Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the human body and is obtained from the food we eat, such as meat and fish, cheese, milk and eggs. There are no known sources of vitamin B12 in plants, therefore it can be common to see Vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians or vegans, although foods such as soya milk can help raise Vitamin B12 levels.
We absorb Vitamin B12 through our digestive tract, however this process can be impeded due to poor digestion, intestinal diseases or disorders or the use of some medications and lifestyle choices.
Why is Vitamin B12 so important in keeping us healthy?
Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient for general good health.
Vitamin B12 is non-toxic – even at really high doses.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common, can occur at any age and goes largely unrecognised.
Vitamin B12 is crucial for many systems of the body to function correctly.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may not always be detected with a blood tests.
Pernicious anaemia is one illness related to a deficiency in vitamin B12.
Depression, anxiety and psychosis as well as the early onset of dementia are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Causes of B12 deficiency include genetic disorders, poor diet, gastrointestinal illness or surgery, alcoholism and use of antacids.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in many body systems, such as the immune, digestive and reproductive systems, including fertility, pregnancy and embryo development. Vitamin B12 also affects how the nervous and peripheral systems function, as well as mood and cognitive functions.
A deficiency in Vitamin B12 deficiency will manifest itself in a wide range of differing symptoms and can lead to misdiagnosis due to a perception of these symptoms being unrelated to each other.
Illnesses and conditions that can be linked to Vitamin B12 deficiency include;
Irritability or mood swings.
Confusion or forget-fullness
Depression, anxiety and/or panic attacks
Fogginess and/or tension headaches
Psychosis, hallucinations or delusions
Onset of dementia
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME
Some autoimmune disorders such as Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative colitis
Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas.
Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking.
Restless legs syndrome
(NB: this list is not inclusive, there are many other illnesses that can be contributed to Vitamin B12 deficiency)
Many of the above illnesses or conditions have overlapping symptoms, for example fatigue, general ill-feeling, joint pain and rash and have been seen to cease to be symptomatic once vitamin B12 balance is restored in the body.
How is Vitamin B12 deficiency diagnosed?
Traditionally, Vitamin B12 deficiency has been diagnosed with a blood test or trying to diagnose by looking for signs of pernicious anaemia. However, these tests are not always 100% accurate and can lead to mis-diagnosis. Therefore, diagnosis can be made by assessing whether the individual has any of the key symptoms of deficiency and then plan to have supplements to help boost the levels of B12 within the individual.
These key triggers that have been found to be most common with those suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency are;
· Hair loss
· Pins & needles
· Numbness in the hands or feet
· Tremors or palsies
· Recurrent headaches
If you would like to take a quick symptom checker assessment to calculate your risk or Vitamin B12 deficiency, please contact us at DermalEssence and our Registered Nurse will complete the assessment with you over a phone consultation/assessment that will take only a few minutes to complete.
CALL US ON 01704 233258 OR
Fill in the CONTACT FORM on our website www.dermalessence.co.uk