The Importance of Vitamin B12

I’ve been pretty good about taking all my vitamins and supplements for the past 10 years or so. I started seeing Lisa, a naturopath, about that time and learned which ones I should be taking. Each time I go in for an appointment, Lisa actually does a skin prick to get a blood sample, and then looks at my blood under a microscope. She can tell if I have eaten anything I’m allergic to and can diagnose any energy issues I’m having. It amazes me what she can tell from looking at how healthy my red blood cells look and how many white blood cells are present.

I have to admit, when I went vegan in late December 2018, I kind of fell off the wagon. For some reason, I stopped consistently taking all of my supplements. My eating patterns changed, and I didn’t make it a priority to fit in taking them daily.

So last week, after a whirlwind three weeks of traveling, I contacted Lisa and asked if she could squeeze me in for a visit. I went to her office at 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening and frankly, started dozing off in her waiting room.

When I walked in to see her, she took a blood sample and looked at it under the microscope. While she was looking at it, she projected it onto a computer screen so I could see it too. I was shocked. I had never seen my blood look so pathetic. Very few red blood cells, and those that were there were almost transparent. She looked at me and asked, “What is going on?

I admitted that I hadn’t been taking my supplements. She pulled out a piece of paper titled “Signs and Symptoms of B12 Deficiency” and handed it to me.

OMG – I saw a few symptoms that had been plaguing me for a couple of months:  weakness in arms, legs, trunk; forgetfulness, memory loss; shortness of breath. Honestly, I thought what I had been experiencing was due to “getting older.” I never connected the facts that I might have a vitamin deficiency.

So, she gave me a Vitamin B12 shot and B12 patches to wear every other day. She has me taking liquid B12 under my tongue three times a day. Plus a variety of other supplements to restore my energy, balance, etc.

Almost immediately, I started feeling more energetic. I felt stronger when I worked out, started sleeping better and didn’t seem to have that feeling of being at a loss for the right words.

I know some people don’t believe in taking vitamins and supplements. They think they can get everything from what they eat and vitamins are for “tree huggers.” Last year, I heard Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn speak at a conference, and she shared that when she was training for competition, she got her blood tested daily to see what minerals were lacking in her blood, so she could supplement for peak performance.

I don’t know about you, but if it’s good enough for an Olympic athlete, it’s a best practice for me. Taking care of your body to ensure you are at peak performance – by eating the right foods, eating less of bad-for-you foods, getting enough sleep and taking vitamins when needed – seems like a good idea.

I’m fortunate to have an expert naturopath I can rely upon – who supports your wellness? Have you ever thought of having your blood tested to see if you have sufficient levels of Vitamin D, B, etc.? If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms listed above, I recommend looking for a naturopath near you.

You’ll feel better! And you will perform better.