Vitamin B12 deficiency is something I am seeing more frequently in my clinic and the impacts can be widespread.
Common symptoms of low B12 include fatigue, pins and needles, insomnia, brain fog and poor memory. In reality I see low B12 manifesting in much more diverse ways including pain, discomfort, hormone imbalance and digestive issues.
A B12 deficiency is often missed through conventional blood tests as the NHS ‘normal range’ is set very low and the condition is poorly understood. It is somethingI always consider in my case taking with patients.
Why do we need Vitamin B12?
B12 is an essential vitamin that plays an important role in many aspects of health:
*Healthy cell growth and repair
*Supporting melatonin and sleep
*Female hormone balance
*Maintaining homocysteine levels to help prevent cardiovascular disease
*Nervous system health – B12 helps maintain the protective coating around our nerves.
So why would B12 be low?
B12 has an extremely complicated absorption process and requires good dietary intake and a healthy gut with good levels of stomach acid. B12 is largely only found in animal products.
What might impact levels?
*Longterm vegetarian or vegan diets
*Medications that block stomach acid like PPI’s
* Coeliac, Chron’s, Ulcerative Colitis or other gastrointestinal disorders
*Getting older – stomach acid naturally declines as we age
*Pernicious anaemia – an autoimmune condition that impacts absorption of B12
*Genes– YES our genetic profile may make us more susceptible to low B12
If you are experiencing symptoms of low B12 I always suggest testing via a GP and then have your tests looked at by a Nutritional Therapist who will be considering a level that supports optimum health. Further testing may be needed and supplements are often necessary. B12 exists in many forms and they all have a different function so if you are going to supplement with B12 first be sure you have the right form by talking to a Nutritional Therapist.
If you are concerned about B12 do book a free discovery call with me to discuss how I can help.