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Familial Glucocorticoid Deficiency Tips

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Dr. Ramakanth Reddy 94% (153 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Child Health
Pediatrician, Hyderabad
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

What is vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is a condition in which your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, due to a lack (deficiency) of vitamin B12. This vitamin is needed to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of your body. Without enough red blood cells, your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your body can’t work as well.

Folic acid, also called folate, is another B vitamin. Anemias caused by a lack of vitamin B12 or a lack of folate are 2 types of megaloblastic anemia. With these types of anemia, the red blood cells don’t develop normally. They are very large. And they are shaped like an oval, not round like healthy red blood cells. This causes the bone marrow to make fewer red blood cells. In some cases the red blood cells die sooner than normal.

What causes vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is more common in people whose families come from northern Europe. It is caused by one of the following:

  • Lack of intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein made in the stomach. It is needed to absorb vitamin B12. This type of B12 deficiency anemia is called pernicious anemia.
  • Surgery that removes or bypasses the end of the small intestine. This part of the small intestine is where vitamin B12 is absorbed.

The inability to make intrinsic factor may be caused by several things, such as:

  • Chronic gastritis
  • Surgery to remove all or part of the stomach (gastrectomy)
  • An autoimmune condition, where the body attacks its own tissues

Other types of megaloblastic anemia may be linked with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, and a family history of the disease.

The inability to make intrinsic factor may be the result of several factors, such as chronic gastritis, gastrectomy (removal of all or part of the stomach), or an autoimmune condition (the body attacks its own tissues). Other types of megaloblastic anemia may be associated with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, and a family history of the disease.

Who is at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia include:

  • A family history of the disease
  • Having part or all of your stomach or intestine removed
  • Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes
  • Crohn's disease
  • HIV
  • Some medicines
  • Strict vegetarian diets
  • Being an older adult

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

Each person’s symptoms may vary. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of megaloblastic anemia may look like other blood conditions or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is vitamin B12 deficiency anemia diagnosed?

This type of anemia is usually found during a medical exam through a routine blood test. Your healthcare provider will take your medical history and give you a physical exam.

Your provider may give you additional blood tests. You may also have other evaluation procedures, such as a bone marrow biopsy.

How is vitamin B12 deficiency anemia treated?

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:

  • How old you are
  • Your overall health and medical history
  • How sick you are
  • How well you handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
  • If your condition is expected to get worse
  • Your opinion or preference

Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folate deficiency anemia often occur together and can be hard to tell apart. Treatment may include vitamin B12 shots (injections) and folic acid pills.

Foods that are rich in folic acid include the following:

Foods that are rich in both folic acid and vitamin B12 include the following:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Milk
  • Shellfish
  • Fortified cereals

Taking folic acid by mouth is more effective than eating foods rich in folic acid. Vitamin B12 is not as well absorbed by mouth as per injection.

Living with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

Depending on the cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency, you may need to take vitamin B12supplements for the rest of your life. These may be pills or shots. This may seem difficult. But it will let you live a normal life without symptoms.

If your deficiency is due to a restrictive diet, you may want to work with a nutritionist. He or she can help ensure that you get enough vitamin B12 and other vitamins. Tell your healthcare provider about any symptoms and follow your treatment plan.

Key points about vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

  • With this condition, your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, due to a lack (deficiency) of vitamin B

  • It is one of several types of megaloblastic anemia.
  • Without enough red blood cells, your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your body can’t work as well.
  • Symptoms include weak muscles, numbness, trouble walking, nausea, weight loss, irritability, fatigue, and increased heart rate.
  • Treatment may include vitamin B12 supplements. It is also important to eat a well-balanced diet.
2 people found this helpful

Iron Deficiency: 7 Signs You Have an Iron Deficiency

Dr. Ashwini J 90% (124 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS), M.Sc - Dietitics/Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Bangalore
Iron Deficiency: 7 Signs You Have an Iron Deficiency

As per the latest statistics published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9% women suffer from a deficiency of iron. Though the proportion is relatively low, iron deficiency can lead to various diseases, which can be very difficult to cure. So, look out for these telltale signs of iron deficiency and check whether you suffer from any of them.

