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Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Published : Sep 08, 2021
  • 0 mins read
  • Updated On : Jul 27, 2022

    Vitamin B12 is a crucial vitamin responsible for nervous development, DNA synthesis and energy metabolism. 90% vegetarian population face B12 deficiency. This vitamin can’t be made by 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 since long duration
    4. Depression
    5. Parkinsonism/Alzheimer 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 same goes for this vitamin as well. There are some drugs like metformin (diabetes), proton pump inhibitors [PPI] which inhibits 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 requirements 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 Registered Dietician for proper distribution of macro as well as micro nutrients or physician where the doctor can help out with some nutritional supplements or medications.

    For people who are vegan / vegetarians sources includes 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
    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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