Energy boosting hacks for fatigue during menopause are a very popular topic among women all over the world. Women have been experiencing some sort of energy loss or lack of motivation since their fertile years. For them it’s not just a minor problem but one which causes great distress. Some even resort to drastic measures like using drugs, alcohol and illegal means such as prostitution to get rid of these problems.
But what if there was something that could boost your energy levels up? What if it could make you feel energized and happy?
Well, there is! And it’s called Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among pregnant women, especially those who are taking certain medications. It affects nearly half of all pregnancies and its symptoms include mental retardation in newborn babies, deafness in infants born with spina bifida and heart defects in children. These conditions usually result from maternal vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average life expectancy of a person suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency is only eight months.
It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 people worldwide suffers from vitamin B12 deficiency. The WHO states that in developing countries, where most cases occur, the prevalence rate may be as high as 30%. One reason why so many people suffer from this condition is because they don’t receive adequate amounts of vitamin B12 through food or dietary supplements.
Fortunately, factors that cause a vitamin B12 deficiency can be reversed by eating foods fortified with this essential nutrient or by taking a dietary supplement. The human body is capable of storing B12 for a long time, so a regular diet with small amounts of the vitamin over time may solve a mild deficiency.
A severe B12 deficiency can eventually cause extreme fatigue (and even permanent neurological damage) that cannot be reversed with supplements or dietary changes. If you are severely deficient in vitamin B12, you may need injections of this essential nutrient.
So, what can cause a B12 deficiency?
It is caused by a combination of any of the following factors.
Some medical conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, AIDS, and some types of surgical procedures (e.g. stomach and intestinal surgery) can hamper the normal absorption of nutrients from food.
Some types of medicines, such as the antibiotic Rifampin, may also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb B12 from food.
As we grow older, our bodies produce less and less hydrochloric acid which is essential for normal digestion. This leads to a condition called “hypochlorhydria” in which your body is not able to properly digest nutrients from food, including B12.
Although not very common, some people are simply unable to absorb B12 no matter how much they eat. This is caused by a condition called “congenital absence of the intrinsic factor,” which prevents this essential nutrient from being absorbed properly in the intestine.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may also be caused by a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. Although vegetables and fruits contain B12, it is not always absorbed efficiently by the body. Eating meat also provides your body with the nutrients required to absorb B12 from vegetable sources.
A lack of B12 may also be caused by not eating for several days. This leads to “meteroric toddlerism” in which children become so weak that they stop moving and become listless.
A long-term B12 deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia, a condition that causes you to feel weak, tired, and have difficulty thinking and concentrating.
Vitamin B12 is essential to the normal functioning of the nervous system. A severe or prolonged B12 deficiency may lead to permanent damage of the brain and spinal cord, causing a condition called “subacute combined degeneration.”
Symptoms of this condition include numbness and tingling of the hands and feet, impaired vision, sore tongue, depression, short term memory loss, impotence, and even dementia.
The most obvious sign of B12 deficiency is severe fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest.
Other symptoms may include depression, irritability, inability to concentrate, shortness of breath, diarrhea, weakness, dizziness, and weight loss.
The most serious sign of a B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia, which causes you to feel extremely weak all the time.
Without treatment, severe B12 deficiency may lead to coma and eventually death. However, if you catch it in time, you can easily treat this condition with regular B12 injections.
So, how do you know if you have a B12 deficiency?
Well, if you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan, you probably should get your B12 levels checked on a regular basis. People over the age of 50 (especially those over the age of 60) may also want to have their B12 levels checked by a doctor.
As we grow older, our bodies naturally produce less hydrochloric acid which is essential for proper digestion. As a result, the body may have a more difficult time absorbing B12 directly from food. (Also, many elderly people take medicines that further interfere with the body’s ability to absorb B12 efficiently).
Most people, however, don’t realize they have a B12 deficiency until they start feeling really weak and tired all the time. If you find yourself getting unusually tired or fatigued for extended periods of time, it wouldn’t hurt to get your B12 levels checked by a doctor.
