It is very common, in the busy modern life, to ignore the body when it is trying to send signals it lacks something, whether it is a certain mineral, vitamin, or other nutrient. This happens often with B12, in particular. This vitamin is critical for the production of blood cells, nerve health, and the boding of nucleic acids to proteins. Severe deficiencies in this nutrient lead to irreparable nerve damage.
Here are some of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, frequent gas or loss of appetite and taste
- A pins and needles sensation, numbness, muscle weakness and problems walking
- Weakness, fatigue, vertigo or lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
- Pale or yellowing skin tone
- A smooth tongue
- Loss of vision
- Poor mental health such as depression, mood swings, or memory loss
Those at the highest risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include:
1.Perimenopausal, pregnant or lactating women
Most of the symptoms that perimenopausal women experience, such as mood swings and fatigue, resemble the ones of a vitamin B12 deficiency. It is critical for these women to check their levels and supplement, if needed. For pregnant women, a vitamin B12 deficiency might lead to death of the baby! As for lactating women, deficiency in this nutrient
2.Those age 50 or older
As we grow older, the body loses its ability to absorb and utilize vitamins from food properly. People over age 50 are recommended to test for a vitamin B12 deficiency and supplement, if needed.
3.Those with immune disorders such as Graves’ disease or Lupus
In the case of autoimmune disorders like Lupus, the cells attack body`s tissues instead of attacking foreign invaders. This affects body`s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from food.
4.Vegans and vegetarians
Given that vitamin B12 is found in animals proteins only vegans and vegetarians should definitely take supplements in order to avoid deficiency. Those with compromised digestive system and absorptive ability are also at risk. This includes those with Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, atrophic gastritis, a thinned stomach lining, and pernicious anemia.
How to Prevent it Naturally
The good news is that vitamin B12 is preventable and most people can prevent it by eating a healthy and well balanced diet, based on dairy, eggs, sea food, meat, and poultry. Vegans and vegetarians who eat minimal dairy and eggs should consider eating large amounts of vitamin B12-fortified grains and taking a natural supplement.
Eisenstein Centre’s MULTIpro for Women, for instance, is a natural, well balanced, vegetarian supplement which promotes overall health. The ingredients it contains improve digestive function and promote optimal absorption!