Human body without proper nutrients is like a machine without fuel. As a result of hectic daily schedules, we rarely find time to eat right and lead a healthy life. But isn’t life all about juggling between the tasks and to-do lists we set up for ourselves? Leading a healthy life and meeting all the vitamin inadequacies is a constant struggle. Amidst all the modern-day challenges, making up for your vitamin deficiencies at the right time is a crucial one.
Vitamin B12 and D3 are two of the most common deficiencies in today’s times. Ironically, they are also two of the most vital vitamins for the body. While their signs and symptoms seem to be very easily identifiable, they are not quite so simple to determine all the time. Here is our guide to identifying the signs and symptoms of B12 and D3 deficiency that will help you put a finger to your issues and find a solution for them. Read the entire blog to know about the diet and steps to follow to overcome these deficiencies.
Risk Factors that May Lead to Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin B12 and D3 deficiencies are becoming increasingly common these days. There are several aspects that affect one’s vitamin levels. Here are some common risk factors that lead to deficit levels of vitamin D3 and B12.
- Aging process
- Genetic predisposition
- Lack of sunlight
- Inadequate dietary intake and restrictive diets
- Geographic location
- Lifestyle and mobility choices
- Various medical conditions
Signs and Symptoms of B12 and D3 Deficiency
The signs and symptoms of these highly prevalent vitamin deficiencies are such that they can hinder and hamper your daily activities and routine. Let’s have a look at some of the common B12 and D3 deficiency symptoms.
Joint and Muscle Pain
One of the most common symptoms of D3 and B12 deficiency is weak, painful joints and muscles. It can lead to or worsen the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other bone-related diseases, causing chronic pain. Commonly, people complain about experiencing pain and discomfort in the legs, lower back, ribs, joints, and muscles. Vitamin B and D deficiencies could also lead to loss of strength and decreasing bone/muscle mass.
Weakness and Fatigue
Do not overlook your daily weakness and fatigue! It could be more than just your hectic routine. Often neglected, this is the most common symptom of Vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency. D3 is vital for calcium and phosphate absorption to maintain healthy bones- a lack of which leads to weakness. B12 is a vital vitamin to produce healthy red blood cells that carries oxygen for producing energy- a lack of which causes fatigue.
Frequent Illness and Headaches
Your immune system gets severely impaired by both B12 and D3 deficiencies. Both these vitamins are crucial in maintaining a strong immune response for the body to be able to fight off viral infections and chronic conditions. Vitamin D3 is linked directly to immune function while vitamin B12 ensures that the immune system gets the oxygen it requires.
Mood Changes and Brain Fog
Low levels of B12 have been found to be associated with sudden mood changes and lack of concentration. It is an essential vitamin for optimal neurological and cognitive function. Vitamin D3 is also linked to affecting mood and mental wellness. D3 receptors in the brain are associated with cognitive function and a decrease in the vitamin levels leads to cognitive decline and low mood.
Frequent issues with the stomach and digestion are a sign of vitamin D3 and B12 deficiency. Absorption of D3 occurs in small intestine while B12 gets absorbed in both small intestine and stomach. A deficiency in any of these vitamins could upset the stomach frequently causing gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, abdominal pain, gastritis, and others.
Numbness and Tingling
Both B12 and D3 vitamins play a crucial role in the functioning of nervous system. Signs and symptoms of low vitamin B12 and D3 include numbness and tingling (paraesthesia) in the hands and feet, caused by a disruption in nerve signal transmission and low muscle strength.
Inflammation/Pain in Tongue and Mouth
Ulcers or sores in the mouth are an indication of B12 and D3 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is essential for adequate cell growth and cell renewal; lack of which causes pain and inflammation of the tongue, burning or tingling sensation in the mouth. On the other hand, vitamin D3 holds excellent anti-inflammatory properties, lack of which could intensify inflammation of the tissues.
Vitamin B12 and D3 are both related to the nervous system, lack of which could cause erectile dysfunction (ED). Factors associated with these deficiencies and ED include hormone imbalances, improper blood flow, nerve damage, dysregulated sex hormones, mood swings, and feeling a mental low.
What Can You Do?
While these symptoms of D3 and B12 deficiency seem to be causing a serious concern, in most cases they could be overcome by making dietary and lifestyle changes. Let’s have a look at B12 and D3 deficiency-specific diets.
- Diet for Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Fatty fish, eggs, red meat, and clams are a great source of vitamin B12. Fortified foods, shitake mushrooms, milk and dairy products, nuts, dry fruits, soybean, broccoli, and nori are great alternative sources of B12 for vegetarians.
- Diet for Vitamin D3 Deficiency
Fatty fish, egg yolk, fish liver oil, and meat are some of the best sources of vitamin D3. Its vegetarian alternatives include carrots, papaya, apricots, cheese, mangoes, yogurt, mushrooms, and fortified foods.
Lifestyle changes also play a significant role in vitamin deficiencies. Here are some ways to prevent B12 and D3 deficiencies.
Ways to Prevent Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- It is important to monitor your B12 levels regularly. Take regular health check-ups especially if you have gastrointestinal disorders or pernicious anaemia.
- Excess alcohol consumption can hinder the process of vitamin B12 absorption. Limit alcohol intake to a moderate level for optimal B12.
- Plant-based sources of vitamin B12 are limited, hence vegetarians and vegans must consider taking fortified foods and plant-based B12 supplement.
Ways to Prevent Vitamin D3 Deficiency
- Exposure to sunlight is one of the highly effective ways to accumulate vitamin D3 in the body. Spend time outdoors for about 20 minutes every day.
- Engage in regular exercise and physical activity to have an enhanced effect of vitamin D3 in the body.
- Maintaining a healthy weight contributes to optimal vitamin D3 levels in the body. As vitamin D is fat-soluble, excess body fat makes it less available, creating a deficit.
- Supplementation is one of the best ways to ensure vitamin D3 maintenance in the body. In modern times when staying outdoors and consuming nutritious diet is not so doable, natural D3 supplements are the solution.
Vitamin B12 and D3 deficiencies could raise some serious health concerns in terms of both physical and mental well-being. They make your body susceptible to various discrepancies of the body and mind. It is important to identify the signs and symptoms of these vital vitamins and take the required steps towards overcoming them. Consuming a balanced, nutritious diet is the first and foremost step towards combating vitamin deficiencies. Along with this, several lifestyle changes also make a significant impact.
Switching to all-natural, plant-based supplements is a sure shot way to overcome nutritional deficiencies in modern times of constant hustle. Shop your vital vitamins from Satvam Nutrition and stay healthy and happy, naturally!