Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Overview of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin is required for neurological health, and also for healthy red blood cells. In animal products like meat, fish, eggs etc, the vitamin has been mainly found. So, people are advised to get their dose of vitamin B12 from dietary supplements, who does not consume meat. Foods such as soya milk are sometimes fortified with vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is not produced in the body. Hence, it is advised to take in through food. The brain and the nervous system need this vitamin to function efficiently, it is also required for the release of energy from the cells. Furthermore, it is required for the creation of new, healthy red blood cells.

To keep the body's nerves and blood cells healthy, vitamin B12 acts as a nutrient, and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. A type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak, which can be prevented with the help of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes

In older people, the capacity to absorb vitamin B12 gets lowered. It also occurs if you have undergone weight loss surgery or if you are drunk heavily. Other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  1. Pernicious anemia makes it hard for our body to absorb vitamin B12.

  2. Atrophic gastritis in which the stomach lining gets thinned.

  3. The vitamin absorbing capacity of the body is being reduced by the pernicious anemia.

  4. It affects our small intestine, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite.

  5. Graves' disease or lupus, these types of disorders of the immune system.

  6. Medicines that inhibit the uptake of vitamin B12.

  7. There are certain medications that interfere with the absorption of B12. This includes some heartburn medicines including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), pantoprazole (Protonix), and rabeprazole (Aciphex), H2 Blockers such as cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid AC), and certain diabetes medicines such as metformin (Glucophage).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

A wide range of symptoms could be seen for deficiency of Vitamin B12. The symptoms usually develop gradually, if the condition goes untreated, it can worsen. Where we have fewer red blood cells than normal or we have an abnormally low amount of a substance called haemoglobin in each red blood cell is known as anaemia.

The implications can range from minor to potentially irreversible damage, when the body does not receive enough vitamin B12. Usual symptoms include:

  1. Loss of appetite

  2. Weight loss

  3. Constipation

  4. Anaemia

  5. Brain and nerve damage can be caused with the deficiency of vitamin B12. 

  6. Dementia

  7. Depression

  8. Significantly increase the risk of psychosis

  9. Pale skin

  10. Noticeable heartbeats

  11. It can cause symptoms that are hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus).

If we make a conclusion the quality of our life can be negatively affected by the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. This vitamin deficiency can even bring about diseases. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that diets or supplements rich in vitamin B12 are consumed.

Fun Facts

  1. Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system is being helped by this vitamin. Your metabolism wouldn't run smoothly without it. But B12 isn't like other vitamins. It's only found in animal products like eggs, meat, shellfish, and dairy. Up to 15% of people don't get enough B12, and they're more likely to be vegetarians, have celiac disease or other digestive issues, or be an adult over 50.

  2. Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal products. So if we consist of plant-based foods largely  such as fruits, veggies, beans, and soy, you're at risk for deficiency. Vegans need to take a supplement or consume vitamin B12, fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal, and grains who by definition consume no animal products. Non dairy milks and meat substitutes included other foods fortified with B12.

  3. When we age, our stomach produces less acid, and stomach acid is key for B12 absorption. About one in 31 adults over 50 are deficient, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  4. Women who have been on oral contraceptives for extended periods of time tend to have issues absorbing vitamin B12. It has been seen through study that pills that are higher in estrogen are more strongly associated with B12 and folate (folic acid, or vitamin B6) deficiencies, leading to the assumption that the estrogen in the pill is the reason for this impaired absorption.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What Happens if Our Vitamin B12 is Low?

Ans. The common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is weakness, and fatigue. They occur because our body doesn't have enough vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout our body. As a result, we are unable to efficiently transport oxygen to your body's cells, making you feel tired and weak.

2. How Much B12 Should we Take a Day and How Long does it take to Recover from Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Ans. For adults, the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms, we can safely take higher doses. Our body absorbs only as much as it needs, and any excess passes through your urine. High doses of vitamin B12, such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause: Dizziness.

Usually within 48 to 72 hours a response received, with brisk production of new red blood cells. Injections of vitamin B12 will be needed every one to three months to prevent symptoms from returning, once B12 reserves reach normal levels.