As we get older, our bodies gave a bit more trouble absorbing vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Additionally, it can become more and more difficult to manage grocery shopping and cooking. As a result, it is quite common for many elderly people to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies right when their bodies need proper nourishing the most. At The Heritage, we consider it a major part of our job to help our community members live healthier than they ever had before, which is why we put so much work into our menus. In today’s blog, we’re going to explore what a deficiency in B12 vitamin looks like.

B12 vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in your brain function, nerve health, DNA production, and red blood cells. It gets absorbed in the stomach and is stored in the liver. It is largely found in animal products, especially dairy and meat, the richest sources being liver, sardines, beef, clams, and dairy. For people who don’t eat meat, B12 also comes in supplemental form.

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Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

When you don’t have enough B12 vitamins, anemia is the first symptom. If the problem isn’t addressed, the following symptoms may show up:

  • Shortness of breath and heart palpitations
  • Loss of vision
  • A tongue that is too smooth
  • Lightheadedness, tiredness, and weakness
  • Gas, loss of appetite, constipation, diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness or tingling due to nerve problems
  • Depression, memory loss, or atypical behaviors

As you can see, failing to give your body the B12 it needs can result in significant physical and mental issues. Older adults and breastfeeding or pregnant women are at the highest risk for B12 deficiency, so if you’re getting on in years, a supplement might do you a lot of good. However, it’s important to get advice from your doctor first.

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Eat Right at The Heritage

Food is foundational to life, and at The Heritage, we work hard every day to ensure that our community members get the very best. By pulling together a carefully-crafted menu, we are able to provide great options that keep meals interesting while providing essential nutrients. We want meals to be pleasant, social events where our members can be nourished physically, mentally, and spiritually. It might seem like a tall order, but The Heritage is unique. Our assisted living community in New Jersey has made a name for itself by holding to high standards and putting our people first. Take a tour to learn more!