How Do I Know If I Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

How Do I Know If I Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Nutritional deficiencies are a common cause of concerns like hair loss, lack of energy, and brain fog. One of the most prevalent nutritional deficiencies is a vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Left untreated, a B12 deficiency can lead to serious issues like anemia, neurological concerns, and psychological symptoms. To avoid these larger issues, vitamin B12 levels should be restored as soon as possible. 

Learn more about a B12 deficiency and its symptoms below.

Symptoms of a B12 Deficiency

Many people are lacking in vitamin B12 and have no idea until their symptoms begin to affect everyday life. Symptoms include: 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Vision problems
  • Extreme lethargy
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Sore mouth or tongue
  • Getting easily confused
  • Depression and irritability
  • Numbness and tingling

When you start to notice symptoms of a B12 deficiency, it is important that you seek professional treatment to restore appropriate levels. The sooner you treat your deficiency, the less likely you are to develop serious concerns like neurological decline. 

Treating a B12 Deficiency

A simple blood test can confirm that you are low in vitamin B12. When your B12 levels are properly assessed with a complete blood count (CBC), you can then move forward with treatment. 

Your doctor will work with you to bring your B12 back up and resolve your associated symptoms. This will involve a customized treatment plan that increases the amount of vitamin B12 in your system.

The following are some of the ways that a B12 deficiency is treated:

  • Vitamin B12 oral medication
  • Intramuscular injections
  • B12 nasal spray
  • B12 nasal gel

If you are experiencing lethargy, vision problems, vomiting, or other symptoms of B12 deficiency, seek prompt medical treatment. Diagnosing and treating this deficiency will help you avoid serious conditions further down the road.

Speak with your doctor today to learn more about vitamin B12 deficiency. You can also do a comprehensive test to discover your personal blueprint of any insufficiencies and deficiencies to better optimize your daily wellness needs.

Breathing Exercises for Patients with COPD

Breathing Exercises for Patients with COPD

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) leads to difficulty breathing, excess mucus, and chronic coughing. In addition, the feeling of being short of breath can lead to anxiety and other mental health concerns. 

Engaging in breathing exercises can expand your lung capacity, allowing for more efficient, functional breathing and offering the added benefit of calming anxiety. 

Deep Breathing

Taking the time to practice deep breathing can allow you to expel air from your lungs fully. Trapped air can cause shortness of breath, but completely releasing all the air from your lungs will help you take in the fresh air. 

Practicing deep breathing requires a few easy steps:

  • Sit or stand comfortably, slightly drawing your elbows back to open your chest
  • Deeply inhale through your nose
  • Hold the air in your lungs as you count to five
  • Slowly exhale through your nose until you fully expel all of the air

Deep breathing exercises can increase the amount of oxygen in the body, calm the central nervous system, reduce anxiety, and reduce feelings of breathlessness.

Coordinated Breathing 

Staying active and exercising is especially important for those with COPD. Exercise strengthens your breathing muscles, reduces the risk of COPD flare-ups, and helps you maintain healthy body weight. 

Coordinated breathing can help you strengthen your breath. You can practice it during both smaller daily activities like climbing stairs and more strenuous activities like lifting weights.

To practice coordinated breathing:

  • Inhale before starting your movement
  • Exhale as you complete the movement

For example, when climbing stairs, you will inhale for a count of two to three, then exhale as you ascend two to three steps. Likewise, if you’re lifting weights, you’ll inhale as you begin and exhale as you lift.

Together with other popular breathing exercises for COPD, these tools can help you control your symptoms and expand your lung capacity. 

What Supplements Are Best for Bone and Joint Health?

What Supplements Are Best for Bone and Joint Health?

Over time, your body produces fewer proteins, and minerals begin to leach out of your bones. As a result, bones become less resilient and robust, leading to more fractures and injuries. 

Supplementing your diet with critical vitamins and minerals to support your bones and joints can offer long-term benefits for your mobility and overall health. Several essential vitamins and minerals directly impact your musculoskeletal system, and adding them to your diet can prevent conditions like osteoporosis.

