Vitamin B12 Deficiency : Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 Deficiency may lead to reduction in healthy red blood cells which is Anemia. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is classified into two types. They are Physical symptoms and Mental symptoms. The Physical symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are Palpitations, Fatigue, Numbness, Tingling, Pale skin, Red tongue. The Mental symptoms are Depression, Memory loss.

Why Vitamin B12 is Essential?

There are 8 B Vitamins. They are B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B12 and Folic Acid. The Vitamin B12 is soluble in water so this vitamin will not be stored in your body for too long. So, this vitamin needs to be supplied to our body constantly by means of food. The most important function done by this is strengthening the nervous system and gene (DNA & RNA). The work of the Vitamin B12 is to convert the carbohydrates to glucose and also uses fat and protein to give energy.

Combinations of B vitamins

Sometimes the B vitamins combines to produce or maintain a process. The Combination of Vitamin B6, B9 and B12  controls the blood levels of amino acid. The Combination of Vitamin B12 and Folic acid is used to produce RBC (Red Blood Cells).

Vitamin B12 Intake

Babies below the age of 1 year needs to intake 0.4 mcg (Micrograms) to 0.5 mcg. If you are an Adult your intake should be 2.4 mcg. And if you are pregnant women and Breast feeding Mother your intake should be 2.6 to 2.8 mcg.

Source of Vitamin B12

In our daily life we are not taking our foods as per the vitamins and proteins needed so we need to know from where do we get the Vitamin B12. The human body don’t have the capacity to produce Vitamin B12. Even the Plants don’t have the capacity to produce it. The Vitamin B12 is completely given by our foods. The products which we get from animal contains this vitamin. Most of the Vitamin B12 are given by meat, egg, milk and supplements. This is the reason why vegetarian peoples easily gets Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Mental Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Memory loss
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Dementia

Physical Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 deficiency

  • Anemia, Fatigue, Shortness of Breath
  • Nausea, Vomiting, Heartburn, Bloating
  • Skin lesions, Vitiligo, Sore tongue

Who are all at risk?

  • Infants

As per the studies it is said that Vitamin B12 deficiency  comes commonly to babies born to vegetarian mothers are 45%. Because both the born or unborn babies needed to give a better attention about this deficiency. If the mother is a vegetarian she may have less vitamins the breast milk given to the baby also may not have vitamin B12 so it is quite risk for babies.

  • Age above 50 years

As per the studies there are more chances of vitamin B12 deficiency increases when you are getting older. And they also give us a statistics that people who are above 60 age have this deficiency with a percentage of 10 to 15.

Because of this vitamin B12 deficiency people those who are above 50 age have possibilities of neurological changes.

  • Drinkers

If you are a heavy drinker you have more chances of getting this B12 deficiency. Because too much of alcohol drinking is connected with the deficiency. If you are a drinker and if you have liver disease you have more possibilities to get this deficiency.

  • Who have done Bariatric surgery (weight loss surgery)

If you have done a weight loss surgery then there are more possibilities to have this vitamin B12 deficiency. Because whenever a when loss surgery is done the stomach is made into small size and your small intestine will get into a gastric binding. This makes you to eat less amount of food and you will not feel hungry. Then absorption of nutrients is less so it leads to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Does Vitamin B12 deficiency comes from Gene?

As per a research done and published in a journal about Genetics it is said that Vitamin B12 could also become genetic disease. Sometimes the genetic mutation may absorb the vitamin into the body so it may become a genetic disease.

Could it be treated?

The Vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated but it is based on the cause of the deficiency. The first thing we need to know is that what type of deficiency is this. Because the deficiency comes from diet related or non- diet related deficiency.

If your deficiency is diet related you need to change your diet plan and you need to take the foods which contains B12. As mentioned above B12 are mostly given by animal products so u need to start that. If you are a vegetarian you need to start the process with prior steps.

If your deficiency is non- diet related deficiency you need to consult a doctor and you need to inject an injection which contains B12 vitamin. And other types of deficiency are treated as per the symptoms.


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