    Even before getting pregnant, you should start taking extra vitamin B12.

    Spina bifida, a development disorder that means “split spine,” is five times more likely to occur with pernicious anemia, even if couples are anemic before conceiving.

    Prevent anemia during pregnancy

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is treatable- and the symptoms can be prevented if caught on time. That means good health, both for you and your unborn child, when vitamin B12 anemia is detected before or during pregnancy.

    Researchers noted that when vitamin B12 supplements are introduced in high doses, homocysteine levels decrease, resulting in a much better outcome for normal childbirth.

    While there’s no upper limit for vitamin B12 (all amounts are perfectly safe), the standard dose is 1,000mic taken daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or as recommended by your physician.

    If you had vitamin B12 deficiency anemia during pregnancy, did you take extra vitamin B12, in addition to your prenatal vitamins?

     Image by David Castillo Dominici


  • Prevent Memory Loss- Check these 7 Medications!

    Memory loss doesn’t have to be a necessary part of getting older. Often, forgetfulness is triggered by certain medications that cause brain fog, fatigue, and mental confusion. To prevent memory loss, ask your doctor for healthier alternatives for the following drugs.

    Prevent Memory Loss- Check these 7 Medications!

    Prevent memory loss…

    If you’ve been noticing an increase in memory loss, then your first step is to schedule a check-up. Your doctor may want to screen for vitamin B12 deficiency, a common cause of frequent memory problems, tiredness, and depression.

    Other possible reasons for poor memory can include smoking, head trauma, stroke, sleep apnea, early-onset dementia, or just plain ‘ole stress.

    Or, memory loss can occur with commonly prescribed medications used to treat depression, anxiety, chronic pain, or even high cholesterol.

    Medications to keep in check…

    Here are some prescription drugs that doctors have linked with memory loss:

    1. Benzodiazepines for anxiety work by suppressing parts of the brain used to store memory. These should only be prescribed rarely, and not for long term. Ask your doctor for gentler treatments for anxiety, muscle spasms, or insomnia. Also, consider supplementing with safe natural ingredients that help to promote good cognition.
    2. Statins that lower cholesterol can also impair memory by reducing lipids that are needed for cellular communication in the brain’s network of nerve cells. To counteract the effect, doctors recommend taking high doses of vitamin B12, which encourages healthy nervous system functioning through the preservation of myelin.
    3. Certain anti-seizure drugs used to treat migraines, epilepsy or bipolar disorder can wreak havoc on the nervous system, leaving you feeling drained, disoriented, and forgetful. Certain anticonvulsants are better than others, so if you notice a change in your overall mood, then ask your doctor to recommend an alternative. Also, certain herbs, vitamins, and minerals have been found helpful when taken in tandem, such as butterbur, riboflavin, magnesium, and coenzyme Q10.
    4. Opioid analgesic painkillers prescribed for arthritis, migraines or fibromyalgia can interfere with both short-term and long-term memory. For chronic pain that requires frequent medication, inquire about non-narcotic painkillers. For joint pain and muscle soreness, rub daily with a pain relieving cream.
    5. Tricyclic antidepressants used to treat depression, anxiety, tinnitus, migraines, and chronic pain may cause severe memory loss in about 35% of patients, in addition to difficulty concentrating in more than half, according to recent studies. If you experience fatigue and memory problems, then your doctor may suggest lowering your dose or trying an alternative type of antidepressant, such as selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRI/SNRIs).
    6. Antihistamines used for nausea, allergies and migraines can impair the part of your brain used for memory and learning. To prevent memory loss while using antihistamines, make sure you’re using one of the newer formulas.
    7. Hypertension drugs such as beta-blockers work by inhibiting chemical reactions in the brain, including those needed for good memory and healthy cognitive functioning. As a result, you may experience frequent brain fog and memory loss after using beta-blockers for a long period of time. If using hypertension medications to treat migraines or tinnitus, then ask about certain vitamins and minerals that support good blood flow to the brain.

    Can you think of any other medications people should avoid, in order to prevent memory loss? Please share your comments or questions below.

    Image by photostock


  • 10 Reasons why you’re Tired all the Time- the First will Surprise you

    You try to get your 8 hours sleep, but you’re still tired all the time- from morning until evening. You’re not alone. Many people suffer from constant fatigue, even after getting plenty of shut-eye. There are several underlying conditions that can cause you to feel exhausted, reaching for that coffee cup before noon, including anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

    10 Reasons why you’re Tired all the Time- the First will Surprise you

    This is why you’re tired all the time:

    It’s a common misconception that to beat tiredness, you just need to get more sleep. If you stay up late watching television or chatting on Facebook, then yes- you need to turn off all electric media and get to sleep.

    But for many, chronic fatigue lingers throughout the day, every day, even despite following all the rules of good sleep hygiene. You wake up feeling hung over, sluggish. You never get that feeling of refreshed wakefulness that most people feel when they get up in the morning.

    Here are some reasons for that.

    Vitamin B12 deficiency

    Sometimes referred to as pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 anemia, vitamin B12 deficiency can make you feel overwhelmingly tired, lethargic, and slow. This is due to reduced levels of red blood cells which are needed to deliver oxygen to your brain and other parts of the body.

    Fatigue is one of many early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency; others include brain fog, memory problems, painful numbness and tingling, and dizziness.

    The best thing you can do is to start taking vitamin B12 immediately. While the B12 blood tests are helpful for detecting severe pernicious anemia, they are often unhelpful in diagnosing medium to low ranges of vitamin B12 serum levels that still cause debilitating symptoms.

    Cure Vitamin B12 Deficiency in 12 Steps

    There is no danger of taking too much vitamin B12, as any unused amounts are excreted in the urine. A good rule of thumb is to take at least 1000mcg per week. Vitamin B12 helps to boost energy, so most people notice good results almost immediately.

    Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia

    Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are separate illnesses that are often grouped together because they share common symptoms, including daily crushing fatigue and chronic pain.

    Because many people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue also suffer from gastrointestinal distress, vitamin B12 deficiency is often also a comorbid factor. If you are diagnosed with either CFS or FM, then it’s a good idea to increase vitamin B12 supplementation for increased energy and mental focus.

    Sleep disturbances

    Sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome can be making it difficult for you to get quality sleep, causing you to feel tired all the time.

    Diabetes

    Constant tiredness can be a sign of pre-diabetes, due to sugars in the blood not being digested properly and used for energy.

    Also, if you take metformin for diabetes, then you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, as metformin and other medications inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to vitamin B12 malabsorption and eventual deficiency.

    Thyroid condition

    A sluggish thyroid and, surprisingly, an overactive thyroid can cause severe fatigue.

    Prescription medications

    Constant fatigue is a common symptom of long-term use of painkillers and antidepressants. This can be a side effect of the drug, a sign of misuse, or it can result from vitamin B12 malabsorption.

    Depression

    Overwhelming sadness such as that occurs in chronic depression can make you feel tired and disoriented.

    Stress

    Over time, built-up nervous tension without relief can make you feel wiped out before the day is done.

    Obesity

    Morbid obesity carries many health concerns, including chronic fatigue.

    Inactivity

    Do you work in an office or other occupation where you are sitting most of the day? Sedentariness is risk factor for obesity, heart disease, and fatigue. Doctors recommend taking breaks throughout the work day, even just to stretch your legs. Also, to boost energy, commit yourself to some form of light exercise 20-30 minutes per day.

    What else can you think of?

    Do you suffer from a condition that makes you feel tired all the time?

    Do you know of any other ways to beat constant tiredness and boost energy?

    How has your life improved since you started taking regular vitamin B12 supplements?

    Image by David Castillo Dominici