Treatment Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 supplements
For people with nerve damage, vitamin B12 given by injection
Older people with vitamin B12 deficiency benefit from taking vitamin B12 supplements because the deficiency usually results from difficulty absorbing the vitamin from meat. They can absorb the vitamin more easily from supplements than from meat.
Treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia consists of high doses of vitamin B12 supplements. If people have the deficiency but no symptoms, the vitamin may be taken by mouth. Blood tests are done periodically to make sure the vitamin B12 level returns to and remains normal.
People who have very low levels of vitamin B12 or symptoms due to nerve damage are usually given vitamin B12 by injection into a muscle. Injections, which may be self-administered, are given daily or weekly for several weeks until the vitamin B12 level returns to normal. Then injections are given once a month indefinitely, unless the disorder causing the deficiency can be corrected.
Anemia usually resolves in about 6 weeks. But if severe symptoms due to nerve damage last for months or years, they may become permanent. In most older people with vitamin B12 deficiency and dementia, mental function does not improve after treatment.
B12 Deficiency: Who Is At Risk
Most healthy adults get sufficient B12 from their regular diet. However, it is common for older people to have some level of B12 deficiency. This is often due to a poor diet and less stomach acid, which the body needs to absorb B12 from food.
Certain conditions and drugs also can interfere with absorption and increase your deficiency risk. For example, Crohn’s disease, pancreatic disease, diabetes, and heartburn medication, which reduces stomach acid. Vegans and vegetarians sometimes have trouble consuming enough B12 since many food sources are found in animal products like meat and dairy.
Low levels of B12 can cause fatigue, nervousness, dizziness, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and toes. Severe, long-term deficiency may lead to loss of mobility, problems walking, or memory loss.
A blood test from your doctor can measure B12 levels. A serious deficiency can be corrected with B12 shots or high-dose supplements.
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin B12
Getting the correct amount of vitamin B12 each and every day may have the following benefits:
- Contribute to energy yielding metabolism from food when its digested.
- Helping your nervous system function correctly.
- Ensure oxygen can travel freely around the body by supporting the formation of red blood cells
- Can help reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue
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Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The human liver stores several years worth of vitamin B12, so having a deficiency isnt very common. However, its important to know what your levels are, after all, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and affect brain function. A few symptoms of B12 deficiency include: Conditions of the small intestine , anemia, fatigue, constipation, poor balance, memory loss, shortness of breath, and more.
Nanotechnologies Used In Vitamin B12 Supplementation
Conventional administration does not ensure specific distribution and controlled release of vitamin B12. Moreover, therapeutic protocols involving injection require health care people and commuting of patients to the hospital thus increasing the cost of the treatment and impairing the lifestyle of patients. Targeted delivery of vitamin B12 is a major focus of modern prescriptions. For example, conveying the vitamin to the bone marrow and nerve cells would help myelin recovery. Currently, several nanocarriers strategies are being developed for improving vitamin B12 delivery with the aim to simplify administration, reduce costs, improve pharmacokinetics, and ameliorate the quality of patients’ lives.
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Why Vitamin B12 Is Important
The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out other functions. The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms a day. Like most vitamins, B12cant be made by the body. Instead, it must be gotten from food or supplements.
And therein lies the problem: Some people dont consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others cant absorb enough, no matter how much they take in. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.
What Is A Vitamin B12 Blood Test
If you went to your GP with a suspected low vitamin B12 level, a B12 deficiency, or pernicious anaemia one of the first things they would do is book you in for a blood test.6
These vitamin B12 deficiency tests check:
- The level of vitamin B12 in your blood
- Whether your red blood cells are larger than the norm
- If you have a lower-than-normal level of haemoglobin a substance that transports oxygen around the body
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This Vitamin Deficiency Could Increase Your Risk Of Death From Covid
By this point, you’ve likely heard that vitamin D may be helpful in preventing adverse symptoms from COVID-19, as it’s known to support the immune system. However, there are several other vitamins and minerals that help strengthen immunity, one of which is known as cobalamin, or vitamin B12.
However, having a B12 deficiency right now can be a serious problem. In fact, it “may unknowingly increase the death rate of this pandemic, especially in older adults,” says Sally M. Pacholok, RN, BSN, an ER nurse who’s currently caring for COVID-19 patients, and the co-author of Could It Be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses.
