No Toilet Humour: How Bowel Problems May Be Symptom of Vitamin Deficiency - and What Does It Mean?

CC0 / / Toilet
Toilet - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Sometimes, diarrhoea is just a minor problem caused by a stomach bug - but if there is a long-running issue with your faeces, you may want to undergo a thorough check-up.
Everyone knows that we need a dose of extra vitamins during the cold season, as the human body does not receive enough of them. This includes vitamins D and B12, the latter of which is extremely important for our blood cells and nervous system. It is also used for DNA synthesis and prevents a condition known as megaloblastic anaemia.
In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause multiple other problems - but what are the signs we need more of it? Well, according to the US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, bowel issues, such as gas, constipation, and diarrhoea may be the first problems signalling low levels of vitamin B12. Other symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency could include a pale or yellowish shade of skin, sore tongue, and paraesthesia.
CC0 / / Red blood cells
Red blood cells - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.01.2022
Red blood cells
Since the vitamin is responsible for the production of red blood cells, a low level of B12 means that not enough oxygen can reach the digestive tract, which causes gas, sickness, and issues with bowel movements. If a vitamin B12 deficiency is really severe, it can paralyse the muscle tissue in the digestive tract, obstructing intestinal functions.
How can one avoid all these nightmares? Well, animal products, including poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish are the main sources of B12 - which means that vegans should be very careful when it comes to their vitamin B12 levels. Fortified breakfast cereals and fortified nutritional yeasts are also a good source for those who need more of the vitamin.
According to the National Institutes of Health, recommended dietary allowances for vitamin B12 for adults are at least 2.4 micrograms per day.
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