Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can be very quiet and hard to notice. Pregnant and breastfeeding, as well as elderly women should pay extra attention getting enough of vitamin B12.
Womens Body and Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is equally important for women and well as men.
However, B12 deficiency in women can have more consequences than in men.
Why? Because we grow babies.
Our deficiency can affect the baby so we should pay special attention to symptoms of it’s deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble, which means the body cannot store and so it lives shortly in our tract. Every time you pee, you get rid of B12. It is important to supply your body with it constantly.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) is a good friend of Folic Acid (Folate or B9). Folic Acid cannot work properly without B12, and Folic Acid is a baby development superhero. B12 is Folics right hand.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should pay extra attention to it. (Source: BetterHealth Channel )
B12 helps to produce and maintain myelin shealth. This is important for development and maintenance of nervous system of a fetus, newborn baby, children as well as adults.
Vitamin B12 helps to produce energy and form red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen around your body. And oxygen is important for every aspect of body performance, yours and consequently your child’s.
Causes of B12 deficiency and Symptoms
Most of women get enough of B12 with their diet.
However, vitamin B12 deficiency is most commonly found in elderly, vegans and their breastfed babies. Vegetarians do better but are still prone to it.
Extended cooking, food processing, medication and alcohol problems are also on the list.
Another group prone to B12 deficiency is individuals with thinned stomach lining (Atropic Gastritis), Pernicious Anaemia, any small intestine issues or immune disorders. (Source: WebMD.com , Minesh Khatri)
Symptoms of B12 deficiency are:
- tiredness and fatigue (because your body does not get enough oxygen),
- pale complexion,
- lack of appetite and weight loss,
- rapid heart rate and shortness of breath (the same reason as for tiredness and fatigue),
- feeling light headed , pins and needles, problems with vision,
- mental problems (deficiency affects nervous system).
“More serious complication of vitamin B12 deficiency in women can cause temporary infertility, nervous system problems, heart conditions and difficult pregnancy and birth defects.”(Source: nhs.uk )
What to do about it
Fist step you can take to tackle your B12 deficiency is to improve your diet. Good sources of B12 are eggs, fish, cheese, meat, liver and pretty much any food that has animal origin.
If you are absolutely committed to your vegan lifestyle you can get injections and tablets as a food supplement.
B12 is also crucial for healthy development and growth of children. Healthy nervous system is crucial for undisturbed movement, quick thinking and mental abilities.
“Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid together,work towards healthy and smart children.”
Vitamin B12 is important for a healthy development of a baby as well as adults. It cannot be stored in the body and have to be consumed regularly in the diet that includes meat, eggs, fish, cheese, etc..
Extended cooking, food processing and alcohol can destroy or reduce the availability of this vitamin.
Do not self-diagnose a vitamin deficiency, because some vitamins can be toxic if taken incorrectly. See your doctor or dietitian for advice.
I hope you found the information that is useful to you. If you have any questions, want to share your experience or just chat on this topic, write a comment below. I’d love to hear your point of view!
Till next time,