Vitamin B12 Deficiency - Get information and read articles on Vitamin B12 Deficiency sign, symptoms, causes, treatment, prevention and diagnosis at onlymyhealth.com, your complete health guide.
Learn why vitamin B12 is important nutrient and what you can do to prevent its deficiency.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency depend on its severity. Mild deficiency may cause symptoms because of anaemia, but as deficiency worsens it may cause neurological symptoms.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a condition in which body has inadequate stores of vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for several vital functions of the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs mostly in people who have a disease or condition in which the body is unable to properly digest and absorb vitamin B12. It is a very treatable condition with medications.
Prognosis of vitamin B12 deficiency depends on the severity of deficiency. Mild deficiency may cause symptoms because of anaemia, which improves rapidly with treatment; but with worsening of B12 levels, neurological symptoms become evident and they may not respond so well to treatment.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common condition and many people who have the deficiency are not even aware of it. According to studies, it is more common in older adults and increases with age. In developing countries, it starts in younger people and persists across the life span.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated by supplements. Vitamin B12 can be given as oral vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin B12 Injections, intranasal vitamin B12 (in the nose) and sublingual vitamin B12 (placed under the tongue). In addition to vitamin B12 supplements, eating foods rich in vitamin B12, and iron and folic acid supplements are essential.
Vitamin B12 deficiency responds very well to treatment. Treatment of patients with megaloblastic anaemia with B12 supplements can completely reverse the process. Patients with neurological symptoms may not respond so well to treatment--complete resolution of symptoms occurs in some and not all patients who undergo vitamin B12 replacement. Treatment can halt further progression of the disease.
As the symptoms of B12 deficiency are non-specific, diagnosis becomes difficult without proper testing. If your doctor suspects vitamin B12 deficiency, he or she may recommend testing of serum vitamin B12 levels, complete blood count (CBC) and peripheral, and if needed testing of tissue markers of vitamin B12 deficiency.