It is hard to pin down exactly how many people suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, but it’s safe to say that a lot of people have the condition without being aware of it. In most cases there is another health problem that leads to the deficiency. Some of these health conditions include Crohn’s disease and other bowel problems, being an alcoholic, or being elderly.
However, as vitamin B12 is found in greater quantities in animal products, vegetarians and vegans may also have a vitamin B12 deficiency unless they are very careful about what they eat. One of the most common treatments is to be put on supplements or to get a shot of the vitamin, but vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy is often the better option.
No matter what the cause is, if you are not getting enough B vitamins you could be doing a lot of damage to your body. Your growth and development, nervous system and blood cells all need vitamin B12 to function properly. That’s why it’s so important to get it treated.
You should have some idea of what the symptoms are so you can seek treatment if you need it. The tricky part is that many of the symptoms could be signs of something else, or may be brushed aside as not being serious. Some of these symptoms include insomnia, being tired all the time, diarrhea, confusion, breathing trouble, pale skin and irritability. You could easily experience one or two of these symptoms and think there is nothing wrong with you medically. But they could be signs of something more serious. The only way to know for sure is to have a blood test done to see if you are low in vitamin B12.
There is a tendency in modern society to fix every medical problem with medication. After all, it’s easy to swallow a pill and think everything is taken care of. Your doctor may prescribe medication, but this should only happen if yours is a more extreme case, so be sure to talk to your doctor about other options. Also, the body doesn’t absorb nutrients from tablets as well as it does from natural sources.
If you don’t have a severe case, then vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy may be the best option for you. Start right away with a breakfast that contains whole grain cereals which are high in B vitamins. If you are not a vegan, you can add meat, dairy and eggs for an even bigger B12 boost.
Vegans will have a harder time as the body has a harder time using B12 derived from plant sources. Health food stores may have vegan products that claim to be high in the vitamin, but there is some evidence that the body can’t access it. That means vegans may have to take supplemental B12 to make sure they’re getting enough of this essential nutrient.
If there is any way you can do it, vitamin B 12 deficiency diet therapy is the better way to go. While medication can help to fix the problem, it can’t encompass the full value of nutrients that are naturally available in food.