Mary went to see her doctor after she had developed numbness and a “pins and needles” sensation in her hands, had trouble walking, experienced severe joint pain, and became progressively short of breath. She found herself fighting depression and struggling to have enough energy to finish a day. Shortly after beginning a Vitamin B12 regimen her symptoms went away. Could everything Mary had been experiencing really been a lack of Vitamin B12?
Do you get enough Vitamin B12?
I first heard of Vitamin B12 as the energy booster vitamin, and truthfully, who couldn’t use a little more energy? Little did I know how important Vitamin B12 was to your health.
With age, it can become harder to absorb this vitamin. It can also happen if you have had weight loss surgery or another operation that removed part of your stomach, or if you drink heavily.
You may also be more likely to develop Vitamin B12 deficiency if you have:
• Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
• Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
• Conditions that affect your small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
• Immune system disorders, such as Graves’ disease or lupus
• Been taking certain medications that interfere with the absorption of B12. This includes some heartburn medicines including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as rabeprazole, omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, and pantoprazole; H2 Blockers such as cimetidine, famotidine and ranitidine; and certain diabetes medicines such as metformin.
You can also get Vitamin B12 deficiency if you follow a vegan diet (meaning you don’t eat any animal products, including meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) or you are a vegetarian who doesn’t eat enough eggs or dairy products to meet your Vitamin B12 needs.
With today’s standard American diet many people are finding themselves deficient in Vitamin B12. If you have any of these symptoms you too may be experiencing low Vitamin B12.
• Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
• Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
• Anemia or a condition called Megaloblastic Anemia
• Pale skin
• A smooth tongue
• Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
• Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
• Vision loss or Macular Degeneration
• Neurological problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be made by the body. Instead, it must be gotten from food such as meat, eggs, dairy, cheese, etc. or supplements.
As we end our series on the Fab 5 daily vitamins, let us be reminded that God created us (Genesis 2:7) and then God provided food for us (Genesis 2:8; Genesis 9:3) and God has promised to meet our every need (Matt 6:26-28). But we get in the way (Genesis 3) and we make choices in our lifestyle (with the foods we eat and the stresses we allow), that because of sin, break our body down and cause this perfect body that God has created and supplied all the needs for, to not work as properly as it was designed. And we suffer from symptoms.
I always believe it’s best to get our vitamins and minerals from the food God created, but most of us struggle to consume what we actually need on a daily basis. That is when we need to supplement with vitamins.
The five vitamins I suggested are the most common vitamins our body is lacking and the most common cause of the majority of symptoms that many of us struggle with.
God has given us a big job, to care for our bodies. As we embark on a new year, consider mindfully how you can worship God with how you care for your body. It is His temple after all.
➡️ For more about Vitamin B12, click here for a short video from Kimber and Christi.
Supplementing to a healthier you,
~ Kimber Krosschell
Studies Functional Diagnostic Nutrition at the FDN Academy