  1. Fatigue: Your internal system uses iron for the production of haemoglobin, which is a component in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. So when the iron content is low, there is not enough haemoglobin production and all organ do not receive oxygen in the required quantities. This is bound to make you feel tired at most times.
  2. Inability to focus: People with iron deficiency often suffer from alteration in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This can lead to decreased functionality and focusing abilities. This may also lead to the development of apathy towards all things, including family, friends, books, music or anything that you loved and enjoyed doing.
  3. Breathlessness: Without a proper supply of iron, there could be an oxygen crunch in the body, compelling you to feel breathless. This may happen anytime when you are working out or walking or reading a book.
  4. Paleness: Do you think your skin has lost lustre and become pale in the last few days? That’s definitely not a good sign and may be a symptom of decreased flow of blood and reduction in the RBC count.
  5. Trouble doing your daily chores: Low levels of iron in the body can cause your endurance level to suffer. Thus, you may find it difficult to run up the stairs or catch a vehicle or swim for a while.
  6. Soreness of muscles: Even if you could push yourself to reach the gym, you would experience the burns last longer than normal. Lack of right amount of iron prevents your muscles to recover at the right pace. As a result, you are likely to suffer from aches in the muscles.
  7. Brittle nails: If there is a recent a development of spoon-shaped or concave depression in the nails, it could be a sign of possible deficiency of iron.

Often people tend to ignore the warning signs that the body gives to inform about the problem that’s cropping up. But you can’t take chances with your health and so, check for these signs without any delay.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

6231 people found this helpful

7 Signs You Have A B12 Deficiency

Dr. Kamalika Bhattacharya 92% (883 ratings)
MSc in Orhopedic Physiotherapy (UK), BPTh/BPT
Physiotherapist, Bangalore
7 Signs You Have A B12 Deficiency

7 Signs You Have A B12 Deficiency

We intake vitamins and nutrients from our food as part of our digestion process. Unlike vitamin D, which can be produced by our bodies, B-12 comes only from outside sources into the body. B-12 is an essential nutrient that your body uses to produce red blood cells, DNA and nerves.As a result, strict vegans or vegetarians are the most susceptible to B12 deficiency. One solution is to use products that are fortified with B12, such as fortified soy or nut milks.

1. FATIGUE: Feeling tired? B-12 is important for aerobic energy in the body. Without enough of this vitamin, our bodies are not getting the oxygen and energy that we need. Lightheadedness is also a sign that you aren't getting enough B12.

2. TINGLING AND NUMBNESS: Losing sensation in hands and feet along with the tingling sensation of pins and needles could be a sign of a B12 deficiency. Check with your doctor for blood work to determine the cause.

3. JOINT PAIN: Severe joint pain that isn't due to injury or chronic inflammation, like arthritis, could be cause for alarm. Also, slower reflexes have been observed in B12 deficient patients.

4. RAPID HEARTBEAT OR BREATHING

5. WEAKNESS

6. JAUNDICE

7. SWOLLEN TONGUE: Some patients with B-12 deficiency experience an inflammation of the tongue. Other signs related to the mouth also include a smooth tongue as well as a decreased sense of taste.

Seek the attention of your doctor if you experience any of these 7 signs of B12 deficiency. A doctor can determine if you have a deficiency with a simple blood test. Being aware of the sources of B12 can help you to make sure that you and your family are getting enough and will help prevent potentially serious medical complications.

17 people found this helpful

Signs And Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency!

Dt. Homesh Mandawliya 89% (190 ratings)
Ditetics & Food Service Management, Bsc Human Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Indore
Signs And Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency!

As per the latest statistics published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9% women suffer from a deficiency of iron. Though the proportion is relatively low, iron deficiency can lead to various diseases, which can be very difficult to cure. So, look out for these telltale signs of iron deficiency and check whether you suffer from any of them.