If you do have a B12 deficiency, take comfort in the fact that this is an easy condition to treat with regular injections.
However, the best way to prevent a B12 deficiency is to eat enough foods with B12 in them.
So what are some good dietary sources of vitamin B12?
The best sources of B12 include clams, salmon, tuna, beef brisket, chicken liver, pork chops, and eggs. One serving of clams provides 2,000% of the RDA for B12. Other good vegetarian sources of B12 include fortified cereals and soy milk.
How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Need?
The RDA for Vitamin B12 is only 2.4 micrograms daily for adults. However, most doctors (including myself) recommend that anyone taking metformin should take a B12 supplement.
Because in addition to helping prevent a B12 deficiency, B12 has other health benefits. It may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer and even slow down the aging process.
The best type of B12 supplement to take is called methylcobalamin. This is the same type of B12 found in nature, and the human body can easily absorb it.
You can find methylcobalamin at most any health food store or online. I take 5,000 micrograms each day, which is more than thirty times the recommended daily allowance.
Naturally, if you’re concerned about your health or feel like you may have a vitamin deficiency of some sort, you should check with your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements.
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What if You Already Have a B12 Deficiency?
If you’ve already been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, it’s usually recommended that you get monthly B12 shots for a period of time until your blood levels return to normal.
In some cases, a doctor may recommend that you take a daily supplement instead. Be sure to ask your doctor what he or she recommends for you based on your own personal situation.
Reasons for B12 Deficiency
There are a few different reasons why someone may have a Vitamin B12 deficiency. These include:
You’re a strict vegetarian or vegan and don’t eat foods high in B12, such as meat
or vegan and don’t eat foods high in B12, such as meat You’ve had weight loss surgery (gastric bypass, gastrectomy etc. – anything that limits the types of food you can eat)
(gastric bypass, gastrectomy etc. – anything that limits the types of food you can eat) You have a pernicious anemia caused by lack of intrinsic factor (a protein necessary to release B12 from food)
(a protein necessary to release B12 from food) You have an autoimmune disorder causing your body to attack and kill the cells that produce intrinsic factor
causing your body to attack and kill the cells that produce You’ve had ileal resection (removal of part of your small intestine, which is where B12 is absorbed)
(removal of part of your small intestine, which is where B12 is absorbed) You take metformin (see Metformin (Glucophage) and Vitamin B12 Deficiency )
(see Metformin (Glucophage) and Vitamin B12 Deficiency ) You have a tumor in your stomach or pancreas, preventing the release of intrinsic factor
in your stomach or pancreas, preventing the release of You have undergone gastric or gastrointestinal surgery preventing the release of intrinsic factor
Prevention of Metformin and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why you might develop a B12 deficiency while taking metformin. The easiest way to prevent a B12 deficiency is to simply take a supplement.
I’ve also listed above some of the less common reasons someone might develop a B12 deficiency while on metformin. If you believe you fall into one of these categories, you should definitely see your doctor. He or she may decide that it would be a good idea for you to get B12 injections.
However, please note that if you eat any foods other than meat (i.e. fish, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.) then you probably won’t need to take a B12 supplement.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-green Way by A Cabeca, F OGBYN – 2019 – books.google.com
Killing them softly: Neuroscience reveals how brain cells die from law school stress and how neural self-hacking can optimize cognitive performance by A Cabeca – 2019 – books.google.com
Quality of life of women treated with radiotherapy for breast cancer by DS Austin – Loy. L. Rev., 2013 – HeinOnline
Easy Stress-Busting, Immune-Boosting Herbal Adaptogen Broth PLUS: Our Favorite Green Soup Recipe by TS Lee, SL Kilbreath, KM Refshauge… – Supportive Care in …, 2008 – Springer
Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health by S Teachey – nectarherbandtea.com
Oxidants and antioxidants in exercise by M Rosenberg – 2012 – books.google.com
Category Archives: Food As Medicine Post navigation by CK Sen – Journal of applied physiology, 1995 – journals.physiology.org