Vitamin B12 deficiency : don't let it happen !

A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, tingling sensations, difficulty walking, and diarrhea.

Intrinsic factor is a protein the body uses to absorb vitamin B12. When gastric secretions do not have enough intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 is not adequately absorbed, resulting in pernicious anemia and other problems related to low levels of vitamin B12.

Many cells in our body need vitamin B12, including nerve cells and blood cells. Inadequate vitamin B12 gradually affects sensory and motor nerves, causing neurological problems to develop over time. It is important to know that the neurological effects of vitamin B12 deficiency may be seen before anemia is diagnosed.

Other causes of vitamin B12 Deficiency include:

  • Nutrition (strict vegetarians without B12 supplementation, poor diet in infant, or poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy)
  • Infection (intestinal parasites, bacterial overgrowth)
  • Gastrointestinal disease (stomach removal surgery, celiac disease (sprue), Crohn's disease)
  • Drugs (colchicine, neomycin, tuberculosis treatment with para amino salicylic acid)
  • Metabolic disorders (methylmalonic aciduria, homocystinuria)

Monthly vitamin B12 injections are the definitive treatment to correct the vitamin B12 deficiency. This therapy corrects the anemia and may correct the neurological complications if given soon enough. Since about 1% of vitamin B12 is absorbed (even in the absence of intrinsic factor), some doctors recommend that elderly patients with gastric atrophy take oral vitamin B12 supplements in addition to monthly injections.

There is also a preparation of vitamin B12 that may be given intranasally (in the nose). A well-balanced diet is essential to provide other elements such as folic acid, iron, and vitamin C for healthy blood cell development.

Prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency

Symptoms cannot be prevented but B12 deficiency sure can ! Make sure your daily diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables to transmit to your body the energy they contain. Then, complement with a balanced health supplement to ensure your body is fed with the right quantity of vitamins.

For a balanced health supplement to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency,
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