What Vitamin B12 Deficiency Can Do To Your Health!

Here is an interesting article that first appeared on the MedPlusArt website – http://blog.medplusmart.com/what-can-b12-deficiency-do-to-your-health/

We hope visitors find its guidance helpful for improving their overall health.

Like most vitamins, Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in our metabolism. This vitamin is essential for the manufacture of red blood cells whose deficiency results in a kind of anemia.Vitamin B12 is needed to support the normal function of nerve cells, and to manufacture myelin, the insulating material that surrounds some of our nerve cells and speeds neural transmission. It is also required for the replication of DNA.

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse which affects various aspects of how your body functions right from how your cells are formed to how you feel every day. It provides necessary support to both the nervous and immune systems. So without sufficient Vitamin B12, your body will not have the ability to perform its job. As a result, you would not have the physical, emotional and mental energy to survive through the day.

Called the energy vitamin, inadequate B12 intake makes a dent in red blood cell production, and some of the earliest signs of a deficiency include feeling dragged, confused, and weak. Low B12 levels prevents the brain from working normally that results in chronic fatigue.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Tingling in your extremities
  • Mental fogginess
  • Memory problems
  • Mood swings
  • Feelings of apathy and lack of motivation
  • Ringing in the ears(tinnitus)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Swelling and irritation of the mouth and tongue
  • Irritability

The most serious manifestation of B12 deficiency is impaired brain function, due to the effects of B12 on nerve cells. Advanced B12 deficiency causes dementia severe enough to resemble Alzheimer’s disease.

More specific symptoms linked to a lack of Vitamin B12 include:

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Changes or loss of some sense of touch
  • Feeling less pain
  • Walking problems
  • Vision problems
  • Symptoms of dementia

Image result for B12 deficiencyCauses of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency can happen if you have certain conditions, such as:

  • Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
  • Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
  • Surgery that removed part of your stomach or small intestine, including weight loss surgery
  • Conditions affecting the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
  • Heavy drinking
  • Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
  • Long-term use of acid-reducing drugs. Stomach acids help break down animal proteins that have vitamin B12.

Vegetarians and vegans are at risk

This vital vitamin is only found in animal products like eggs, meat, shellfish, dairy and fortified cereals. Up to 15% of people don’t get sufficient B12, and they’re more likely to be vegetarians, have Celiac disease or other digestion problems, or be an adult over 50. Recent studies have revealed that a significant portion of adults particularly vegans, are deficient in Vitamin B12.

Older individuals also often have poorer appetites and food intakes, and they may be on medications (for heartburn) that can further reduce stomach acid levels. As a result, some seniors actually lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food at all, and must get it via supplements or, if the deficiency is severe, injections.

Intrinsic factor

To get into the bloodstream, B12 must be escorted by a protein called intrinsic factor, produced by cells of the stomach. Many disorders of the stomach, such as gastritis, particularly common after age 50, can interfere with the production of intrinsic factor.

This condition is called pernicious anemia. Medications that affect the stomach – such as aspirin, antacids and proton-pump inhibitors – can also interfere with intrinsic factor production and result in B12 deficiency. The commonly used diabetes medication, metformin (Glucophage), can do so as well.

If you don’t eat animal products, or you have a medical condition that limits how well your body absorbs nutrients, experts recommend taking a B12-containing multivitamin and eating breakfast cereal fortified with vitamin B12.

In the case of B12 deficiency, due to inadequate intake from food, oral supplementation suffices to fix the problem. But pernicious anemia cannot be treated with oral B12, because the lack of intrinsic factor will prevent absorption. The appropriate treatment is B12 injections B12 injections are essentially painless and provide nearly 100 percent delivery by by-passing the digestive system.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in various health problems like:

  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Anemia
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Irreversible brain damage

Promotes Cardiac Health

The heart and entire cardiovascular system needs B12. One of its jobs is to remove a dangerous protein called homocysteine from the blood. If homocysteine is allowed to roam through blood, it damages your arteries leading to inflammation and heart disease. With sufficient B12, you can keep the homocysteine levels down and thus maintain cardiac health.

Prevents Nerve Damage

Your nerves have a protective covering to keep them safe from toxins and free radicals in your blood. Without these coverings, called myelin sheaths, exposed nerves get damaged and may even die. These dead nerves disrupt signals to and from the brain and may play a role in nerve-related conditions. Vitamin B12 supports the way your body replenishes this protective covering.

Promotes Healthy Mood

Brain uses a chemical called serotonin to regulate your mood. If you aren’t getting enough B12, you may find yourself feeling down. One study of diabetic patients experiencing side effects of depression from Metformin found those who took B12 enjoyed a more positive outlook.

Some research suggests that cobalamin deficiency may cause a type of dementia in elderly patients that is in fact reversible with the right nutritional intervention. Generally, though, the dementia caused by B12 deficiency is completely reversible with supplementation. While folate can prevent B12-deficient anemia, it cannot prevent the dementia – only B12 itself can do that job.