Calcium

Calcium is among the most critical minerals for maintaining bone health. Calcium reduces bone loss and can decrease the risk of fracturing your vertebrae in a fall. Calcium is prevalent in milk and dairy products and green leafy vegetables. Additionally, many cereals and juices are calcium-fortified.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium effectively, making it essential for the health of your bones and muscles. The best way to add vitamin D to your body is through exposure to sunlight. However, you can also boost your vitamin D by consuming fish, fortified milk, and supplements.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is critical for bone healing and development. It also helps the body produce collagen, a protein fundamental to bone mineralization. You can consume vitamin C through fruits and vegetables like oranges, berries, tomatoes, and broccoli. It’s also well-absorbed through supplements.

Magnesium

The essential mineral magnesium helps regulate muscle and nerve function and supports the body’s production of protein, bone cells, and DNA. Higher intakes of magnesium are associated with higher bone density, reducing the occurrence of osteoporosis. 

You can add more magnesium to your diet by consuming nuts, beans, leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fortified foods or supplements.

Prioritizing consuming and supplementing with critical nutrients to support the health of your bones and joints can keep you functioning at your best for years to come.

What Stretches Help Relieve Back Pain?

What Stretches Help Relieve Back Pain?

Stretching the back muscles is a beneficial way to reduce back pain and tension, improve your range of motion, and strengthen the lower back muscles.  

When stretching your back muscles, it’s critical to be gentle so that you carefully and safely build up strength and release tension. 

For back pain relief, there are a few different stretches you can try.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a restorative pose in yoga designed to stretch the muscles of the lower back, buttocks, and thighs while releasing tension along the neck, shoulders, and spine. 

To get into the child’s pose: 

  1. Find a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground 
  2. Sink your hips back until they rest at your heels
  3. Slowly fold forward as you walk your hands out in front of you, eventually resting your stomach on your thighs
  4. Extend your arms out as you breathe deeply to release any lingering tension

You can hold this pose for one minute or as long as it feels good. 

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

This stretch releases tension from your lower back while relaxing the muscles of your hips, glutes, and thighs. 

For the knee-to-chest stretch:

  1. Lie on your back, planting your feet on the floor
  2. Pull your right knee to your chest while extending your left leg to the floor
  3. Avoid lifting your hips as you hug your knee into your chest, wrapping your hands behind your thigh or around your shinbone

Breathe deeply for up to a minute before repeating the stretch with the left leg. 

Sphinx Stretch

Stretching your back like a sphinx allows you to engage in a gentle backbend that strengthens and lengthens your spine, chest, and core.

To find the sphinx stretch:

  1. Start lying on the floor, stomach down
  2. Plant your hands ahead of your shoulders as you engage your glutes and core, slowly lifting your chest from the floor as you lengthen your arms
  3. If this stretch feels too intense, lower your forearms to the ground with your shoulders stacked over your elbows
  4. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute before releasing back to the ground

Carefully stretching and strengthening your lower back can offer long-term pain relief and an immediate release of tension. As you perform these exercises, you should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly. By using your breath as a gauge, you can ensure you don’t overdo it. 

Regenerative Medicine for Lower Back Pain

Regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving field that aims to develop new therapies to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including lower back pain. There are several potential regenerative medicine treatments that are being investigated for lower back pain, including:

Stem cell therapy: Stem cells are cells that have the ability to differentiate into many different types of cells in the body. Stem cell therapy involves injecting stem cells into the affected area to promote the growth of new, healthy tissue.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: PRP therapy involves extracting a patient’s own blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting the concentrated platelets into the affected area to promote healing and tissue regeneration.

These are options available for patients who may want to explore an alternative option either in place of or in conjunction with traditional therapies available. Choosing a facility that offers these options should have board-certified providers performing the therapies and a positive and reputable background. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine which may be best for your care and wellness.

What Is Regenerative Medicine Treatment

What Is Regenerative Medicine Treatment

There are endless types of medicinal treatments available to treat your health concerns, but one of the more innovative approaches in regenerative medicine. It focuses on using your body’s own materials to stimulate a healing response in your cells, tissues, muscles, and more.

Types of Regenerative Medicine

There are several types of regenerative medicine, but the two most popular treatments are stem cell therapy and PRP injections.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cell therapy is a regenerative medicine treatment that uses natural stem cells to produce an intense healing response within the body. When your body’s own stem cells are injected into certain problem areas, they begin to repair damaged cells, nerves, and other tissues. They can also stimulate the growth of new cells and tissues.

