Everyone know that vitamins are important for health, and many older adults take a multivitamin.
But did you know that even among seniors who do this, many still end up developing a serious deficiency in one particular vitamin?
It’s Vitamin B12.
If there’s one vitamin that I’d like all older adults and family caregivers to know more about, it would be vitamin B12.
(Second on my list would be vitamin D, but it’s much harder to develop low vitamin D levels if you take a daily supplement, as I explain in this post. Whereas vitamin B12 deficiency does develop in many older adults who are getting their recommended daily allowance.)
A deficiency in any vitamin can be catastrophic for health. But vitamin B12 deficiency stands out because a) it’s very common — experts have estimated that up to 20% of older adults may be low in this vitamin — and b) it’s often missed by doctors.
Geriatricians also like to pay attention to vitamin B12 because a deficiency can cause — or usually worsen — cognitive impairment or walking problems.
So I’ve written an article for A Place for Mom, explaining everything you should know about vitamin B12 in older adults:
In this article, I explain:
- How vitamin B12 deficiency harms a senior’s health,
- Why low vitamin B12 levels are so common in older adults, and why this problem is often missed,
- Common risk factors for low vitamin B12 levels, and who should be checked for deficiency,
- How vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed and treated.
Unlike many health problems that ail seniors, treating low vitamin B12 levels is easy and safe.
The key is to make sure it’s detected, and treat before some of the health harms — like neurological damage — become permanent.
As always, proactive family caregivers can make a big difference. Learn about this important condition by reading the full article posted at A Place for Mom:
Has your family had any challenges related to vitamin B12 deficiency? I’d love hear from you in the comments below.