Dr Dawn Harper on signs of vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency
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Doctor Brunilda Nazario verified that vitamin B12 is vital for red blood cell development, in addition to healthy nerve and brain cells. Without adequate supplies of the nutrient, issues begin to emerge. During the first few years of a deficiency, you may not notice any outward sign indicating that anything is wrong. However, with time, as red blood cells become more deformed – and oddly shaped – the delivery of oxygen to tissues and organs is restricted.
While the deficiency can lead to tiredness, weakness, pale skin, and a fast or irregular heartbeat, levonorgestrel pill side effects it can lead to other more troubling signs.
A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dizziness, a sore or red tongue, an enlarged liver, and yellow skin.
Doctor Nazario warned: “If your anaemia goes untreated for a long time, it can lead to heart failure. That’s because your heart has to work harder.”
When the deficiency is prolonged, and treatment is not sought, then there’s a risk that the brain may begin to shrink.
Doctor Nazario explained: “While everyone’s brain shrinks with age, there’s evidence that a B12 deficiency may speed up this process.”
Experts hypothesise that a lack of vitamin B12 is linked to increased homocysteine levels (an amino acid).
Doctor Nazario continued: “High levels of this amino acid are linked to brain issues and conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Experts are still trying to figure out if B12 deficiency alone causes problems with thinking and memory.”
How to correct a vitamin B12 deficiency
Firstly, a prompt doctor’s appointment is needed; the doctor will first diagnose the condition and then work with you to bring levels of vitamin B12 back up.
Should the deficiency be left to fester, without medical observation, some of the health problems associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency can be permanent.
Experts at the Alzheimer’s Society highlighted that there are around 900,000 people in the UK right now that are living with the brain condition.
As a form of dementia, people who develop Alzheimer’s disease will eventually be unable to live their everyday life without assistance.
The risk of developing dementia is increased if you have high blood pressure, if you don’t exercise enough, if you smoke and drink too much alcohol, and if you suffer from hearing loss.
In the beginning stages of the degenerative disease, mild symptoms might be present.
For many people who have the condition, one of the “first signs” of Alzheimer’s appears in a person’s memory.
While being able to remember occasions from a long time ago, recalling recent events and learning new information can be difficult.
Memory issues emerge due to damage to a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which plays a big role in day-to-day memory.
As the disease progresses, and more brain cells become damaged, memory problems can lead to:
- Losing keys and glasses around the house
- Forgetting a friend’s name
- Struggling to find the right word in conversations
- Getting lost in familiar places
- Forgetting appointments and significant dates.
Alzheimer’s disease will also lead to problems with thinking, reasoning, language, and perception.
If you are concerned you may be showing signs of dementia, do consult with your GP.
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