PRP Injections

PRP injections are another type of regenerative medicine treatment. PRP refers to “platelet-rich plasma,” which is the portion of your blood that is high in platelets. During PRP therapy, platelet-rich plasma is harvested from your own blood and injected back into specific areas of the body. This can elicit a healing response and new cell growth.

Uses for Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine can be used to treat a variety of concerns, both aesthetic and medical. The following are some of the most common uses for regenerative medicine treatments:

Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is a progressive neurological disease that impacts memory and cognitive skills. It typically occurs in the late 60s and older but can begin at younger ages. Stem cell therapy may be able to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and slow the progression of the disease by directly targeting nerve pathways and repairing damaged brain tissue.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis can cause chronic pain and impact the way your immune system functions. Regenerative medicine therapy may be a treatment option for certain autoimmune issues, helping stimulate new cell growth and strengthen the immune system.

Signs of Aging

Wrinkles, fine lines, and facial creasing are some of the most common signs of aging. Regenerative medicine, like PRP therapy, can resolve these age-related changes by stimulating new skin cell growth.

Seeking Regenerative Medicine Treatment

You may be a candidate for regenerative medicine treatment if you struggle with anything from chronic pain to hair loss. Many of these treatments are still being researched, and methods are constantly being improved. Speak to your physician about potential regenerative medicine therapy for your concerns.

Contact Us

If you’re interested in learning more about innovative and advanced medical technologies like regenerative medicine treatment, contact Stemedix today to learn more about the treatment options we have to offer!

7 Ways to Practice Breathwork for Beginners

7 Ways to Practice Breathwork for Beginners

Breathwork is a form of mindfulness that offers several physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. Often, people develop the unconscious habit of shallow breathing, which can trigger stress in the body and simulate a fight-or-flight response. 

Breathwork exercises use deep, diaphragmic breathing to increase oxygen and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and calming the body and mind. Beginners can include breathwork in their daily lives in seven simple ways. 

1.  Diaphragm Breathing

Diaphragm breathing is a primary breathwork practice. Start by sitting or lying down. Rest one hand on your chest and the other on your belly. Slowly inhale using your nose and feel your belly rise. Next, let the breath out through your mouth and feel the belly soften.

2. Box Breathing

Box breathing follows a pattern of 4-4-4-4. Inhale, hold your breath, exhale, and pause, each on the count of four. 

3. Alternate Nostril Controlled Breathing

This exercise focuses on breathing through one nostril at a time. Sitting upright, block your left nostril with your left thumb. Slowly breathe in through the right nostril, then release your hold on your left nostril and use your third finger to block your right nostril. 

Pause at the top of your inhalation before exhaling through your left nostril. Pause again, then inhale through your left nostril, and switch your fingers again, this time closing your left nostril with your thumb.

4. Ocean-Sounding Breath

Also known as the Ujjayi breath, the ocean-sounding breath is a popular yoga technique to create an audible breath. Start by inhaling through the nose. As you slowly exhale, contract your throat to make a gentle ocean sound. 

5. Four-Seven-Eight Breathing

A form of rhythmic breathing known as four-seven-eight breathing can relax the body, improve sleep, and offer mental and physical health benefits.

Sitting or lying down comfortably, inhale for four seconds. Hold the inhale for seven seconds before exhaling for eight seconds.

6. Pursed Lip Breathing

Pursed lip breathing slows the breath and corrects breathing patterns. Start by sitting comfortably, relaxing your neck and shoulders. Next, breathe in with your nose as you count to two, then purse your lips as you exhale through your mouth as you count to four.

7. Resonance Breathing

Resonance breathing intends to relax your body and mind while reducing anxiety. 

Start lying down with your eyes closed. Gently breathe in through your nose with your mouth shut for six seconds. Don’t overfill your lungs. Exhale slowly over six seconds, gently allowing your breath to leave your body. 

Whichever method you choose, incorporating breathwork into your daily routine can make a difference in your health.

For more health awareness blogs, please visit www.stemedix.com/blog.

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