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B12 Deficiency

B12 is sometimes called cobalamin. It is a significant nutrient which is important in maintaining a well nervous system. In addition, you will find it usually in animal products such as fish, dairy, and meat. However, it can also be obtained through fortified cereals and supplements.

B12 deficiency is a common and potentially serious condition that leads to a lot of symptoms and serious health complications. It is important for individuals to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms of B12 deficiency and to seek medical attention if they suspect they may be deficient.

Causes of B12 Deficiency 

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the body does not have enough vitamin B12 to function properly. Deficiency can be caused by a number of factors, including:

Dietary Deficiencies

One of the biggest reasons of B12 deficiency is lack of B12 in your diet. Individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet may not get enough vitamin B12 from their diet and may need to take supplements or eat fortified foods.


Lack of intrinsic factors is another reason of occurring B1 deficiency. In addition, intrinsic is a  protein produced by the stomach lining that is necessary to absorb vitamin B12. Intrinsic factor binds to vitamin B12 in the stomach, allowing it to be absorbed by the small intestine. If the body does not produce enough intrinsic factors, vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed, leading to a deficiency. This condition is known as pernicious anemia.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions can also cause B12 deficiency, such as:

  • Crohn's disease
  • HIV infection 
  •  celiac disease

These conditions can affect the body's ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food, leading to a deficiency. Some medicines can also interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 by the body, and these involve:

  • Metformin, which is used to treat diabetes. Individuals taking these medications may need to take B12 supplements to prevent deficiency.
  • proton pump inhibitors, which are used to treat acid reflux

People who take these medications may need to use B12 supplements in order to prevent deficiency.

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol consumption has been linked to B12 deficiency, which can have detrimental effects on one's health. Prolonged alcohol intake can harm the stomach and small intestine's lining, which reduces the body's ability to absorb vitamin B12. This can result in a deficiency of this crucial vitamin, leading to various health problems. Therefore, it is vital to limit alcohol consumption to prevent such deficiencies and maintain optimal health.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency 

Symptoms vary from person to person as all have different health conditions and body systems. However, here are a few common symptoms that are usually seen in folks, such as:

  • nausea 
  • Irritability 
  • Fatigue or lack of energy 
  • Tingling feeling in feet and hands or Numb 
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss 
  • Swift heart rate 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Tender and smooth tongue 
  • Trouble while walking 
  • Weak muscles

It is important to identify and address the underlying cause of the deficiency in order to effectively treat the condition and prevent serious health complications.

What are the factors considered by a doctor for B12 deficiency treatment?

There are a number of things that healthcare providers pay attention to before starting treatment for B12 deficiency. In addition, here are some crucial things that your healthcare provider may ask you, including:

  • Your medical history, like if you have any chronic health issue
  • Age 
  • Your preference or opinion 
  • How well can you handle some treatments, therapies, and medicines 


If you have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency or are at risk of developing the condition, there are several precautions you can take to help prevent the recurrence of the deficiency.

Consider a Diet Rich in Vitamins

It is advisable that you contact a good dietitian as they can make an idle diet plan for you according to this situation. In addition, they may advise you to consume the foods which are rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid, such as:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Orange 
  • Barley 
  • Wheat germ 
  • Sprouts 
  • Soybeans 
  • Peanuts 
  • Peas 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Lentils 
  • Broccoli 
  • poultry

How is B12 Deficiency Treated?

B12 deficiency can be effectively treated with vitamin B12 supplements, which can be taken orally in the form of tablets or sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue. In severe cases, injections may be necessary to quickly raise vitamin B12 levels in the body.

The amount of supplementation required depends on the severity of the deficiency, and those with malabsorption conditions may need higher doses. Fortunately, treatment is highly effective, with most individuals experiencing significant improvement in symptoms within a few weeks.

It is essential to work closely with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate treatment plan and ensure effective treatment of the deficiency.

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