Signs You Might Be Vitamin B12
When it rains, I’ll sleep like a baby and for long stretches of time, whereas I’m normally not a sleeper at all. I’ve been more tired lately and was blaming the weather until I realised that I’ve been lax with my supplementation. I probably haven’t been getting enough B12. Gah. As a Mama with 5 littles under foot, it’s imperative I don’t have to combat a deficiency induced exhaustion because my kiddoes do that enough as is. I was so mad at myself, as I promised that I would order a really good supplement after finding an improvement with one recently. I’ve had nearly all of the signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency for years, never knowing why I felt so off. In case you are dealing with it too, I decided to get my lethargic butt in gear to write this post.
The Importance Of Vitamin B12
A B12 deficiency can often result in low energy, as the vitamin itself helps the body convert carbs into glucose, which directly results in a decrease in general fatigue As we age, our stomach acid and the necessary protein that assists with removing B12 from the food we have eaten ends up decreasing over time. So, as you’re needing more of the vitamin to juggle life as an adult, you’re able to utilise less in what you’re eating. What a pain, eh? This means that I’m left doing trial and error with a bunch of expensive supplements that wind up relatively useless or I’ve got to inject myself with a needle that contains other ingredients that I want no part of. Not gonna happen.
Signs Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The exhaustion is the worst of the symptoms that I experience but, if you want a list, it boils down to these;
- Extreme fatigue, as mentioned earlier.
- Blurry vision
- Mood swings
- Tingling or numbness in hands and feet
- Unexplained hair loss
- Panic attacks
- Premature greying (in my case, my hair’s turning white and has been since I was 21 years old. I have more white hair than my mother, who’s in her 50s, and I am only 30)
- Heart Palpitations
- Loss of libido
- Memory problems
- Easy bruising or bleeding. Bleeding gums.
- Brain Shrinkage. Yep, it’s true, according to an Oxford study.
As you can see, this is a slew of very common problems for men and women alike. If you’re dealing with any of these symptoms, it’s a possibility that you may be suffering from a B12 deficiency and have no idea. If you do know, yet still have issues, perhaps you haven’t found an adequate supplement. I was not aware of the fact that I had a B12 deficiency and dealt with various doctors over a period of years- all ended up treating individual problems to no rectification. I stopped taking prescription medication, which just made matters worse anyway, and started focusing on overall body health when I went the natural route. I’ve felt better, most definitely, but still needed something to address the above, unshakeable list.
Who Is Most At Risk
Among others, a few of those likely to have issues with absorption may be;
- People over 50
- Those with intestinal disorders, digestive diseases or past gastrointestinal surgeries.
- Those with anemia
- Vegetarians or vegans
- Pregnant women
- Those taking certain medications for diabetes or acid reflux
How To Get More B12
- Fish, clams, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products do contain B12. (we are trying to steer clear of dairy in our home so that’s not an option here) Beef liver, if you are one that enjoys it, is an excellent source of B12.
- Nutritional yeast! Easily added to popcorn, pasta, on eggs or in potatoes.
- Abstain from alcohol; it can negatively impact your absorption.
- Support your intake by ensuring you get enough calcium and cranberry, as both can help increase absorption.
What To Look For In Your Supplement
I would suggest adding in a good sublingual or patch but the only dermal one I’ve had experience with includes folic acid. I would rather not add that to my body so I’m left on the hunt for something that I’m truly in love with. When a patch is released that includes methyl folate, I’ll be super excited. If you know of one- please leave a link in the comments!
You’ll want to make certain that your chosen supplement is made up of the correct form of B12 too. Look for methylcobalamin over cyanocobalamin. The second is a cheaper, synthetic version that’s literally bound to a cyanide molecule that your liver then needs to expel. It also happens to be one of the most commonly found versions of B12 on the shelves today.
I had no idea of the benefits of B12, such as nice skin or nails, nor did I really have any clue about the myriad of frightening symptoms that low B12 levels cause. If you want more information on those, I would recommend checking out this video;
What is your go-to for Vitamin B12 in your diet?