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Have you checked your B12?

It seems that B12 is the buzzword right now, but what is B12, why is it so important and how do you know if you’re getting enough?

The role of B12 (or cobalamin) comes right down to your DNA production which is the genetic blueprint for your health and for the proper functioning of your central nervous system.

In a nutshell, B12 works together as a team with the other B-group vitamins to convert your food into energy.  Without B12 you can have a body packed-full of nutrients but no key to access them leaving you feeling very ordinary.

Symptoms can arise that you’ve never experienced before.  Suddenly, the shopping can feel heavier than usual, or you may be experiencing some tingling or numbness in your hands or feet and you will probably feel super tired regardless of how much sleep you’ve had.

Feeling tired with weak muscles can be blamed on life, work and family pressures and odd feelings of numbness simply ignored which means that B12 depletion can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed.

Here’s a long list of B12 deficiency symptoms, see if any apply to you:

  • Low energy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bruise easily/pale skin
  • Anemia (due to B12 depletion, not iron depletion)
  • Nerve damage
  • Tingling/numbness or tremors
  • Forgetfulness, brain fog, dizziness
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Poor sleep
  • Digestive issues
  • Bladder or bowel incontinence
  • Anxiety/depression/moodswings
  • Sore or swollen tongue
  • Loss of taste or smell

Who’s at risk?

If you’re older, have a gut disorder, are vegetarian or vegan, are on Metformin for blood sugar control, are taking a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole or the birth control pill you are more likely to have B12 depletion.  However, having said that, I recently had a client aged 22 years with extremely low B12 levels which doesn’t fit any of the risk factors.

What to do next?

Come for a consultation to assess whether your health issues are related to B12.  If they are, then you can get your B12 checked.  You can visit your GP or I can give you a referral form for a blood test – there are pathology centres all over Sydney (two within walking distance of the clinic).  You will get results within a few days.

Once we have the results we can follow herbal protocol to get you back on track, regain your energy, lift your mood and improve all the symptoms related to a B12 deficiency.  Remember B12 is possibly one of the most important vitamins because it’s involved in the metabolism of every single cell in your body.

As your body cannot make B12 the only way to increase your levels is by taking a B12 supplement, taking herbal medicine and improving your diet.  Here’s some foods containing this catalyst vitamin:

  • Red meat
  • Organ meats – especially liver
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Mushrooms
  • Wheatgerm
  • Brewer’s Yeast

What to expect?

With your B12 levels back up where they should be, this is what you can achieve:

  • More energy
  • Better sleep – helps make your sleep hormone, melatonin
  • Improved mood – helps make serotonin for regulating mood
  • Increased brain function – helps prevent loss of neurons
  • Stronger bones – studies link low B12 with osteoporosis
  • Improved heart health – decreases homocysteine in your blood
  • Healthy hair, skin and nails – only if you’re B12 deficient
  • Prevention of birth defects when pregnant

Please share your B12 experience in the comments below.  Have you had low B12 before?  What symptoms did you have?  How long did it take for you to feel better?

Tracie Lynn

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