Keeps You Looking and Feeling Young

B12 supports DNA health, thereby keeping your cells younger. And when your cells are young, you look and feel young too. When B12 is deficient, our DNA cannot replicate normally – meaning we can’t generate new, healthy cells. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency can mimic all of the effects of aging.

Blood Tests

Standard blood tests for serum B12 are unreliable because serum B12 does not accurately reflect intracellular concentrations. Elevated serum Methyl Malonic Acid (MMA) levels are a better indicator of B12 status because this occurs only if there is a B12 deficiency. However, improvement of symptoms with B12 supplementation is the best test.

See original article here.

I’m Serious – How Eating Disorders Are Treated In The NHS

This is a factual programme made by Emily-Beth Roscoe contrasting how Eating Disorders are treated within the NHS and by a private treatment service provider. It was made for a piece of college work and all of the content belongs to Emily.

£150m Investment For Eating Disorders Treatment

On December 2, 104, the UK Government made the following announcement:

Nick CleggThe new investment will radically reform the treatment of children and young people with eating disorders and pave the way for new waiting time standards.

The investment, which will be rolled out over 5 years and has been secured by the Deputy Prime Minister in this year’s Autumn Statement, is part of an ongoing campaign by the government to bring mental health services on a par with physical care.

It comes just a month after research revealed that an increasing number of young people, from as young as 5, are being admitted to hospital for treatment of eating disorders with those aged 14 to 25 most likely to be affected.

Today’s announcement will focus on channelling money from expensive institutional care to local provision and act as a base for the development of waiting time and access standards for eating disorders for 2016 by:

  • supporting schemes to get young people with eating disorders and self-harm early access to services in their communities with properly trained teams, making hospital admission a last resort
  • extending access to talking therapies so that children and young people have a choice of evidence-based therapies, a treatment plan agreed with their therapist and monitored and recorded outcomes

This will deliver:

swifter access to evidence based community treatment
fewer transfers to adult services – reducing up to approximately 70% of those who need to be treated as adults
an end to the current cliff edge of transition for young people with eating disorders when they turn 18
a more standardised level of provision for children, young people and their families

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

  • Too often children with mental health problems are being completely let down, with many suffering from eating disorders that go unreported and untreated.
  • We know that if an eating disorder goes untreated for more than 3 to 5 years the chances of recovery are greatly reduced, while incidents of self-harm increase.
  • That’s why we need to act now to transform the current system, intervening earlier with dedicated and targeted community-based services to ensure that we don’t fail this generation or the next.
  • The Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce is already undertaking a focused programme of work which will result in recommendations across the spectrum of child and adolescent mental health services. They will report in spring 2015. These proposals take into account their likely recommendations.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, said:

“I want to build a fairer society and that’s why I’m determined to make sure children and young people get the best possible mental health care. That’s why I convened a taskforce of experts to focus on improving services. Better care for eating disorders is a top priority and this investment will help drive up standards so that no child is left without support.”

Improving access to mental health services

Today’s announcement builds on the Deputy Prime Minister’s long-standing commitment to improve access to mental health services:

  • the Deputy PM announced that he will be establishing and chairing a new Mental Health Taskforce, which will include Cabinet ministers from across the coalition
  • in October this year, he announced a £120 million investment in mental health, which will include the introduction in April 2015 of the first ever waiting time standards for mental health in the NHS
  • the government has invested £54 million into the Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, which has transformed the way services are delivered
  • the government has also invested £1.6 million in the development of an online training tool for those working with children and young people, called MindEd
  • last summer, the government launched the Crisis Care Concordat to set out how police, health, social work and ambulance workers should best work together to help people going through a mental health crisis. It describes the principles and best practice that need to be in place to make sure that crisis services work together to provide vulnerable people with safe care and support in an appropriate environment
  • the government’s mental health strategy has also built a firm foundation for improving services across the country with £400 million investment to expand talking therapies

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of Young Minds said:

It is great news indeed to hear that areas of support for children and young people’s mental health will receive additional, desperately needed, resources.

Too often children and young people’s services are overlooked in preference for adult services. Young people make up 20% of the population, yet receive a fraction of the resources available with the terrible consequences we hear about daily in the news.

We wish to congratulate the government on championing the change, in recognising there is a huge gap to address and in taking the first steps to focus funds where they are so badly needed – for children and young people.

We trust this is the beginning of a new approach by government and commissioners nationally, and that the Mental Health Taskforce recommendations will receive equal support in March and with future governments.

You can read the full statement here.

Commenting on this news Shelley Perry, Clinical Director of Breathe said: “This is wonderful encouraging news. Let us hope and pray that some of this funding gets to grass roots level for the benefit of young people in Lancashire”.

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