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Posts Tagged ‘aging’

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause: Risk Factors

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013



Women experiencing menopause need to watch for vitamin B12 deficiency, as risk  factors increase during menopause.  Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency drastically increases your risk for heart attack, stroke, osteoporosis, and early-onset dementia- all of which are already risk factors for women experiencing menopause.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 deficiency and menopause

Women in their 40s and 50s are extremely high risk factors for severe vitamin B12 deficiency. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 31 Americans over the age of 50 develop vitamin B12 deficiency, the same age most women suffer from menopause.

As you continue to age, your risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency gets higher, as it becomes harder to digest nutrients from the foods you eat, particularly vitamin B12, which requires digestive enzymes that many women experiencing menopause lack.

By the time you reach 60, your chances of suffering signs of chronic illness from depleted vitamin B12 levels are 10%-15%.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Memory problems, brittle bones from osteoporosis (comorbid with low B12 levels), fatigue, heart palpitations, and mood disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and paranoia are all linked with vitamin B12 deficiency, or pernicious anemia.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

All these symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, and all are easily misdiagnosed as common symptoms of menopause.

Prevent vitamin B12 deficiency

To test for vitamin B12 deficiency, your doctor will need to take a small blood sample. If lab results confirm low vitamin B12 serum levels, then you will need to take vitamin B12 supplements immediately, and for an extended period as advised by your doctor.

Eating foods containing vitamin B12 may help, but to prevent symptoms and get your vitamin B12 levels back to normal, doctors  recommend supplementation, as vitamin B12 malabsorption often prevents people from digesting enough vitamin B12 from chicken, beef, and seafood.

To maintain healthy B12 levels, doctors recommend starting out with 1,000mcg. doses of vitamin B12.

However, since there is no upper level of tolerance for vitamin B12, it is perfectly safe, and even advisable, to take as many doses of vitamin B12 as you need, not only to alleviate symptoms of fatigue, disorientation, and pain, but also to better manage symptoms of menopause.

Your turn!

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Like this? Read more:

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Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/Free Digital Photos

4 Memory Loss Prevention Tips- Remember This!

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013



Often, memory loss is a common sign of aging- but not always! Certain foods, health conditions, and routines actually worsen your ability to remember the important things in life. Listed are some healthy lifestyle changes to effectively (and naturally) improve your mental focus, reduce fatigue, and prevent symptoms of memory loss that sometimes occur in the under-65 crowd.

4 Memory Loss Prevention Tips- Remember This! B12 Patch

Memory loss is preventable, especially if you’re still in your 30s or 40s! Unless you’re over the age of 65, you can’t really attribute symptoms such as brain fog, forgetfulness, or fatigue to old age, not just yet.

But I’m too Young for Memory Loss…Right?

Here are some likely alternative causes of memory loss that you can avoid, regardless of age.

1- Vitamin B12 deficiency

B vitamins are essential for healthy brain functioning and energy production; vitamin B12 in particular helps your body make red blood cells needed to carry oxygen to the brain, and also assists in protecting your nerve cells from deterioration.

Which is why when vitamin B12 levels are low, as in severe vitamin B12 deficiency, some of the first signs you experience involve the brain.

Memory loss, poor concentration, brain fatigue, slow thinking, depression, and anxiety are all common symptoms of early-onset vitamin B12 deficiency.

Yet many people are deficient in vitamin B12 without realizing it, as many doctors aren’t quick on the uptake when it comes to testing and diagnosing for vitamin B12 deficiency.

Memory Loss Tips and Tricks for the B12 Deficient

Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency, including pernicious anemia (the autoimmune cause of low vitamin B12) include:

  • Autoimmune disorders, including fibromyalgia
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Family history for pernicious anemia
  • Bariatric surgery
  • Vegan or vegetarian dieting
  • Alcoholism
  • Medication for diabetes
  • GERD, chronic heartburn medications
  • Old age

If you think you may have memory loss from vitamin B12 deficiency, ask your doctor for a vitamin B12 blood screening. Alternatively, you can also begin taking OTC vitamin B12 supplements on your own, as there are no health risks involved with high-dose vitamin B12 supplementation.

2- Too many carbs

Eating a high-carbohydrate diet rich in trans-fats and saturated oils is another oft-cited cause of memory loss. Many researchers believe that eating an abundance of simple carbohydrates, while also indulging in fried foods, causes arterial plaque buildup, resulting in less oxygen to the brain and impaired thinking skills.

3- Dehydration

Many of us are dehydrated without even realizing it. If you don’t drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day, plus extra on hot days or after exercising, then you may be experiencing memory loss caused by dimple dehydration.

4- Insomnia

Do you spend hours in front of the computer at night, or lay awake thinking of things you need to do tomorrow? Then you may be causing your own memory loss simply by not getting enough restful sleep at night. It’s one thing to “wing it” every now and then after a 4-hour resting period, but to maintain healthy mental skills and stay alert, and this is a no-brainer, you need to allow yourself plenty of sleep. Sleep deprivation not only causes memory loss, but also increased stress, anxiety, and depression.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Brain Fog- 7 Helpful Treatments

To Improve your Memory, Don’t Forget to Exercise!

Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue

Image(s) courtesy of SOMMAI/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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