  1. Fatigue: Your internal system uses iron for the production of haemoglobin, which is a component in the red blood cells, responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body. So when the iron content is low, there is not enough haemoglobin production and all organ do not receive oxygen in the required quantities. This is bound to make you feel tired at most times.
  2. Inability to focus: People with iron deficiency often suffer from alteration in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. This can lead to decreased functionality and focusing abilities. This may also lead to the development of apathy towards all things, including family, friends, books, music or anything that you loved and enjoyed doing.
  3. Breathlessness: Without a proper supply of iron, there could be an oxygen crunch in the body, compelling you to feel breathless. This may happen anytime when you are working out or walking or reading a book.
  4. Paleness: Do you think your skin has lost lustre and become pale in the last few days? That’s definitely not a good sign and may be a symptom of decreased flow of blood and reduction in the RBC count.
  5. Trouble doing your daily chores: Low levels of iron in the body can cause your endurance level to suffer. Thus, you may find it difficult to run up the stairs or catch a vehicle or swim for a while.
  6. Soreness of muscles: Even if you could push yourself to reach the gym, you would experience the burns last longer than normal. Lack of right amount of iron prevents your muscles to recover at the right pace. As a result, you are likely to suffer from aches in the muscles.
  7. Brittle nails: If there is a recent a development of spoon shaped or concave depression in the nails, it could be a sign of possible deficiency of iron.

Often people tend to ignore the warning signs that the body gives to inform about the problem that’s cropping up. But you can’t take chances with your health and so, check for these signs without any delay.

2229 people found this helpful

Vitamin B6 Deficiency - Are You Suffering From Any Of These Symptoms?

Dr. Yatin Kukreja 86% (10 ratings)
MD - Physician, CCEBDM
General Physician, Delhi
Vitamin B6 Deficiency - Are You Suffering From Any Of These Symptoms?

How many of us know that a deficiency of Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine can make you susceptible for heart disease, brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s as well as muscle pain, depression and dragging fatigue?



Vitamin B6 is one of the most crucial vitamins for health and it’s a part of the vitamin B complex family. Now, all B vitamins, including vitamin B6, play an important role in a number of life-altering physical and psychological functions. All of them have a vital role to play in helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve and liver function as well as skin and eye health, as well as good amount of energy levels.

Role of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has a number of derivatives, including pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine. And all of these are involved in major body functions like movement, memory, energy use and blood flow. This is the primary reason why a vitamin B6 deficiency can show up in a range of symptoms from physical to psychological, temporary to chronic and serious.
Vitamin B6 also helps your body to

Maintain a healthy nervous system

  1. To make more hemoglobin, blood cells that carry oxygen in blood
  2. To provide energy from our food
  3. To balance blood sugar levels
  4. To act as a natural pain relief
  5. To boost mood
  6. To create antibodies for self-protection

Preventing a Vitamin B6 Deficiency
The recommended amount of vitamin B6 for an adult under the age of 50 is 1.3 milligrams. Normally, this amount is easy to get from your diet, assuming you are eating a balanced diet with enough calories. However, the amount the body’s requirement for vitamin B6 jumps up as you age. Experts recommend that adults over 50 get up to 1.7 milligram daily of this vitamin.

As this requirement is not met, older people get more prone to a vitamin B6 deficiency and so do malnourished children and adults. Foods like poultry, pork, nuts and beans contain high levels of vitamin B6 and you can include more of these to get the recommended dose of vitamin B6. However, since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, so you need to replenish your body with it daily as it doesn’t get stored in the body.


Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency:
Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
Vitamin B6 helps supply your body with energy by improving your metabolism. It has a vital role to play in protein metabolism – it helps your body break down the protein that you eat and produce energy quickly. So one very important pointer that you have a vitamin B6 deficiency is when you get fatigued quickly during exercise.
Brain function decline: Vitamin B6 vitamin helps your brain communicate with other parts of the body more efficiently. So, if you have a decline in muscle efficiency it could be a sign of vitamin B6 deficiency.
High Levels of amino acid HomocysteineHigh levels of amino acid Homocysteine do not cause any symptoms that you can detect by yourself but tests can tell you if you have high levels of this amino acid in your body. And these high levels are directly linked to vitamin B6 deficiency. What high levels of homocysteine can do is cause heart attacks. But vitamin B6 helps keep a check on these levels to reduce your risk for a cardiovascular event.

Other symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are:

  1. Changes in mood, such as depression, irritability, and anxiety
  2. Confusion
  3. Muscle pains
  4. Fatigue
  5. A worsening of PMS symptoms
  6. And worsening of symptoms of anemia
  7. As vitamin B6 is so important for nerve function, a deficiency is linked with neuro-psychiatric disorders like seizures, migraines, and chronic pain.
  8. An increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia
1 person found this helpful

Know How Vitamin B6 Deficiency Affect Your Body!

