To function properly, our body needs certain amounts of vitamins. If we miss one of them, the body will use the hidden supplies and be free of symptoms. However, we need to fill out those supplies every now and then. If we don’t do that, the first symptoms will appear the moment those amounts are down to zero.
The same goes for vitamin B12. It is commonly found in foods, and it has tons of vital functions in the body that we’ll mention in the following. People who experience a low amount of B12 can always consider replacing them with B12 supplements. One of the best ways to fill up your body is by using B12 patches daily. It’s a modern, improved way of taking vitamins that increases absorption and it does not interfere with digestion. Using a vitamin patch makes it harder to forget to take your daily dose in a busy schedule. So let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure your body gets enough vitamin B12 which is essential for boosting energy levels and keeping you at an optimal function at all times.
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What is B12 deficiency; The causes and symptoms
A healthy, well-balanced diet gives you all the necessary B12 you need. It is found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese… Later on, the vitamin is absorbed through our stomach and intestines. If there are certain diseases or dietary restrictions, the amounts of B12 that are absorbed are close to none. Some of those causes are pernicious anemia, stomach surgery, celiac diseases, Crohn’s…
Symptoms of B12 deficiency
If the deficiency is small, the symptoms at the beginning will be easier and harder to notice. But, look for weakness, light-headedness, pale skin, bleeding gums and red tongue, nausea and losing weight, changes in your bowel movements.
If the deficiency isn’t noticed and it’s prolonged, more serious symptoms will start appearing, some of which are hard to ignore. Some of them are numbness and tingling in your fingers, depression, poor balance… Once you start noticing any of them, you should consult with your doctor, and he will advise on what steps to take next.
Not having enough vitamin B12 in your body will most likely lead to anemia- a low number of red blood cells. B12 is important for producing red blood cells, which later on carry oxygen to every cell in our body. Besides that, red blood cells have tons of other functions as well. You’ll be pale, weak, and tired most of the time, and the symptoms will get heavier as the deficiency advances.
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B12 deficiency recovery
To bring your body back to normal, you need to find the cause of the deficiency and treat it properly. Your doctor will help you with this. Of course, there are certain conditions that you cannot cure, such as intolerance, and other things that you’re not willing to change such as your dietary preference. But, that is completely fine, because those are minor things that won’t affect curing the deficiency.
The most important thing is to start taking B12 supplements after you notice the first changes in your body. Depending on the cause of the deficiency, the food you eat, your physical activity, age, and weight, your doctor will give you advice on how much B12 you should take daily. Vitamin B12 supplements can come in different forms. You can receive them as pills, shots, or patches. Either version will work fine, as long as you get adequate amounts of the vitamin. If you’re getting shots, you can learn to apply them yourself. But, if you don’t like poking, ask your doctor to switch you to pills, they are easier to be taken and they cost way less.
If you’re able to make some minor dietary changes, that would work out perfectly. But, it isn’t necessary. The supplements you’ll be getting will be more than enough to help you out with the deficiency. Studies have shown that problems with the levels of B12 happen to people who are vegans or restrict themselves from eating meat and dairy products. Sometimes, they can’t help it, since they have some underlying condition that prevents them from eating those products.
That’s why doctors and dietitians don’t stress the diet thing too much. As long as there are B12 supplements that work for you, give you enough B12, and prevent deficiencies, you’re good to go. Try eating different foods that contain folic acid, which is another type of vitamin B. Some of them are leafy greens, citrus vegetables, and fortified cereals. Most of them work out with any diet.
There are many causes that can lead to B12 deficiency. In the beginning, the situation isn’t serious and it has some mild symptoms that can be mistaken for aging or weather change. But, as the deficiency worsens, so do the symptoms. The recovery should be followed by an adequate intake of B12 vitamins, other vitamins from the same group, and of course, proper rest and taking care of your body.