The key to good health is taking a balanced diet. It not only provides adequate energy, but also makes up for the loss of all sorts of vitamins, proteins, minerals, etc. Usually, the deficiency of vitamins or other minerals in the body occurs when the dietary intake is inadequate. If you think you lack in a particular vitamin or mineral, do not hesitate to seek professional help as soon as possible. However, before you do the same, it is important to explore the symptoms of the deficiency and make sure that you are suffering from it. In this article, we will help you explore all about vitamin B12 deficiency.
Non-absorption of Vitamin B12 has a lot to do with its deficiency in the body. On ingestion, the acid present in the stomach breaks down Vitamin B12. A substance called intrinsic factor is also produced by the stomach. This substance binds to Vitamin B12, facilitating its absorption at the Iileum, which is the last part of the small intestine. Any irregularity in this process can hamper vitamin B12 absorption by the body, leading to a deficiency. Such deficiencies are taken care of by a qualified doctor, who prescribes you supplements for a brief period of time, to make up for that loss and then resort back to your normal diet.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency don’t occur overnight or even in a few months, rather it takes a few years for them to be observable. This is the main reason of its late diagnosis. Given here is a list of overt or observable symptoms caused by the deficiency of Vitamin B12.
- Difficulty in Breathing
- Digestive Problems
- Eye Problems
- Profound and Consistent Headaches
- Inflamed Tongue
- Lack of Balance
- Liver Enlargement
- Loss of Memory
- Neurological Damage
- Numbness or Tingling in the Hands or Feet
- Palpitation of the Heart
- Ringing Sound in the Ears
How To Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Go to a doctor first and foremost. You need at least 3 to 4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day, in your diet. The doctor will prescribe a supplement for the vitamin, so that the body makes up for that loss as quickly as possible. Do not take supplements by yourself.
- This deficiency usually affects people who are strict vegetarians. Since they do not take dairy products in their diet, they usually end up lacking in Vitamin B12. Start consuming at least dairy products on a daily basis, along with supplements.
- Increase your intake of chicken and other meat products, in order to balance the quantity of Vitamin B12 in your body.
- Eggs and other animal sources also contain a high amount of Vitamin B12. If you do not like eating meat products, you can introduce eggs in your diet. They can effectively reduce the deficiency.
- Replacement of the vitamin can also be injected in the person suffering from the deficiency. For milder cases, the supplement can be given orally and in the severe cases, an intramuscular injection can be given. It will take approximately a period of 6 weeks for the hematologic manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency to resolve.