Everything You Should Know About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 carries out a lot of things in your body. For example, it helps your body make red blood cells and your DNA. If you doesn’t not get adequate vitamin B12 from your diet, you can have vitamin B12 deficiency. Even stored in your liver for around 5 years, you can be deficient in vitamin B12 if your diet does not facilitate maintaining its levels in your body. A vitamin B12 test in Delhi or your local town/city can help you know its levels in your body. Here are some certain points you should know about vitamin B12 and its deficiency:

How much vitamin B12 you should get

The quantity of vitamin B12 to get varies from one person to another and depends on medical condition, age, and eating habits. By age, the average recommended amount of vitamin B12 in micrograms is as follows:

  • Infant from 0 to 6 months – 0.4 mcg 
  • Babies from 7 to 12 months – 0.5 mcg 
  • Children from 1 to 3 years – 0.9 mcg 
  • Children aged between 4 and 8 years – 1.2 mcg 
  • Children aged from 9 to 13 years – 1.8 mcg 
  • Teenagers – 2.4 mcg 
  • Adults – 2.4 mcg, 2.8 mcg if the person is carrying a pregnancy  

Sources of vitamin B12 

You can receive vitamin B12 from animal and plant based food items. Rich sources of this nutritional element include eggs, meat, and fish.  

Risk of having vitamin B12 deficiency 

Your ageing is the primary factor keeping you at a risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. It is, as your body faces issues in absorbing this vitamin as you get older. Here are some other factors causing this health issue are as follows:

  • Weight loss surgery 
  • Atrophic gastritis 
  • Pernicious anaemia 
  • Certain health issues like bacterial growth, small intestinal problems, and celiac disease
  • Heavy drinking or alcohol misuse
  • Immune system disorders 

Suggest to Read:- PCV Hematocrit Test – Everything You Should Know About It

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

You could become anaemic if you have vitamin B12 deficiency. A mild deficiency may not make you notice any signs. However, it can make you experience the following symptoms if you leave it untreated:

  • Lightheadedness, weakness, or tiredness 
  • Breath shortness/heart palpitation 
  • A smoother tongue 
  • Yellowish or pale skin 
  • Loss of appetite, diarrhoea, gas, or constipation 
  • Nerve issues like muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness 
  • Vision loss 
  • Depression, behavioural changes, or memory loss 

Diagnosis and treatment  

Usually, a vitamin B12 test can help you detect the level of this vitamin in your body. However, based on your symptoms and severity, your doctor might advise some other tests to diagnose and treat it. After going through the reports of the recommended tests, the doctor will ask you to take medicines and supplements to lower symptom severity levels. Further, the doctor will advise you to eat vitamin B12 rich food items that could be:

  • Fortified grains 
  • Vitamin B12 injections and supplements 
  • Meat 
  • Seafood 
  • Eggs 
  • Dairy products like milk and cheese

Take away 

Vitamin B12 is a helpful nutritional element for your body that facilitates the production of DNA and red blood cells. Any irregularity in its levels or absorption process can lead you to have vitamin B12 deficiency. Having an idea about its symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment can help you take care of yourself if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.