Have you been really tired lately, and you feel like you have absolutely no energy? If you suffer from exhaustion it may be more than a simple case of needing more sleep. It could be that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiencies are being recognized more frequently than ever before as people are looking for answers to their extreme fatigue.
Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin is a water soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal nerve cell activity, as well as DNA replication and the production of mood affecting chemicals in the brain. Vitamin B12 also works closely with folic acid and vitamin B6 to control homocysteine levels in the body. High homocysteine levels are associated with and increased risk of heart disease, higher incidence of stroke, and aging diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you are deficient in vitamin B12 you may be experiencing extreme fatigue, or you may have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. People who have extreme fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome has experienced great success by receiving B12 injections or sublingual B12 treatment. Sublingual means that the vitamin B12 tablet is placed under the tongue where it dissolves and is absorbed into the blood stream.
Vitamin B12 can be found naturally in all foods that are derived from animals. Food items such as dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish are all rich in vitamin B12. Of course, artificial supplementation of vitamin B12 is also available, and it comes in an oral pill form, sublingual tablets or injections.
Vitamin B12 is commonly used to treat anemia, depression, high homocysteine levels, age related cognitive decline, canker sores, Bell’s palsy, indigestion, chronic fatigue, and migraine headaches as well as other common disorders.
If you eat a proper diet, you are not likely to experience a deficiency; however people who are likely to be deficient in vitamin B12 are vegans who do not eat any type of animal products. This deficiency will often take years to develop. Elderly people, particularly those with incontinence as well as patients with malabsorbtion disorder or ulcers are also likely to experience deficiencies.
Most people do not have to supplement with Vitamin B12 as long as they eat a diet that includes animal products. It is suggested however that if you are a vegan, and do not eat any animal products you should take 2 to 3 mcg per day.
While they are rare, there is a chance of allergic reaction to vitamin B12 injections. These allergic reactions can be very dangerous, and it is not known if the reaction is to the vitamin itself, or the preservatives that are included with the injection.
If you are experiencing an unusual amount of fatigue or exhaustion, ask your doctor if there is a chance that you may be low in vitamin B12. Most patients enjoy great improvement with treatment once a diagnosis is confirmed.