Dr. Uma Madhavashetty 88% (31 ratings)
MBBS, DNB Family medicine
General Physician, Bangalore
Know How Vitamin B6 Deficiency Affect Your Body!

How many of us know that a deficiency of Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine can make you susceptible for heart disease, brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s as well as muscle pain, depression and dragging fatigue?

Vitamin B6 is one of the most crucial vitamins for health and it’s a part of the vitamin B complex family. Now, all B vitamins, including vitamin B6, play an important role in a number of life-altering physical and psychological functions. All of them have a vital role to play in helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve and liver function as well as skin and eye health, as well as good amount of energy levels.

Role of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has a number of derivatives, including pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine. And all of these are involved in major body functions like movement, memory, energy use and blood flow. This is the primary reason why a vitamin B6 deficiency can show up in a range of symptoms from physical to psychological, temporary to chronic and serious.
Vitamin B6 also helps your body to

Maintain a healthy nervous system

  1. To make more hemoglobin, blood cells that carry oxygen in blood
  2. To provide energy from our food
  3. To balance blood sugar levels
  4. To act as a natural pain relief
  5. To boost mood
  6. To create antibodies for self-protection

Preventing a Vitamin B6 Deficiency
The recommended amount of vitamin B6 for an adult under the age of 50 is 1.3 milligrams. Normally, this amount is easy to get from your diet, assuming you are eating a balanced diet with enough calories. However, the amount the body’s requirement for vitamin B6 jumps up as you age. Experts recommend that adults over 50 get up to 1.7 milligram daily of this vitamin.

As this requirement is not met, older people get more prone to a vitamin B6 deficiency and so do malnourished children and adults. Foods like poultry, pork, nuts and beans contain high levels of vitamin B6 and you can include more of these to get the recommended dose of vitamin B6. However, since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, so you need to replenish your body with it daily as it doesn’t get stored in the body.


Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency:
Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
Vitamin B6 helps supply your body with energy by improving your metabolism. It has a vital role to play in protein metabolism – it helps your body break down the protein that you eat and produce energy quickly. So one very important pointer that you have a vitamin B6 deficiency is when you get fatigued quickly during exercise.
Brain function decline: Vitamin B6 vitamin helps your brain communicate with other parts of the body more efficiently. So, if you have a decline in muscle efficiency it could be a sign of vitamin B6 deficiency.
High Levels of amino acid HomocysteineHigh levels of amino acid Homocysteine do not cause any symptoms that you can detect by yourself but tests can tell you if you have high levels of this amino acid in your body. And these high levels are directly linked to vitamin B6 deficiency. What high levels of homocysteine can do is cause heart attacks. But vitamin B6 helps keep a check on these levels to reduce your risk for a cardiovascular event.

 

Other symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are:

  1. Changes in mood, such as depression, irritability, and anxiety
  2. Confusion
  3. Muscle pains
  4. Fatigue
  5. A worsening of PMS symptoms
  6. And worsening of symptoms of anemia
  7. As vitamin B6 is so important for nerve function, a deficiency is linked with neuro-psychiatric disorders like seizures, migraines, and chronic pain.
  8. An increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2 people found this helpful

Vitamin B6 Deficiency- Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Dr. Vikram Gidwani 92% (60 ratings)
MBBS
General Physician, Chittorgarh
Vitamin B6 Deficiency- Signs You Are Suffering From It!

How many of us know that a deficiency of Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine can make you susceptible for heart disease, brain degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s as well as muscle pain, depression and dragging fatigue?

Vitamin B6 is one of the most crucial vitamins for health and it’s a part of the vitamin B complex family. Now, all B vitamins, including vitamin B6, play an important role in a number of life-altering physical and psychological functions. All of them have a vital role to play in helping to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve and liver function as well as skin and eye health, as well as good amount of energy levels.

Role of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine has a number of derivatives, including pyridoxal, pyridoxal 5-phosphate and pyridoxamine. And all of these are involved in major body functions like movement, memory, energy use and blood flow. This is the primary reason why a vitamin B6 deficiency can show up in a range of symptoms from physical to psychological, temporary to chronic and serious.
Vitamin B6 also helps your body to

Maintain a healthy nervous system

  1. To make more hemoglobin, blood cells that carry oxygen in blood
  2. To provide energy from our food
  3. To balance blood sugar levels
  4. To act as a natural pain relief
  5. To boost mood
  6. To create antibodies for self-protection

Preventing a Vitamin B6 Deficiency
The recommended amount of vitamin B6 for an adult under the age of 50 is 1.3 milligrams. Normally, this amount is easy to get from your diet, assuming you are eating a balanced diet with enough calories. However, the amount the body’s requirement for vitamin B6 jumps up as you age. Experts recommend that adults over 50 get up to 1.7 milligram daily of this vitamin.

