Vitamin B12 and Your Health

Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can have some serious complications on your health. Many people do not get the required quantity of B12 that is essential to their body.

Vitamin B12 is a very important component that is required by the body. It helps in making the DNA and red blood cells.

However, if your body does not make enough Vitamin B12 and you are tested deficient of this Vitamin, then you will need to take some supplements. Animal based foods or supplements can help restore the desired quantity of Vitamin B12 in the body.

A number of factors decide on the amount of Vitamin B12 that is essential for your body. Your age, diet and medications that you take will affect the amount of Vitamin B12 that is essential to your body.  Vitamin B12 forms part of Alpha Levo IQ.

Causes of Deficiency of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 shortage can be caused due to a number of reasons.

· If the stomach lining has become weak due to Atrophic gastritis

· If you have Pernicious anaemia that makes it difficult for your body to take in Vitamin B12

· If you had a surgery where a part of your stomach or the small intestine had been removed

· Crohn’s disease or bacterial growth which affects the small intestine can lead to less absorption of Vitamin B12

· If you are a heavy drinker, it can reduce the Vitamin B12 absorption of your body.

· If you have any immune system disorders

· If you have been using acid reduction drugs for a long time, it may cause Vitamin B12 deficiency. The acids in the stomach help in breaking down the animal proteins which have Vitamin B12.

Vegetarians Suffer from Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vegetarians, in particular, tend to have a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Vegetarians are classified as those who do not eat animal products like chicken and meat as well as milk, eggs and cheese. Those mothers who are Vitamin B12 deficient are prone to have babies who may also not have the required levels of Vitamin B6 in their bodies. Vegetarians can take supplements or eat the fortified grains which are rich in Vitamin B12.

The deficiency level of Vitamin B12 in the body also increases as per age

Women on Oral Contraception Tend to Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Women who take oral contraception for a long period of time tend to face problems related to Vitamin B12 deficiency. The pills are very high in oestrogen. This is associated very strongly with deficient of Vitamin B12 as well as folate. This is the reason for the impaired absorption of Vitamin B12 into the body.

If you are on oral contraceptives, then you must seek advice from a doctor and get your Vitamin B12 levels checked. There are risks involved due to Vitamin B12 deficiency and thus, you should seek doctor advice without delay. The doctor will prescribe a blood test and then as per the deficiency level suggest you a Vitamin B12 supplement dosage. If you are planning to conceive, then get this check-up done without delay. Vitamin B12 deficiency can hamper your baby’s development too.

Symptoms That Indicate That You Are Vitamin B12 Deficient

Excess of Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anaemia. A mild symptom may go unnoticed but if it is not treated at the correct time then, it may progress and give way to further complications.

A few symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency include

· Weakness and tiredness

· Short breath and heart palpitations

· Pale skin

· Constipation or diarrhoea

· Loss of appetite

· Smooth tongue

· Nerve problems like tingling and being unable to walk

· Mental problems like a loss of memory and depression.

In case you experience any of the above symptoms then it is advised that you visit your doctor immediately. He will prescribe a blood test to monitor the Vitamin B12 deficiency level in your body and then prescribe supplements accordingly.

How to Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

If you are prone to Vitamin B12 deficiency and if your doctor advises you so, then you will need to include the Vitamin B12 into your body with injections. These injections need to be continued for a very long time. The doctor may also advise you a high dose of oral drops or a nasal therapy which will have to be continued for life.

If you do not eat animal products, then you should get yourself checked for Vitamin B12 deficiency. Make it a point to include a lot of fortified grains or supplement the B12 in your body in the form of injections or oral Vitamins.

Elderly people should take a B12 supplement or a B12 rich multivitamin tablet on a regular basis. This is because with age the body stops absorbing the required quantity of Vitamin B12.

People normally get cured of the Vitamin B12 deficiency after treatment. However, if there is any nerve damage due to the deficiency, then it could stay permanent and never heal even after many treatments.

How to Prevent Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

You can prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency in your body by following a diet rich in Vitamin B12. You should eat enough meat and poultry. Include a lot of milk and eggs into your diet.

If you are averse to animal products or in case you have any medical condition that limits the absorption of Vitamin B12 into your body, then you may need to take B12 supplements. There are a number of multivitamins rich in Vitamin B12 that can be consumed. Include a lot of breakfast cereals rich in Vitamin B12 into your diet on a regular basis.

However, it is not advised that you take the supplements without consulting a doctor. Excess dosage of Vitamin B12 is also not recommended as it may lead to other complications. You should consult a doctor and take the dosage only as per his prescription. Many a times the Vitamin B12 supplement may affect other medications. You should make it a point to inform your health practitioner about any other medication that you may be on.

This will help him prescribe you the correct dosage without interfering with the treatment of other medicines.