The signs of Vitamin B deficiency may be subtle at first. You may feel more fatigued. Perhaps you’re paler and more irritable. Depression and even confusion may start to kick in as you get more and more depleted of this important vitamin. Signs of Vitamin B deficiency in seniors may mimic other issues which is concerning. Because it’s not a part of routine blood workup, it can go undiagnosed for a long time.
Why Are Seniors at Risk?
Seniors are at particular risk because the ability to absorb certain nutrients lessens as we age. Seniors, and those suffering from malabsorption issues such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease and HIV, need more Vitamin B than the average person. As mentioned above, it’s easy to go undiagnosed. For example, a senior who is growing depressed, confused and forgetful may be mistaken for someone with the beginning stages of dementia, while this may not be the case at all. Specific blood tests have to be carried out to check the status of Vitamin B complex.
What Does Vitamin B Do for Our Bodies?
- Vitamin B plays a crucial role in our bodies.
- Vitamin B-12, for example, helps regulate nervous system and plays a big role in the formation of red blood cells.
- Vitamin B-6 assists the body in turning food into energy.
- Vitamin B-1 has neurological benefits. All play an important role in keeping our bodies functioning well.
Know the Signs of Vitamin B Deficiency
Symptoms of a deficiency depend on what type of Vitamin B you lack. If you or your loved one is experiencing any of the signs of a Vitamin B deficiency, see your healthcare professional. Symptoms can include growing fatigue, irritability, tingling in the hands and feet, loss of vision, anemia, confusion, depression, skin rashes and disorientation. Being an informed patient will assist in getting the proper care.
What are good sources of Vitamin B?
The following foods are good sources of the Vitamin B complex. Be sure to load up on as many Vitamin B-rich foods as you can.
- Chick peas
- Beef liver
- Ground beef
- Whole grains
- Fortified cereals
- Red meat
- Dark green vegetables
Note that not everyone can get an adequate supply of Vitamin B through diet. If your body is not absorbing Vitamin B well, see your healthcare professional about supplementing through pills and injections.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you think you are at risk, please see your healthcare practitioner.