As this requirement is not met, older people get more prone to a vitamin B6 deficiency and so do malnourished children and adults. Foods like poultry, pork, nuts and beans contain high levels of vitamin B6 and you can include more of these to get the recommended dose of vitamin B6. However, since vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin, so you need to replenish your body with it daily as it doesn’t get stored in the body.


Symptoms of Vitamin B6 deficiency:
Lack of energy and chronic fatigue
Vitamin B6 helps supply your body with energy by improving your metabolism. It has a vital role to play in protein metabolism – it helps your body break down the protein that you eat and produce energy quickly. So one very important pointer that you have a vitamin B6 deficiency is when you get fatigued quickly during exercise.
Brain function decline: Vitamin B6 vitamin helps your brain communicate with other parts of the body more efficiently. So, if you have a decline in muscle efficiency it could be a sign of vitamin B6 deficiency.
High Levels of amino acid HomocysteineHigh levels of amino acid Homocysteine do not cause any symptoms that you can detect by yourself but tests can tell you if you have high levels of this amino acid in your body. And these high levels are directly linked to vitamin B6 deficiency. What high levels of homocysteine can do is cause heart attacks. But vitamin B6 helps keep a check on these levels to reduce your risk for a cardiovascular event.

Other symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency are:

  1. Changes in mood, such as depression, irritability, and anxiety
  2. Confusion
  3. Muscle pains
  4. Fatigue
  5. A worsening of PMS symptoms
  6. And worsening of symptoms of anemia
  7. As vitamin B6 is so important for nerve function, a deficiency is linked with neuro-psychiatric disorders like seizures, migraines, and chronic pain.
  8. An increased risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.
9519 people found this helpful

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Dr. Shubham Jaiswal 90% (851 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Delhi
Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin b12 deficiency may lead to a reduction in healthy red blood cells (anaemia). The nervous system may also be affected. Diet or certain medical conditions may be the cause.
Symptoms are rare but can include fatigue, breathlessness, numbness, poor balance and memory trouble.‚Äč
 

Symptoms:
fatigue, breathlessness, numbness, poor balance and memory trouble.

Can have no symptoms, but people may experience:

  • Whole body: anaemia, fatigue, or poor balance
  • Gastrointestinal: indigestion or passing excessive amounts of gas muscular: abnormality walking or lack of coordination
  • Sensory: pins and needles or reduced sensation of touch
  • Also common: glossitis, memory loss, mouth ulcer, pallor, or tingling feet.
7 people found this helpful

Vitamin D Deficiency

Dr. Vishwanath B L 92% (99 ratings)
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Bangalore
Vitamin D Deficiency

3 ways to overcome vitamin d deficiency

Do you frequently feel tired or fatigued in spite of having the habit of exercising, working out in the gym, a proper sleep regimen and good diet?
If yes you might have vitamin d deficiency.

65-70% indians are vitamin d deficient.

Vitamin d's one of the most important roles is to keep your immune system strong, which in turn ensures the body is able to fight off the viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Low vitamin d levels may be a contributing factor, if you are falling sick often, especially with cold, flu and other respiratory tract infections.

Deficiency of vitamin d can also cause chronic fatigue, back pain, depression, impaired wound healing i. E slower recovery and bone loss 
Chronic vitamin d deficiency can also leads to overweight and insulin resistance -diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

Here are 3 ways to overcome vitamin d deficiency

1. Sunlight 

20-30 minutes of sunlight can produce enough vitamin d to last for even a week. But in the city life getting sun kissed is not frequent activity. It will be good to take your workouts outdoors at twice a week or yoga on roof top, you could also cycle for 15 or 20 mins during your weekend leisure hours, if you have a balcony make it a habit to enjoy your tea or evening snacks in the balcony.
Uv light is strongest between 10 a. M. And 3 p. M. Avoid sunlight exposure at this time.

