Aging, B12 deficiency

Aging or B12 Deficiency is a topic that has become a serious concern especially for those over age 60.         

Symptoms that could be the result of either Aging or B12 Deficiency

  • Mental confusion, memory loss, irritability, apathy, sleepiness, personality changes, depression, hallucinations, violent behavior. Not all of these are seen in each case but any of them could be symptoms.
  • Abnormal sensations eg, pain, tingling, numbness, diminished sense of touch or temperature, clumsiness, tremor, weakness, incontinence, vision changes, damage to the optic nerve
  • TIAs (transient ischemic attacks), stroke, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, palpitations, blood clots, low blood pressure when standing up - sometimes causes falls or fainting.
  • chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal problems, osteoporosis, tinnitus, prematurely grey hair

Symptoms that could be the result of Aging or B12 deficiency

More symptoms of B12 deficiency

Since this vitamin deficiency can attack the myelin that surrounds and protect nerve fibres, just as MS does, sometimes patients are diagnosed as having MS when they really have a vitamin deficiency. Also, since the deficiency is common in those over age 60, sometimes patients are diagnosed with age related dementia when they present with confusion, memory loss etc. This is one of the more serious aspects of confusing Aging or B12 deficiency since if the deficiency is not treated the symptoms could get worse.

Patients often go through much expensive testing Xrays, blood tests, psychiatric evaluations, DKG, MRI, CT scans but the one screening that is NOT done is the one for this vitamin.

And for those given the standard serum test, it may not be enough since some medications mask low levels of B12 as do some medical conditions such as "liver disease, alcoholism, myelon proliferative disorders, lymphoma or intestinal bacterial overgrowth." but there are adjunctive tests for high levels of MMA and Hcy which indicate low B12.

If you are concerned about Aging or B12 deficiency, you can add B12 supplements to your nutritional program. See if you experience improvement. One of the good thing about the B vitamins is that they do not accumulate in your body. You will simply excrete any that you do not need.

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