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Dangers of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Cobalamin, or vitamin B12, is a vital water-soluble vitamin. It plays a very important role in the production of DNA and red blood cells. Vitamin B12 is also essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is naturally found in dairy products, eggs, meat, fish, and poultry. It is also found in fortified products with B12 like plant-based milk and some varieties of bread.

Vitamin B12 dissolves in water, travels through the bloodstream, and is absorbed in the intestines. The excess amount is stored in the liver and the body can store it for 4 years. Rest of the vitamin B12 is excreted in the urine. Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common and is seen in almost 40% of the population. Elderly, vegetarians, pregnant women, and individuals with intestinal and renal disorders are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Atrophic gastritis, immune system disorders, and pernicious anemia are some amongst many vitamin B-12 deficiency causes.

As vitamin B12 is vital for bodily functions, its deficiency can cause the below-mentioned dangers:

• Glossitis and Mouth Ulcers: Glossitis is the term used for inflammation of the tongue. According to research, inflamed and swollen tongue is associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Some of the other oral symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are a sensation of pins and needles in the tongue, mouth ulcers, and burning sensation in the mouth.

• Megaloblastic Anemia: Megaloblastic anemia refers to morphological abnormalities of the hemopoietic cells (immature cells that develop into various type of blood cells), which include abnormally large red blood cell precursors (megaloblasts). Erythropoiesis is a process by which the body produces red blood cells. Vitamin B 12 deficiency results in abnormal nuclear maturation, ineffective erythropoiesis, and a reduction in the rate of biosynthesis, resulting in megaloblastic anemia.

• Impaired Vision: Blurred or disturbed vision is one of the common vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. When B12 deficiency is not corrected it causes damage to the optic nerve, which is responsible for normal functioning of the eyes. This damage disrupts the signals from your eye to the brain, impairing vision. This condition is known as optic neuropathy and can be reversed by taking vitamin B12 supplements.

• Mood Disorders: Low levels of vitamin B12 are associated with brain and mood disorders like dementia and depression. Low level of homocysteine, related to vitamin B12 deficiency, is seen to damage the brain tissue. It also affects the signals to and from the brain, resulting in mood changes. Moreover, supplementing with vitamin b12 in deficient individuals can reverse these symptoms.

• Abnormal Sensations: Nerve damage is the most serious complication associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Myelin is a protein that protects and insulates the nerves. Vitamin B12 is an important contributor in the metabolic pathway responsible in the production of myelin. In the absence of vitamin B12, myelin is not produced normally, resulting in nervous system disorders. Paresthesia, the sensation of pins and needles, is one of its common signs.

• Mobility Disorders: Nervous system damage caused by vitamin B12 deficiency can alter coordination and balance while walking, increasing the risk of falling. Vitamin B12 deficiency should be suspected as one the cause of fall, especially in the elderly. Preventing and treating vitamin B12 deficiency is seen to improve mobility.

Consuming enough seafood, meat, dairy products, eggs, and poultry is seen to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. If you are a vegetarian or suffer from a disorder that limits your absorption of nutrients, taking B12 supplement or foods fortified with vitamin B12 can help in preventing the dangers associated with it. However, higher level of vitamin B12 has health risks and you should consult a doctor before taking a supplement of vitamin B12.

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::: To efficiently and effectively resolve hospital bed and hospital staff housing deficits nationwide, cargo architecture firm Three Squared designs two custom-outfitted mobile shipping container units—one housing multiple hospital beds for patients, another for housing attending medical staff—complete with electrical and full bathrooms :::


Amid throngs of daily reports lamenting the critical lack of hospital beds and similar space shortage concerns for morgues in the wake of COVID-19, with makeshift tents being erected on both fronts as a short-term “BAND-AID,” one company has been think-tanking what could be a hugely viable solution for all. Detroit-based cargo architecture firm Three Squared, whose steel cargo containers are typically used for innovative multifamily and mixed-use housing applications, is now proffering its state-of-the-art cargo container dwellings not only as relief units for hospital and morgue/mortuary overflow, but also as appropriately-appointed and climate-controlled housing units for doctors and nurses needing to stay close to those patients.

“Amid the crisis, we’ve been refocusing our residential lodging efforts to instead resolve the current hospital housing crisis,” notes Leslie Horn, CEO of Three Squared. “In consultation with several doctors who’ve shared front-line problems and needs in relation, and through concerted efforts to rally and align with other builders in the shipping container sector, we’ve identified two distinct gaps in hospital housing and successfully devised two specialized solutions to wholly resolve these needs.”

According to Horn, Three Squared’s first solution would provide direct and immediate relief for those hospitals facing a bed shortage. Specifically, a mobile cargo unit that is delivered via truck, hooked up to temporary plumbing and power, set on temporary foundations, and covered with a temporary tent structure. Each unit contains two hospital beds, also with a central bathroom with running water. The bathroom also has an exterior door so that doctors and nurses can decontaminate before leaving the unit at any time—a feature suggested by one of the consulting doctors.

Another doctor Three Squared consulted with voiced concern around the shortage of temporary housing for doctors and nurses who need to so stay close by patients while also maintaining necessary social distancing protocols. Thus, the company’s second proposed solution involves shipping container units set up in a similar fashion for use as the hospital staff relief—temporary housing for medical staff located near the patient hospital bed cargo units.

“After the pandemic has run its course and the hospital patient and staff-use shipping container structures have achieved their objectives, the cargo units will be picked back up and delivered to a final ‘afterlife’ resting place as housing for homeless, veterans, disaster relief, college dormitories, food growing operations and more. They can also be easily stacked and stand ‘at-the-ready’ to assist in future disaster relief efforts,” Horn notes.

States from coast to coast are facing the reality of hospital and morgue space shortages. As these facilitates scramble to increase capacity, even employing options that present a myriad of downsides and even added challenges, Horn asserts that it’s imperative for the solution to this issue be one that not only can be deployed quickly, but also effectively for however long it needs to be utilized.

“Three Squared’s extensive knowledge and experience in building with standard ISO shipping containers allows us to pivot our focus from affordable multifamily housing structures to fill this immediate medical need, promptly and most efficaciously,” Horn said. “Our particularized craft of architecture has the ability to expedite the construction process and get temporary and even permanent buildings to high need areas in less than half the time as conventional methods. This speed is key for meeting these demands and is one of the key advantages of cargo architecture.”

Not only that, Horn also indicated that the company has devised a streamlined process from design, budgeting and bidding, all the way through fabrication and delivery. With current operations, its team reportedly has the capability to acquire, modify and deliver two shipping container units per week—also with the highly scalable option to ramp up production to meet increased needs, as necessary.

Horn also underscored that, as a company, Three Squared continues to seek feedback and opportunity for collaboration to assist those tirelessly working to care for patients and manage the current COVID-19 healthcare crisis. “We understand that buildings of any scale are the product of no one person, but rather the efforts of many people working together to create the best possible functionality,” she said. “Our staff is devoted to being good stewards and use our residential housing skills, knowledge and experience to do anything we can to help support healthcare workers during these unprecedented times.”

Given Three Squared’s sustainable and eco-friendly housing units are billed as being “faster, stronger and more energy efficient”—and considering the specialized adaptations mentioned above—this cargo architecture company just might have devised the definitive quick fix to stave off this seemingly imminent disaster.


As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List,” Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist. As a prolific branding and marketplace trends pundit, Merilee spotlights noteworthy industry innovators, change makers, movers and shakers. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events across all categories. Connect with her at / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIN


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