2. Have diet rich in vitamin d

Include salmon or egg yolk (dont discard yellow part of egg) or yogurt or raw cheese and mushrooms in your diet for sufficient vitamin d.
Sunflower seeds are also good source of vitamin d.

3. Vitamin d supplements

They are the fastest way to enhance vitamin d levels in the bloodstream, but it is advisable to consume only in consultation with a doctor to ensure you are choosing the right product and the correct daily dose recommendation. 

7 people found this helpful

Vitamin C Deficiency!

Dr. Guru Kumar Nunna 91% (43 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Child Health
Pediatrician, Nellore

The benefits of vitamin c: why your child needs it?

Vitamin c benefits in kids

Vitamin c has long been touted for its potential health benefits when battling a cold — i’m sure we’ve all been told to load up on it when we are sick. But did you know this vitamin is crucial for children’s good health and development? with winter and cold and flu season getting started, it’s important to know what vitamin c does and doesn’t help.

How vitamin c helps your body?

Vitamin c, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in specific food sources, such as citrus fruits, berries, potatoes and peppers. You can also find vitamin c as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin c is important in the formation of:

Collagen, blood vessels, cartilage and muscle, and so it helps to maintains the integrity of many body tissues, including the skin.
Neurotransmitters, the chemicals that are important for signaling in the nervous system.
Carnitine, a chemical that supports the transport and breakdown of fatty acid to generate energy.
In addition, vitamin c is vital to the body’s maintenance of overall health, and is seen in high concentration in immune cells. This raises the possibility that vitamin c is an immune-boosting agent, although the mechanism isn’t clear.

The human body cannot form or produce vitamin c and so depends on outside sources. Plant sources, including tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and kiwi, are the best sources of vitamin c.

Vitamin c is also available as an oral supplement, but over-the-counter sources of vitamins have to be well-researched before taking them on a routine basis. If needed, enlist the help of your physician or pharmacist to choose the right supplement for you.

How to know if you have a vitamin c deficiency?

Diagnosis of vitamin c deficiency requires special blood tests, but the main condition caused by deficiency of vitamin c is known as scurvy, and it’s currently very rare. Scurvy was described by the ancient egyptians, and it was a leading cause of death during long ship voyages in the industrial revolution era.Since vitamin c is important for formation of collagen, symptoms of scurvy is related to improper deposition of collagen, the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues.


People with scurvy may have small brown spots on the skin, roughening of the skin, thickening of the gums and bleeding from the mucous membranes. They also may have a feeling of weakness or discomfort, emotional changes, poor wound healing, bone pain, and in late stages, jaundice, nerve involvement and convulsions.Vitamin c deficiency is rare in children in developed countries, unless they have severe intestinal malabsorption or poor dietary practices that avoid sources of vitamin c. Scurvy is still seen in developing countries, and is linked to malnutrition.

Can taking vitamin c prevent a cold?

The clear benefit for optimizing intake of vitamin c is to prevent scurvy, especially in children at risk, like those who are malnourished, have limited dietary choices or are at risk for malabsorption.Much has been discussed on the benefit of vitamin c in preventing the common cold. This topic has been extensively researched, and all the evidence suggests vitamin c does not prevent or helps in treating the common cold.Though the research evidence is not overwhelming, there is some suggestion that vitamin c may reduce the duration of illness. However, vitamin c supplementation on a routine basis does not decrease the incidence or reduce the severity of a common cold.It’s on this basis that some physicians recommend vitamin c for the common cold, and given the safety profile and the low cost, it may be ok to take a short course of vitamin c during a cold – but this should be discussed with your physician.

The role of vitamin c in the treatment of rheumatological illness is still unclear. Similarly, using vitamin c in cancer management or prevention is not recommended. The role of vitamin c in prevention of cardiovascular illnesses also is not supported by good evidence.Overall, vitamin c is an essential nutrient, but overt deficiency is very rare in the united states. Vitamin c may have an immune-boosting effect, and appears to be safe to take as a supplement. And although the medical evidence is not overwhelming, this vitamin may help reduce duration of common cold.

If a parent chooses to give vitamin c to his or her child to reduce the duration of common cold, it’s recommended that they discuss this first with the child’s pediatrician.It’s ultimately not necessary, and not recommended, to take vitamin c on a daily basis during the winter months as a common cold preventative measure.
 

2 people found this helpful
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