Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A-Z Challenge ~ VITAMIN B12 (Letter B)

I’m participating in the A-Z Blogging Challenge. I’ve decided I’ll be blogging about natural health and beauty because it’s something I’m really interested in and something I haven’t written about before on this blog. Please remember that I’m not a qualified doctor or natural health practitioner. What I blog about is entirely my own opinion.

Recently someone close to me had been feeling more tired than usual. He was exhausted at work. Could hardly concentrate. Woke up after a full night’s sleep feeling just as fatigued as the night before. So he went to get his bloodwork done and found out that he was deficient in Vitamin B12.

And the first thing he said?

“I’ve heard of B12 but never really thought about it as being a major factor to my health.”

Neither had I.

So this post is about B12 deficiency and how it can affect you.

Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins. It works with folate to form red blood cells and keep your nerve tissue healthy. B12 is found in liver, caviar, oysters, mussels, lobster, lamb, cheese, eggs and fish. However, people with conditions such as pernicious anemia, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, IBS, those with a poor diet, people on certain medications and those who are vegetarian/vegan can find themselves deficient.

Like my friend, one of the biggest symptoms of B12 deficiency is fatigue. Other symptoms include anemia, depression, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and weight loss.

If you suspect you have a deficiency, I’d strongly err against self-diagnosis! Talk to your GP about getting a blood test and go from there. I wouldn’t recommend taking supplements without having testing done because, although B12 is a low risk vitamin for toxicity, it could be a different vitamin that is causing your symptoms.

My friend is now taking B12 supplements and he’s slowly, but surely, feeling a lot better. He’ll get tested again in a few weeks to see if his B12 level has risen to the normal range. Bottom line: If something’s not quite right, get it checked out and it could be a (fairly) simple fix. Prolonged B12 deficiency leads to a whole host of nasties and a good level can potentially protect you against dementia, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer risk.

Until tomorrow xx


Debra Ann Elliott said...

Thanks for stopping by Words are Timeless. I love your posts. Good luck to you as well!

The Wicked Writer said...

wow, didn't know that. Thanks for posting and dropping by.

Robin Moran said...

Hmm, that's interesting. I can be unusually tired, even after a great night's sleep. But I work in education so I think that's to blame more than anything. ^^

Charissa said...

Love your health topics. Very intriguing.

Sherrey said...

Interesting post. My mom was B12 deficient, and I remember giving her injections to boost her levels. At first they were thinking of many horrible diagnoses, and B12 deficiency was something to be thankful for. :)
Sherrey at Healing by Writing

Nick Wilford said...

Great advice. This is an area I don't know a whole lot about.

Wendy said...

I know little about health supplements, but I know plenty of people taking those extra vitamins and other things like fish oil and flax seed. Visiting from A to Z.

Heidi Mannan said...

I knew B12 was difficult for vegetarians to get enough of, but I was aware of Celiacs also having trouble getting it. I'm going to have to do some more research, it looks like. Thanks for the informative post!

Kirsten said...

I used to be vegetarian and was lacking vitamin B. Instead of taking supplements, my doctor recommended Marmite and it worked.
Definitely check with the doc though.
Just Ermie &
Short Story Ideas

Monica Anne said...

Very interesting!

Laura Broach said...

Thanks for the info! I get B12 injections, but it never occurred to me that perhaps B12 deficiency could be linked to anemia. Both of my children and I are anemic. Def asking the doc to check!

T. Drecker said...

Interesting! It's amazing what how important each and every of those vitamins are.