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Posts Tagged ‘Menopause’

Best Vitamins for Menopause (And a Couple you can forget about): Part 2

Friday, June 7th, 2013

 

 

Which vitamins are the best for women during menopause and afterwards? They’re not the same ones that you took dutifully during your teens, your 30s, or until now. When you reach middle age, it’s important to update your vitamin regimen in order to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency and other health conditions that can creep up on women during menopause and old age.

Iron Supplementation Typically Not Recommended for Postmenopausal Women

This is part 2 of the Best Vitamins for Menopause installment. Best Vitamins for Menopause (And a Couple you can forget about): Part 1 dealt with vitamins you start taking once you reach menopause; part 2 focuses on specific supplements that you should try to avoid, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new vitamin regimen. While most vitamins such as vitamin B12 are perfectly safe to take in any amounts, certain nutrients such as vitamins and calcium can have a detrimental effect on your health if taken in abundance.

Not-so-great vitamins with menopause

Sometimes, there is such thing as getting a little too much of a good thing, and that definitely applies to vitamin supplementation during the menopause years.

Here are some nutrients you should be wary about once you reach the age of 50.

Multivitamins with Iron

While your body needs plenty of iron in order to produce plenty of red blood cells, and to prevent iron deficiency anemia, having too much iron in your system can be extremely hazardous to your health.

This is because as you age, your need for iron supplements goes down, beginning with menopause and the cessation of your menstrual periods. So, extra iron gets stored in your organs- your heart, liver, and pancreas- in addition to your joints, which can have a toxic effect, causing chronic pain and life-threatening conditions.

(This is one way that iron supplements are so much different from vitamin B12 supplements; while both are needed for red blood cell production, only iron can have a toxic effect in great amounts. There’s no such thing as taking too much vitamin B12, as your body is able to efficiently discreet any amounts you don’t need in your urine.)

Doctors recommend about 18mg daily for women who haven’t reached menopause and only 8mg for women who have stopped menstruating. Still, you should speak to your doctor before starting any vitamin regimen, especially iron tablets.

Vitamin E

If you take blood thinners for cardiovascular disease, then don’t begin vitamin E supplementation without first speaking to your doctor.

Although vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant, it also works as a blood thinner. Women using Warfarin or aspirin during menopause should think twice before taking vitamin E, and probably stop using vitamin E capsules as part of their nutritional regimen.

In men, vitamin E may be more dangerous, as scientists are studying prostrate problems linked to vitamin E.

Your turn!

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

Share with your friends!

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Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause: Risk Factors

Sources:

Iron Supplementation Typically Not Recommended for Postmenopausal Women

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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!

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue

Stop PMS-ing with Vitamin B

Sources:

Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Should be on your Radar Screen

Risk Factors for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 for Menopause

5 Nutrition Tips for Staying Strong and Healthy After 50

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/Free Digital Photos

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

 

 

Signs and symptoms of menopause are sometimes associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, or malabsorption of vitamin B12 from the foods you eat. To boost energy, sleep better, and balance your mood, it’s important to take extra doses of vitamin B12 during the menopause years.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Menopause Symptoms

Menopause and vitamin B12 deficiency

Menopause is a phase that may stretch for several years; many women experience their first signs of perimenopause (early menopause) in their 40s, while still menstruating. During the early stages, you experience fluctuation hormone levels that cause mood swings, headaches, hot flashes, memory loss, and brain fog.

All of these are symptoms that may also indicate depleted levels of vitamin B12!

Hidden vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is difficult to catch and treat, as the symptoms are masked by conditions such as menopause, clinical depression, hypothyroidism, or hypoglycemia- all of which cause ailments that are strikingly similar to the ones you experience when your vitamin B12 levels drop to a dangerous low, either from malabsorption issues or change in diet.

Too often, severe vitamin B12 deficiency, a.k.a., pernicious anemia, slips right off your doctor’s radar, especially during the menopause years. And it’s easy to understand why, especially when you consider that the most common symptoms- fatigue, achiness, poor memory, dizziness, and depression- are present in both vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and the many stages of menopause.

For that reason, premenopausal women and females already experiencing menopause are advised to test often for vitamin B12 deficiency, and recognize the symptoms, before their B12 levels drop to a dangerous low.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia can lead to neurological disorders, chronic fatigue, mood problems, and increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

That’s because vitamin B12 is essential for so many biological functions necessary for good health- reproduction, nervous system functioning, cognitive integrity, and metabolic energy.

So, when vitamin B12 levels plummet, you begin to experience a variety of health problems that affect all parts of your body, including those already ailing from symptoms of menopause.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms that Mimic Aging

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that mimic menopause include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Brain fog
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent breathlessness
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Muscle weakness and pain

Treatment

The B12, B6 and folic acid help with mood and to ease you through the transition.

The Linus Pauling Institute recommends 100 to 400 mcg per day of supplemental vitamin B-12 orally if you’re older than 50, an age that includes many menopausal women.

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, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue
Stop PMS-ing with Vitamin B

Sources:

Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Should be on your Radar Screen

Risk Factors for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 for Menopause

5 Nutrition Tips for Staying Strong and Healthy After 50

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