Vitamin B12 Deficiency | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Do you have enough B12? Of course, you need it to stay healthy. Vitamin B12 Deficiency causes a lot of complications in your body.
Since the body does not produce Vitamin B12 and hence you have to take it from supplements or animal-based foods.
It is very essential for the body as it helps to make red blood cells.
There are basically 4 Stages of B12 Deficiency.
- Stage 1 is where there are low levels of B12 in the body.
- In Stage 2, low concentration is seen in cells and metabolic abnormalities.
- In stage 3, neuropsychiatric symptoms are seen where homocysteine levels are increased and MMA reduced.
- Stage 4 involves macrocytic Anemia.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes
There may be certain reasons for Vitamin B12 deficiency causes which are mentioned:
- There are chances that there are low levels of B12 Vitamin in your food supplements.
- This gets reduced in your older age or you are totally dependent on vegetation diet.
- There may be chances that your food can’t absorb enough of it from your food diet.
- There is a protein made in the stomach called “intrinsic factor” (helps to absorb food) if you don’t have enough results in Vitamin B12 Deficiency.
- If you bad bacteria in your intestines in such condition the body does not absorb Vitamin B12.
- Diseases such as Crohns, HIV or other infections also affect its level.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
If you are suffering from Vitamin B12, you get anaemic. If the condition is mild it has no symptoms but when gets chronic it may lead to
- Tiredness or weakness in the body.
- You feel fatigue and there is shortness of breath.
- You tend to face a mental problem like depression, memory loss or there are behavioural changes.
- A smooth tongue and pale skin
- Numbness or tingling, weakness in muscles or problem in walking.
- Vision loss
- Gas problems or constipation, loss of appetite.
B9 also called folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia occurs when the body produces abnormally large red blood cells that are not functioning properly.
For instance, in the case of iron deficiency anaemia, the body does not have enough iron.
There are b12 deficiency neurological symptoms as well which includes a sensation of pins and needles, weakness or fatigue, changes to mobility, mood changes, vision loss, or feeling of short breath.
In these cases, it is evident that the body is undergoing serious problem and the right food diet is required to restore the vitamin levels.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Skin Problems
There can be damage to skin as well due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency which includes hyperpigmentation, angular stomatitis, vitiligo, hair changes. Another problem Malabsorption is also due to Vitamin B12 Deficiency.
B12 Deficiency and weight gain attribute: People who are deficient in vitamin B12 might notice the scale creep upwards once they start supplementing.
The reason is the loss of appetite. Once you increase the food diet and increase your supplements you may eventually restore your lost energy and so as for weight.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Test:
You probably need a Vitamin B12 Deficiency Test. If your test shows B12 level less than 150ng/L, you will probably get tested for methylmalonic acid.
In the case of Vitamin B12 Deficiency, the levels of this substance get increased.
There is also another test called Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody (IFBA) blood test which helps in checking the Vitamin levels.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Test Cost will range around 800-1200 depending upon the lab you are contacting and the city associated.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment:
Generally involves injections called hydroxocobalamin, cyanocobalamin, mecobalamin, etc to increase the Vitamin B12 level in the body.
These injections are given in a weekly or twice weekly doses. Another treatment involves taking oral supplements which may increase the vitamin B12 levels.