Are You at the Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Imagine how it would feel if a mere action of sitting would feel like an effort? Or, if you had to push yourself to the extreme to achieve the smallest thing or the feeling of being physically drained out after a handsome sleep? That is exactly how you would feel when you are suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 can be hard to recognize because the body stores Vitamin B12 for many years before the early symptoms appear and develops quickly. This makes Vitamin B12 deficiency a serious health issue which requires immediate attention.

10 Reasons Why Vitamin B12 is Necessary

Boost Energy Levels – Vitamin B12 converts stored carbohydrates into glucose which produces energy thereby decreasing fatigue and lethargy in the body.

Boost Metabolism Activity – With the increase in energy levels, Vitamin B12 also promotes weight loss and burning more calories.

Stimulates Absorption of Folic Acid – Vitamin B12 also leads to better absorption of folic acid (Vitamin B9) which helps in releasing more energy.

Development of Red Blood Cells – Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a blood disorder known as anemia which can cause severe and permanent brain and nerve damage.

Healthy Nervous System – Vitamin B12 helps in smooth and proper functioning of brain and nerve cells in the body.

Treats Depression – Vitamin B12 can influence your emotional state and mood and keep you happy and treat depression.

Healthy Hair and Skin – Vitamin B12 is vital for RNA and DNA synthesis and cell reproduction and maintaining healthy hair and skin.

Facilitates Healthy Sleep Patterns – Vitamin B12 improves melatonin production to help you sleep better.

Regulates Homocysteine Levels – A balanced dose of Vitamin B12 and folic acid can regulate homocysteine levels in the blood plasma cells decreasing the risk of stroke, osteoporosis and heart conditions.

Regulates Brain Health – Vitamin B12 eliminates mental decline and promotes healthy functioning of the brain and neurological system.

How Do I Know If I am Suffering from Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

While it can be hard to recognize Vitamin B12 deficiency, but there are some early visible signs and symptoms, digestive problems, and immune system issues like:

  • Fatigue
  • Tingling sensation in fingers and toes
  • Poor Concentration/Memory Loss
  • Dizziness
  • Pale complexion
  • Loss of taste sensation & sore tongue
  • Feeling depressed & anxious, mood swings
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Upset Stomach/Constipation/Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss

Why is My Vitamin B12 Too Low?

There are many causes that can lead to Vitamin B12 like:

  • Heavy Consumption of Alcohol
  • Immune system disorders
  • Long-term consumption of acid-reducing drugs
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Atrophic gastritis (inflammation of the lining of the stomach)
  • Pernicious Anemia (a decrease in red blood cells when the body can’t absorb enough Vitamin B12)
  • Old Age
  • Low consumption of Vitamin B12 foods (especially vegans)

Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Hereditary?

No. However, in some cases, Vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by an inherited genetic disorder. Hence, proper genetic testing is required to determine B12 deficiencies caused by inherited disorders.

Understanding Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Vitamin B12 deficiency indicates that there is not enough B12 vitamin in your body to develop red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body. Since your body does not have adequate red blood cells you feel tired and weak and further lead to brain and nerve damage. In most cases, Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when your stomach and intestine do not absorb the vitamin. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also occur if you don’t eat enough foods that contain Vitamin B12, or when you are consuming more alcohol and taking excessive prescription and nonprescription medicines.

How Much Vitamin B12 You Need?

Now, that we know why we need Vitamin B12, the important question is what the normal range for Vitamin B12 levels are and how much do we need?

The amount of Vitamin B12 you need depends on your age. Below is the chart that can help you find your recommended daily amount of Vitamin B12.

Age (Years) Daily Amount of Recommended B12 (in micrograms)
1-3 0.9 mcg
4-8 1.2 mcg
9-13 1.8 mcg
14 and above 2.4 mcg
Pregnant Women 2.6 mcg
Breast-feeding Women 2.8 mcg

A Vitamin B12 test measures the amount of Vitamin B12 in the blood. This helps you to check for Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and other types of it like megaloblastic anemia. The test can also help you find the cause of dementia and other nervous system symptoms.

To take your Vitamin B12 test you can contact:

Phone: +91 22 66949876 / 9833141024

Email: disha@pathologylabindia.com

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-15239#2

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20924065,00.html/view-all

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/guide/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#1-2

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/tc/vitamin-b12-deficiency-anemia-topic-overview#2