Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Lack of Vitamin B12 people will have low red blood cell count which also known as Anemia. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Fatigue, lack of energy, or light-headedness when standing up or with exertion
- Loss of appetite
- Pale skin
- Swollen, red tongue or bleeding gums
- Problems concentrating
- Shortness of breath, mostly during exercise
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
In order to provide vitamin B12 to your cells:
- You must eat plenty of foods that contain vitamin B12, such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products.
- Your body must absorb enough vitamin B12. A special protein, called intrinsic factor, helps your body do this. This protein is released by cells in the stomach.
A lack of vitamin B12 may be due to dietary factors, including:
- Eating a vegetarian diet
- Poor diet in infants
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy
Certain health conditions can make it difficult for your body to absorb enough vitamin B12. They include:
- Chronic alcoholism
- Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, infection with the fish tapeworm, or other problems that make it difficult for your body to digest foods
- Taking antacids and other heartburn medicines for a long period of time
- Surgeries that remove certain parts of your stomach or small intestine, such as some weight-loss surgeries
What is the treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency?
You will need vitamin B12 injections. Normally, about six injections are given at first, one every 2-4 days. This quickly builds up the body’s store of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. Once a store of vitamin B12 has built up, this can supply the body’s needs for several months. An injection is then only usually needed every three months to top up the supply.
There is a small group of people with vitamin B12 deficiency who report that their symptoms come back (recur) before the usual three-monthly treatment dose. Therefore, some people have injections more often than three-monthly. But, this is not common and is best discussed with your doctor.
We offer Vitamin B12 Injections as part of our package.
The symptoms of anaemia usually improve quickly once treatment has begun. You may be advised to have a blood test every year or so. This will check that the anaemia is being treated successfully. A blood test may also be done to see that your thyroid gland is working well. (Thyroid problems are more common in people with pernicious anaemia)
Any psychological or nerve problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency may take much longer to treat and may not fully resolve with treatment. Prolonged or severe vitamin B12 deficiency may therefore cause permanent brain or nerve damage.
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