A Warning for Long-Term Care Patients: Monitor Your B12 Levels

too many meds macroTodays entry is a little different from my usual blogs, and its written especially for my clients who are currently receiving some form of long-term care.

A brand-new study out of Canada, reported in U.S. News & World Report, finds that Vitamin B12 deficiency is surprisingly prevalent among long-term care patients, and its a real concern.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with:

AmeniaChanges in skin pigmentationDepressionDifficulty walkingFatigueGastrointestinal upsetHeart palpitationsLightheadednessNerve problemsRespiratory problemsVision lossWeakness

Many of those conditions can exacerbate problems already common among long-term care patients.

Most concerning, though, is the fact that several studies have shown a direct link between vitamin B12 deficiency and memory loss, including dementia. Thats startling when you consider that dementia is emerging as one of the primary factors in the rising need for long-term care in the first place.

While many people assume that the deficiency is caused by a lack of B12 in the diet, it often stems from medications and/or underlying medical conditions that interfere with the bodys ability to absorb the B12 already in your diet.

The good news is that most cases of B12 deficiency can be easily managed. Detection is the key. Thats why were sounding the alarm.

If you or someone you love is in long-term care, have a talk with your healthcare provider about vitamin B12 as soon as possible.