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Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Published : Sep 08, 2021 1 mins read Updated On : Nov 25, 2022

Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin responsible for nervous development, DNA synthesis, and energy metabolism. 90% vegetarian population faces B12 deficiency. This vitamin can’t be made by the body, but some traces are stored by the body.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Clinical symptoms which can’t be overlooked if a person is B12 deficient –

  1. Extreme weight loss
  2. Anemia
  3. Gastric-related issues for a long duration
  4. Depression
  5. Parkinsonism/Alzheimer's disease [neurological disorders]
  6. Turning vegan
  7. Menstruation as well as menopausal women
  8. Alcoholism and smoking
  9. Excessive of any vitamin is also harmful and the same goes for this vitamin as well. There are some drugs like metformin (diabetes), and proton pump inhibitors [PPI] that inhibit B12 absorption.
  10. Malnutrition
  11. Low energy levels
  12. Intrinsic factors where some enzymes are deficient
  13. Low immune system (diabetes, cancer)

The recommended laboratory evaluation for patients with suspected vitamin B12 deficiency includes homo cysteine levels, complete blood count and serum vitamin B12 level, and folic acid. Taking a simple diet history can also be a useful indicator of vitamin B12 intake and adequacy. As per RDA, the requirement of B12 for adults is 2.4 mcg, for pregnant women its 2.6 mcg, and for lactating women its 2.8 mcg. To treat this deficiency, the person needs to consult a Registered Dietician for proper distribution of macro as well as micronutrients, or a physician where the doctor can help out with some nutritional supplements or medications.

For people who are vegan/, vegetarians sources include nutritional yeast, curds, fortified cereals, spirulina, low-fat cheese, fortified soy or almond milk, and nutritional supplements. For nonvegetarians there are ample sources like lean meats, yolks, chicken, etc... It’s better to get evaluated for B12 as early as possible and inculcate dietary sources along with good high biological value proteins which can help in eliminating the clinical symptoms.

Geeta Bhatia Thorat
Geeta Bhatia Thorat
Nutrition and diet

Geeta is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to right kind of diet. She has an extensive knowledge about food science which reflects in her blogs. She believes in providing most authenticated inf... Read More

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