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Do you have Poor Sensory Systems?

If you do, you may have a deficiency in VITAMIN B12, B1 and MAGNESIUM

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, like those of many other treatable health conditions, can be virtually identical to age dementia symptoms, senile dementia symptoms and Alzheimer's symptoms. As many as 20% of people over age 65 have low Vitamin B12 levels. Correcting the deficiency can help older people resume a full and normal lives.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:

Loss of appetite
Numbness and tingling of hands and feet
Shortness of breath
Sore mouth and tongue
Confusion or change in mental status in severe or advanced cases. This is sometimes confused with dementia. More importantly, even a moderate deficiency of this important vitamin and its counterpart, folic acid, may ultimate contribute to the onset of Alzheimer's disease or other related dementias.

You need vitamin B12 to make red blood cells and keep the nervous system healthy. It is also needed to absorb folic acid and it helps to release energy. It is absorbed through your intestines from a variety of foods, but mainly meat, fish and dairy products. It can be stored in the body in small amounts, and around 80% of this is stored in the liver. It may take three or four years for the symptoms of deficiency to develop.

Vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed on its own. It has to combine with another substance called 'intrinsic factor' which is produced by your stomach lining.

Vitamin B12 deficiency usually develops for one of the following reasons:

Your stomach cannot produce enough intrinsic factor
Your intestine cannot absorb enough vitamin B12
You do not eat enough food containing vitamin B12 (this may happen to people following a Vegan diet)

Vitamin B1 (thiamin) deficiency may result from a deficiency in the diet. People whose diet consists mainly of polished (refined) white rice are at risk of vitamin B1 deficiency, because polishing removes almost all of the vitamins. Alcoholics, who often substitute alcohol for food, are at high risk of developing this deficiency.


Early symptoms are vague. They include fatigue, irritability, memory impairment, loss of appetite, sleep disturbances, abdominal discomfort, and weight loss. Eventually, a severe vitamin B1 deficiency (beriberi) may develop, characterized by nerve, heart, and brain abnormalities.

Brain abnormalities due to vitamin B1 deficiency occur primarily in alcoholics. Brain abnormalities may develop when a chronic vitamin B1 deficiency is suddenly worsened by a rapid, substantial decrease in the vitamin B1 level (which can be caused by an alcoholic binge) or by a sudden increase in vitamin B1 requirements (which may occur when an undernourished alcoholic is fed intravenously).

Brain abnormalities may develop in two stages: an early stage called Korsakoff's syndrome and a later stage called Wernicke's encephalopathy. Together, these stages are called the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (see Brain Dysfunction: Amnesia). Korsakoff's syndrome causes memory loss, and Wernicke's encephalopathy causes mental confusion, difficulty walking, and eye problems (including nystagmus and paralysis of the eyes). If Wernicke's encephalopathy is not promptly treated, symptoms may worsen, resulting in coma and even death.

Magnesium is an essential mineral to the human body. It is needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and forming adenosine triphosphate (ATP; the energy the body runs on). The secretion and action of insulin also require magnesium.

Magnesium also acts in a way related to calcium channel blocker drugs. This effect may be responsible for the fact that under certain circumstances magnesium has been found to potentially improve vision in people with glaucoma. Similarly, this action might account for magnesium’s ability to lower blood pressure.

Since magnesium has so many different actions in the body, the exact reasons for some of its clinical effects are difficult to determine. For example, magnesium has reduced hyperactivity in children in preliminary research. Other research suggests that some children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have lowered levels of magnesium. In a preliminary but controlled trial, 50 ADHD children with low magnesium (as determined by red blood cell, hair, and serum levels of magnesium) were given 200 mg of magnesium per day for six months. Compared with 25 other magnesium-deficient ADHD children, those given magnesium supplementation had a significant decrease in hyperactive behaviour.

Magnesium levels have been reported to be low in those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and magnesium injections have been reported to improve symptoms. Oral magnesium supplementation has also improved symptoms in those people with CFS who had low magnesium levels in another report, although magnesium injections were sometimes necessary. However, other research reports no evidence of magnesium deficiency in people with CFS. The reason for this discrepancy remains unclear. People with CFS considering magnesium supplementation should have their magnesium status checked beforehand by a doctor. Only people with magnesium deficiency appear to benefit from this therapy.

People with diabetes tend to have lower magnesium levels compared with those who have normal glucose tolerance. Supplementation with magnesium overcomes this problem11 and may help some diabetics improve glucose tolerance.

Magnesium may be beneficial for bladder problems in women, especially common disturbances in bladder control and the sense of "urgency." A double-blind trial found that women who took 350 mg of magnesium hydroxide (providing 147 mg elemental magnesium) twice daily for four weeks had better bladder control and fewer symptoms than women who took a placebo.12

Magnesium supplementation may reduce dehydration of red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia patients. Administration of 540 mg per day of magnesium pidolate to sickle cell anaemia patients was seen after six months, to reverse some of the characteristic red blood cell abnormalities and to dramatically reduce the number of painful days for these patients.13 This preliminary trial was not blinded, so placebo effect could not be ruled out. Magnesium pidolate is also an unusual form of magnesium. It is unknown whether other forms of magnesium would produce similar results.

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