A B12 deficiency is often misdiagnosed, yet the consequences of it can be fatalespecially for those who have contracted coronavirus and are already at high risk, Pacholok says. Inadequate B12 levels can suppress the immune system and inhibit the body’s ability to produce antibodies to viral infections. Severe deficiencies can even cause hyperhomocysteinemia, a condition that can cause fatal blood clots to form in the brain, lungs, and lower leg.
More people suffer from low vitamin B12 levels than you may think. In fact, Pacholok says that as many as 1 in 6 Americans are deficient. “B12 deficiency strikes all ages, races, and socioeconomic classes,” she says.
What Does The Department Of Health And Social Care Advise
You should be able to get the amount of niacin you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you take niacin supplements, do not take too much as this might be harmful.
Taking 17mg or less of nicotinic acid supplements a day, or 500mg or less of nicotinamide supplements a day, is unlikely to cause any harm.
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Food Sources Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential water-soluble micronutrient of microbial origin . It is naturally found in animal food products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, and other dairy products . Vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods, but fortified breakfast cereals are a readily available source of vitamin B12 with high bioavailability . Some nutritional yeast products also contain vitamin B12. This paper will only focus on vitamin B12 intake from natural food products, e.g. animal foods. According to recent results of the 2012-2016 Dutch Food Consumption Survey, the contribution of dairy, meat, fish, supplements, and eggs to total vitamin B12 intake is 38.5, 30, 8.5, 8.4, and 4.6%, respectively1. The nutrient dense animal food products rich in vitamin B12 are also rich in other nutrients such as zinc, iron, vitamin D, and proteins. To the best of our knowledge, interactions of vitamin B12 with these nutrients are not fully established, and it is not unlikely that associations of low vitamin B12 with health outcomes may be modified by deficiency of these nutrients or the presence of disorders that affect the digestive system. Notably, vitamin B12 and folate act together within the one-carbon metabolism, and paragraph 4.3.1 will elaborate on a potential role of high folate and low vitamin B12 status in health.
How Is It Treated
Usually, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is easy to treat with diet and vitamin supplements. To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:
- Beef, liver, and chicken
- Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese
Your doctor might recommend that you also take a vitamin B12 supplement. It comes in pills or a nasal spray. If you are very low in this vitamin, you can get higher-dose vitamin B12 shots. You may need to take vitamin B12 for the rest of your life. You might also need to get treated for the condition that causes your anemia.
But increasing your vitamin B12 levels is a key thing you can do. If you let it go for too long, it can damage your heart, brain, nerves, bones, and other organs in your body. With treatment, you should feel better and avoid any long-term problems.
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What Are The Best Sources Of Vitamin B12
The best source of vitamin B12 is animal products, including meat and dairy.
Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend you eat 1 to 3 serves a day of lean meat, poultry, fish or eggs, depending on your age and gender. The guidelines also recommend 1 to 4 serves of dairy a day, depending on your age and gender.
You can get vitamin B12 from the following foods:
Most Australians get more than enough vitamin B12 in their normal diets. If you eat more than you need, it’s stored in your liver and can be used later.
Vegetarians can get enough vitamin B12 from dairy foods and eggs. It used to be thought that plant foods such as mushrooms, spirulina, tempeh and miso contained vitamin B12, but this is not correct.
The only way for vegans to get enough is by eating foods fortified with vitamin B12 or by taking a supplement. Foods in Australia that are fortified with vitamin B12 include some soy milks, yeast spread, and vegetarian meat substitutes such as soy-based burgers and sausages.
Why We Must Have Vitamin B12
A water-soluble vitamin, vitamin B12 is essential to everybody. It has many functions and benefits, but its predominantly known for its role in helping your body produce red blood cells. It also helps the body convert food into glucosein other words, the creation of energy. Adequate levels of vitamin B12 are also required for a healthy nervous system,pregnancy, and the ability to produce DNA.
Found naturally in animal products like clams, salmon, cottage cheese, and beef, vitamin B12 is also added to fortified foods, along with oral supplementations or injections. As an omnivore, there are a variety ofdifferent ingredients with high levels of vitamin B12 however, there are certain groups of people who need supplementation. More on that, below.
