- Most vitamin B12 is found in foods of animal origin: offal, seafood, meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Therefore, B12 deficiency is particularly common among vegans.
- According to the Sick Pancreas, people with a deficiency can suffer from anemia, paleness, shortness of breath, chronic fatigue, palpitations, headaches, dizziness, problems with concentration, motivation, etc.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency can also affect the brain and spinal cord, causing neurological damage and motor disorders, according to ANSES. Finally, some patients also suffer from irritability, memory and mood disorders.
Vitamin B12 in food is quite rare and is mainly found only in foods of animal origin. 4 micrograms (µg) of vitamin B12 per day is sufficient for adults over 18 years of age. ANSES. However, they are not guaranteed, there is a risk of deficiency that can negatively affect overall health and quality of life.
Diane CressAssociate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University (Michigan, USA), returns for Conversation about the health consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: what are the symptoms?
“One of the main symptoms of B12 deficiency is fatigue, a high level of tiredness or exhaustion that affects daily activities.a nutritionist begins.
“Other symptoms are neurological and can include tingling in the limbs, confusion, memory loss, depression and difficulty maintaining balance.” Some of them may be permanent if the vitamin deficiency is not treated”she adds.
However, despite these signs, it can be difficult for doctors and other health care providers to diagnose a deficiency because there are so many possible causes for these symptoms. Some healthy eaters may also believe that they cannot be deficient in vitamins.
What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?
However, absorption of vitamin B12 by the body during digestion is a a very complicated process, as Diane Cress explains. And when at some point in the various stages of absorption, there is a risk of deficiency, even if we have enough vitamin B12 in our diet. Salivaespecially important for the body to absorb B12.
gold, certain medicines inhibits our ability to absorb vitamin B12, resulting in dry mouth and insufficient saliva production. “They include opioids, inhalers, decongestants, antidepressantsthem blood pressure medication and benzodiazepinessuch as Xanax, used to treat anxiety.drugs that are widely prescribed, says Diane Cress.
Another possible cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is low stomach acid. In particular, it can be caused by prescription ulcer medications that reduce the amount of stomach acid that causes ulcers. “Scientists have firmly established a the relationship between the use of these drugs and vitamin B12 deficiency“emphasizes the nutritionist.
To the list of common causes of B12 deficiency we can also include a insufficient pancreatic function – for approximately one third of patients with impaired pancreatic function develop deficiency vitamin B12 – and metformin, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, which has been around for a long time related due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Finally, stomach acid production can also decreases with age. As a result, older people are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Treatment: How to treat vitamin B12 deficiency?
“If you have possible symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency and also have any of the above risk factors, you should see your doctor for testing.” Appropriate laboratory testing and discussion with a physician is essential to determine or rule out a possible B12 deficiency.“, the professor recommends.
“The type of treatment and recovery time depends on the cause and severity of the vitamin B12 deficiency. Full recovery can take up to a year, but it is entirely possible with proper treatment.she continues.
to treatment may be taken orally, sublingually, or nasally, or may require various injections. A B12 supplement or a balanced multivitamin diet may be enough to correct a deficiency, but Diane Cress stresses that it’s best to work with your doctor to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.