Your Buddy, Vitamin B12

Your Buddy, Vitamin B12

Do you know how many B vitamins there are? In total, there’s eight, and the largest one is vitamin B12. This is a vitamin that we don’t usually hear about, but it’s responsible for a lot of behind-the-scenes work in our bodies.

Why Is B12 Such a Big Deal?

Vitamin B12 helps your mind and body in several ways.

For one thing, it plays a huge part in the functioning of your nervous system. Some people with B12 deficiency experience the “pins and needles” sensation and numbness. Other people start to have trouble walking or feel incredibly weak.

B12 also plays a huge role in your brain. When you don’t have enough of this vitamin in your system, you may start exhibiting symptoms that resemble those of dementia. In fact, people with low B12 who experience symptoms like disorientation and memory loss usually see these conditions fade once they improve their B12 levels.

With the symptoms mentioned above, most people don’t think to look to their vitamin B12 levels. Instead they look at other issues, like their diet or aging. The only way to know for sure whether or not you’re deficient is to get tested.

Who’s at Risk of Being Deficient?

Certain conditions and lifestyle choices can make you more prone to vitamin B12 deficiency. If any of the following apply to you, you may want to have your levels checked:

  • You drink alcohol…a lot. Drinking alcohol actually affects several B vitamins, but it particularly inhibits your body’s ability to absorb B12. Essentially, alcohol hurts your stomach lining, which can lead to a condition called gastritis. If you suffer from gastritis, your stomach can no longer produce a protein that’s essential for B12 absorption.
  • You’re a vegan or vegetarian. Since most foods that are rich in B12 are animal products, people who don’t include those things in their diet are at a higher risk of being deficient than those who eat fish and meat. If you’re a vegetarian, you can get B12 from eggs and milk. If you’re vegan, look for B12-fortified grains and breakfast cereals.
  • You have certain health conditions. People with GI issues, including conditions like inflammatory bowel disease and Crohn’s disease, are at higher risk than others. Immune system disorders, like lupus, can also negatively impact your B12 levels.
  • You’ve had weight loss surgery. Procedures that alter the size of your stomach often also affect your body’s ability to absorb B12.

 

How Can You Tell If Your Levels Are Low?

We’ve already mentioned some symptoms, but here are a few more that might indicate you need more B12 in your system:

  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Dizziness
  • Vision loss
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue

 

If you’re B12 deficient, let HydroPros give you a boost! IV hydration allows you to absorb 100% of the vitamins and nutrients, as opposed to the 50–60% you get when you ingest them orally. Give us a call at 877-HYDRO-80 and let us help you figure out the best remedy for your body.

 

Sources:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/alcohol-effects-b12-deficiency-9699.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes

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