Danger of Vitamin B12 Deficiency:Symptoms and Risk Factors

Having a vitamin B12 deficiency prevents the body from making red blood cells. What this ultimately means is that someone with a vitamin B12 deficiency is anemic. Foods that are rich of vitamin B12 are eggs, cheese, milk, and meat.

Here are some of the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms and risk factors that everyone should be aware of.

Symptoms of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

It is important to keep in mind that there are many people with a vitamin B12 deficiency who do not even recognize symptoms. Symptoms are often unrecognizable for those who suffer from only a mild case. Others may relate their vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms to other causes.

People with a vitamin B12 deficiency generally feel fatigued, weak, and lightheaded. They may feel sick to their stomach, have diarrhea or constipation, and may lose weight. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause pale skin, a sore and red tongue, and bleeding gums. Over time, people who have this deficiency may experience depression, dementia, problems maintaining balance, or a numb, tingling sensation in their toes and fingers.

Who are at Risk Factors of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Certain people may be more likely to experience vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms than others. The reason is because certain types of diets and medical conditions put a person at a higher risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency than others. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Digestive problems – People with digestive problems may be more likely to experience this deficiency because vitamin B12 is absorbed by the stomach. Having Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, a parasite, or small intestine bacterial growth can prevent proper absorption.
  • Vegan diet – People who do not eat meat or animal by-products are much more likely to experience vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. Since their diets do not consist of the primary sources of vitamin B12, it is ideal for them to take a daily supplement.
  • Bariatric surgery – Weight loss surgery to remove the stomach or part of the small intestine can prevent vitamin B12 from being properly absorbed.
  • Pernicious anemia – This type of anemia causes the body to destroy cells in the stomach which help the body absorb the vitamin.

Anyone who suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms should take them very seriously. While many people are able to cope with the initial symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency, they are not comfortable and worsen over time. A vitamin B12 deficiency can generally be managed by adding sources of vitamin B12 to the diet, taking a multivitamin or, in more severe cases, having regular vitamin B12 injections.
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How to Treat Milk Intolerance Symptoms

Soy milk in Beijing, China

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Milk intolerance symptoms are one of the effects dairy intolerance or lactose intolerance. Food intolerance happens when a person cannot properly digest dairy food products such as milk. Many people often confuse food intolerance with food allergy.
Food allergy is not the same as food intolerance because food allergy is due to primarily due to an immune response. Food allergies are due to the fact that body’s immune system mistaken the food as a foreign threat, and thus releases antibodies.

Food intolerance is much more widespread than food allergy. According to James T. Li, Mayo Clinic allergy and asthma expert, only about four percent of adults have genuine food allergies (see reference 1). Therefore, differentiating food allergies and food intolerance is a fundamental preliminary step to treat milk intolerance symptoms. The following information below shows how to treat milk intolerance symptoms.

Milk Intolerance Symptoms

In order to effective treat milk intolerance, it is important to know the common symptoms. Individuals who are suffering from milk intolerance often experience diarrhea, gas, nausea, abdominal pain. Now, these symptoms are very common, and it is normal for people to feel them when they are sick.

If an individual repeatedly feels these symptoms after drinking milk or any other product, then this is probably a sign of genuine milk intolerance. The patient then has to contact a local doctor to verify if the symptoms are due to milk intolerance.

The doctor will likely perform a hydrogen breath test to very if the patient is actually experiencing milk intolerance symptoms. This is considered to be the most efficient test for milk or lactose intolerance. Before taking the test, do not eat foods that the doctor does not recommend, for that will skew the test results.

Milk Intolerance Treatment

Unfortunately, there are no exact cures for lactose intolerance at the moment; however, it is still possible to treat it. This can be done by restricting the amount of milk and dairy products consumed. Drink milks that are low in fat, because they usually have less lactose.

Diversify eating habits and diets. For example, eat milk or dairy products with solid foods. Some patients have claimed that this method actually works and relieve the symptoms. Try not to eat large increments of lactose-rich foods at once. Instead, eat small quantities of lactose-rich foods each day. This lessen the severity of the symptoms. Substitute milk and lactose-rich products with other foods. For instance, soy milk is an effective alternative for milk.

References:

Mayo Clinic, James T. Li MD, “Food Intolerance Vs. Fool Allergy” Updated June 5, 2009

WebMD, “Milk Intolerance Symptoms” Updated August 3, 2009

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Osteoporosis symptoms

Jornada Medica de Osteoporosis

Image by Gobierno Municipal de Piñas via Flickr

Osteoporosis is a condition where bones become porous, brittle and weak, making them susceptible to fractures.  It arises because of a loss of bone mineral, leading to loss of bone mass or density.

Osteoporosis is referred to as the silent thief because bone loss can occur slowly for many years without symptoms until a sudden strain, bump, or fall causes a bone  fracture. It most commonly affects bones in the hip, spine, or wrist. Once the bones have become weakened, osteoporosis may cause back pain, collapsed vertebrae, loss of height, and spinal deformities.

There are usually a few contributing factors.  One of the main causes of osteoporosis is deficiency of certain nutrients in the diet.  Osteoporosis has
several related causes, but too little calcium in the diet plays a big part in causing it. Increasing our intake of these nutrient may help in osteoporosis treatments or in slowing it down.

Calcium supplement tips

To maximize absorption, take no more than 500 mg of elemental calcium at one time and take with meals. Separate calcium-rich foods and supplements by two hours from iron supplements (calcium reduces iron absorption). Avoid drinking tea with meals, as the tannins in tea reduce calcium absorption.

A good quality bone protection supplement may also help to address the nutritional causes of osteoporosis.

Effective osteoporosis support

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Brittle Fingernails or Brittle Toenails due to vitamins deficiencies

Left foot toenails of a c.20 year old male. Th...

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Like skin, nails tell a lot about the state of your health. Fingernail problems include abnormalities such as small depressions or pitting, white streaks or spots, crumbly or weak nails, finger nail ridges, brittle fingernails, brittle toenails, and changes in the shape, color, or texture of nails.

Aside from physical trauma, fingernail disorders typically arise as a result of health conditions such as illness, or infection, or nutritional deficiencies.

Finger nail ridges, and brittle fingernails or brittle toenails in particular, may be caused by aging, or may indicate disorders such as hypothyroidism, or a lack of important minerals and vitamins for hair and nails.

The nutrients necessary for preventing fingernail problems related to brittle fingernails or brittle toenails are tabled below, together with the foods that provide such minerals and vitamins for hair and nails.

If brittle fingernails are also accompanied by dry skin and hair problems, it could be a sign of overall nutritional deficiency. Xtend-Life’s page on Hair, Nails and Skin details the relationship between these and overall health.

Skin, Hair, Nails supplements

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