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Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Some side effects of cyanocobalamin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Incidence not known
What Factors Affect B12 Injections
There are many factors involved when your body processes B12 injections. These include age, body-fat percentage, metabolic rate and activity level. How well your body absorbs B12 will also play a role in how often injections are needed. If you are B12 deficient, injections may be recommended once a month until your levels are back to normal.
B12 is extremely important for our bodys neurological and circulatory functions. All healthy cells require B12 to function properly. In fact, new cells are created with the help of vitamin B12.
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Functional Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Functional vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when people have vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms yet appear to have normal vitamin B12 levels in their blood.
This can happen if theres a problem with proteins that help transport vitamin B12 between bodily cells, which results in neurological complications involving the spinal cord.
Symptoms And Signs Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Anemia Megaloblastic Macrocytic Anemias Megaloblastic anemias result most often from deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folate. Ineffective hematopoiesis affects all cell lines but particularly red blood cells. Diagnosis is usually based… read more usually develops insidiously. It is often more severe than its symptoms indicate because its slow evolution allows physiologic adaptation.
Occasionally, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly occur. Various gastrointestinal symptoms, including weight loss and poorly localized abdominal pain, may occur. Glossitis, usually described as burning of the tongue, is uncommon.
Neurologic symptoms develop independently from and often without hematologic abnormalities.
Subacute combined degeneration refers to degenerative changes in the nervous system due to vitamin B12 deficiency they affect mostly brain and spinal cord white matter. Demyelinating or axonal peripheral neuropathies can occur.
In early stages, decreased position and vibratory sensation in the extremities is accompanied by mild to moderate weakness and hyporeflexia. In later stages, spasticity, extensor plantar responses, greater loss of position and vibratory sensation in the lower extremities, and ataxia emerge. These deficits may develop in a stocking-glove distribution. Tactile, pain, and temperature sensations are usually spared but may be difficult to assess in the elderly.
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What Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency happens when your body is either not getting enough or not absorbing enough vitamin B12 from the food that you eat that it needs to function properly. Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that helps your body make red blood cells and DNA, the genetic material in all of your cells.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause physical, neurological and psychological problems if it is not treated.
What Are Vitamin B12 Injections
As you consider the pros and cons of a vitamin B12 injection, its helpful to understand what they are and how they work. Injections are given intramuscularly, whether you visit a doctors office, med spa, or in my case, walk up to my neighborhood wellness truck. In other words, a quick shot. They can either be prescribed by a doctor or made via appointment. Some wellness centers take walk-ins too.
Injections are usually administered as hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin . These are very effective at raising blood levels of vitamin B12, thus preventing or reversing a vitamin B12 deficiency. Hydroxocobalamin, in particular, is usually the recommended option as it stays in the body longer. On average, the price of an injection costs anywhere from $20-$100.
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Main Types Of Vegetarian Diets
There are several main types of vegetarian groups: Lacto-ovo vegetarianism : many people are familiar with this type of vegetarianism, which comprises most vegetarians. Lacto indicates that a person consumes milk and milk products , and ovo means that a person consumes eggs. In general, lacto-ovo vegetarians do not consume animal meats . Some vegetarian groups are ovo only or lacto only, i.e., they consume only eggs or only milk and its products, respectively, as animal products Raw veganism : this diet is mostly or entirely based on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds Fruitarianism : this is generally a raw style of eating that primarily depends on fruits, nuts, and seeds Buddhist vegetarianism : this is a vegan diet that excludes all animal products and Allium family vegetables on ethical grounds Macrobiotic : this diet is primarily focused on grains, beans, and similar staples, including some vegetables and other whole foods. Processed foods and most animal products are strongly avoided and Jain vegetarianism : another religious dietary practice that includes dairy products, but excludes eggs and honey as well as root vegetables.
Symptoms Of B12 Deficiency
Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.
In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.
Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.
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Other Benefits Of Home Vitamin B12 Diagnostics Kits Can Include:
- No doctors appointment necessary
- Dont need to book off work / use holiday
- Do it whenever is best for you
- Quick and easy
- You have more choice over what is tested
However, it is important to keep in mind that these sorts of tests are no substitute for seeing your doctor, especially if you are suffering symptoms, as these companies will not be able to diagnose, consult or provide any treatment. But, if you just want to know for peace of mind or if you should be upping the vitamin B12 in your life, they can provide very useful.