Feeling Down and Out? Could You Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
You may not realise it, but vitamin B12 plays a massive role in your body and your overall wellbeing. If you don’t have enough of it in your body, you could experience a host of both physical and mental symptoms 😢.
At Inspired Health Chiropractic and Wellbeing Centre, we don’t just care about your spine and joints, we care about every aspect of your health 🤗. And, because vitamin B12 plays such an important ⚠ role in your body and nervous system health, we thought we’d tell you more about determining if you have a deficiency and how it can be treated so that you can live your healthiest life.
What is a B12 Deficiency and How is it Caused?
According to the NHS, a B12 deficiency happens when there is a lack of this vitamin in your body which gets in the way of your body’s ability to produce fully functioning blood 🩸 cells. There are six main causes of a vitamin B12 deficiency:
· Pernicious Anaemia: In the UK, pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiencies. This is an autoimmune condition that affects your stomach and where your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells. In your stomach, vitamin B12 is combined with a protein called intrinsic factor which helps B12 to be absorbed into your body. Pernicious anaemia means that your body can’t produce intrinsic factor and, as a result, your body can’t absorb vitamin B12.
· Your Diet: The second most common reason why you could have a vitamin B12 deficiency is that you are not getting enough B12 in your diet. Meat, fish, and dairy products are the main source of B12 in our diets – if you’re not eating these foods, you can become deficient.
· Stomach Problems: Conditions that affect your tummy can prevent your body from absorbing vitamin B12.
· Intestinal Problems: If you have any conditions that affect your intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, it could mean your body is not getting enough vitamin B12 absorption.
· Meds: There are quite a few medications that reduce the amount of vitamin B12 that occurs naturally in your body. The most common type of medicine that causes this is one is what is used to treat indigestion.
· Functional Vitamin B12 Deficiency: This is caused when there is a problem with the proteins that help transport vitamin B12 between cells. Functional vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological complications.
What Are the Symptoms?
The variety of symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency is endless. But the main symptoms to look out for are:
· A yellow tinge to your skin. 🟡
· A super red tongue. 👅
· Mouth ulcers. 👄
· A pins and needles sensation on the hands and feet. 🧵
· Disturbed vision. 👓
· Irritability. 😠
· Depression and anxiety. 😭
· Fatigue. 🥱
· Changes in the way you think, feel, and behave. 🧠
· A decline in memory, understanding and judgement. 🤔
How Do I Tell if I Have a B12 Deficiency?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above and suspect that you may have a B12 deficiency, our advice is to have a B12 blood test 🩺 which can be done privately or via your GP. Also, your chiropractor can check your nerves, muscles, and joints to check for any changes in your bodies function that may be nervous system related.
What Is the Treatment?
Your treatment will come down to what is actually causing your vitamin B12 deficiency. The most common course of treatment would be to take vitamin B12 tablets 💊 orally or you can get regular injections 💉.
What Can I Do to Cope?
We know that a vitamin B12 deficiency can leave you feeling down 😥, exhausted 😩, and even a bit hopeless 😓. Particularly because it will take some time to see an improvement even once you’ve started a course of treatment.
While you are waiting for your vitamin B12 levels to improve, here are some ways that you can help yourself to cope:
· Try and get some light exercise every day 🚶♂️. Don’t overdo it though!
· Be gentle with yourself 🤗. There’ll be some days where you are just exhausted and not able to get much done. Don’t beat yourself up about this – it will get better, and you will be able to get back to what you love doing soon.
If you’d like to learn more about how chiropractic care can help if you are suffering from symptoms related to a vitamin B12 deficiency, give us a call 📲 on 01245 699 152 or fill out our contact form.