Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: Are you getting enough vitamin B12? You need to make sure that you can stay healthy.
Vitamin B12 has many effects on your body. For example, it helps produce DNA and red blood cells.
Since your body does not produce vitamin B12, it should be obtained from foods or supplements of animal origin. And you should do this regularly, because your body does not store vitamin B12 for very long.
How much do you get?
The answer depends on your age, your eating habits, your medical condition and the medications you are taking.
The average recommended dose (in micrograms (mcg)) varies with age:
- Babies under six months: 0.4 mcg
- Infants 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- Children 1-3 years old: 0.9 mcg
- Children 4-8 years old: 1.2 mcg
- Children 9-13 years old: 1.8 mcg
- Teens 14-18 years old: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant women, 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
- Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant women, 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
Food sources of vitamin B12
You can get vitamin B12 from foods of animal origin, which contain it naturally, or from products that have been fortified with it.
Animal sources include dairy product, eggs, fish, meat, and poultry. If you are looking for a food fortified with vitamin B12, check the product’s nutritional information label.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Most people in the United States get enough of this nutrient. If in doubt, ask your doctor if you need to have a blood test to check your vitamin B12 levels.
With age, it may be more difficult to absorb this vitamin. It can also happen if you’ve had weight loss surgery or another operation that removed part of your stomach, or if you drink a lot.
You may be at greater risk of vitamin B12 deficiency if you have the following diseases:
- Atrophic gastritis, in which the lining of the stomach thins.
- Pernicious anemia, which prevents your body from absorbing vitamin B12
- Conditions that affect the small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
- Immune system diseases, such as Graves disease or lupus
- You have taken certain medicines which interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12. This includes some heartburn medications, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), pantoprazole ( Protonix) and rabeprazole (Aciphex), H2 blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet)) and famotidine (Pepcid AC); and some diabetes medicines, such as metformin (Glucophage).
You may also be deficient in vitamin B12 if you are following a vegan diet (meaning you don’t eat animal products like meat, milk, cheese, and eggs) or if you are a vegetarian and don’t not eating enough eggs or dairy products. products to meet your needs. vitamin B12 requirements. Either way, you can add fortified foods to your diet or take supplements to meet this need.
Pregnant or new mother?
Are you a pregnant woman on a vegan or vegetarian diet and planning to breastfeed your baby on your own? You should talk to your doctor before having your baby, so that you have a plan on how to get enough vitamin B12 to keep your baby healthy.
Without enough vitamin B12, your baby may be delayed and unable to develop normally.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
If you are deficient in vitamin B12, you will have anemia. Mild deficiency may not cause symptoms. However, if left untreated, it may cause the following symptoms:
- Weakness, fatigue or dizziness Heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
- Pale skin
- A sweet tongue
- Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite or gas
- Nerve problems, such as numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and difficulty walking..
- Loss of vision
- Mental problems, such as depression, memory loss, or changes in behavior.
If you have pernicious anemia or have trouble absorbing vitamin B12, you need to inject this vitamin first. You may need to continue to receive these injections, then taking high doses of a supplement by mouth or nasally.
If you don’t eat animal products, you can choose. You can change your diet to include cereals fortified with vitamin B12, a B12 supplement or injections, or a high dose of oral vitamin B12 if you are deficient.
Older people with vitamin B12 deficiency may need to take a daily B12 supplement or a multivitamin containing B12.
For most people, treatment solves the problem. However, any nerve damage that occurs due to the deficiency can be permanent.
Most people can prevent vitamin B12 deficiency by eating plenty of meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and eggs.
If you do not consume animal products or have a health problem that limits the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, you can take vitamin B12 in a multivitamin or other supplement and fortified foods. in vitamin B12.
If you decide to take vitamin B12 supplements, tell your doctor how much you need or make sure they don’t affect the medications you are taking.