Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Recent studies show that around 39% of women are suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. But experts later on found out that many still suffer from this condition despite the normal results revealed by diagnostic tests. If you experience memory lapses, muscle weakness, poor balance, tingling of extremities, sleeping difficulties, anxiety and more colds in a year; then, you could have B12 vitamin deficiency. But what is Vitamin B12 and how important is it? Let’s find out.

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Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the daily production of new body cells like the red blood cells. The best food sources of vitamin B12 are meat, eggs, milk and fish but not found in veggies and fruits. A balanced diet normally contains sufficient amounts of this essential vitamin and when it is lacking, it usually results to anemia as well as other health conditions.

Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

There are contributing factors that could cause Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Here are as follows.

• Pernicious anemia – this refers to the medical condition wherein vitamin B12 is not absorbed by the body due to the absence of intrinsic factor during gastric secretions. Women are commonly afflicted by this condition than men and seem to run within the family. Besides, people with preexisting auto-immune disorder like vitiligo, thyroid disorder or Addision’s disease are prone to develop pernicious anemia. However, blood test will confirm the presence of pernicious anemia antibodies and can be easily treated with regular vitamin B12 injections.

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• Gut problems – these stomach problems include surgical removal of small intestine endings which makes it impossible for vitamin B12 absorption; certain diseases affecting the endings of small intestine like Crohn’s disease; certain stomach condition that affect the secretion of intrinsic factor essential for the absorption of vitamin B12.

• Medications – some drugs that are used in treating certain health conditions, like metformin, affect vitamin B12 absorption. Anticonvulsants used in treating epilepsy as well as neomycin and colchicines also affect absorption of B12.

Treatment for Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

Treatment is not initiated unless the underlying cause is confirmed. After which, physicians may recommend the treatment method that corresponds to the particular cause of your vitamin B12 deficiency. In most cases, though, several treatment methods are conducted simultaneously for better results.

• Vitamin B12 supplementation – Once the amount of vitamin B12 has reached the normal range, the body will then make more RBC and symptoms may gradually improve and disappear. This may mean taking the supplements for life to avoid recurrence of the disease.

• Vitamin B12 injections/shots/patches – these are usually covered by most insurance policies; hence, don’t be reluctant to visit your physician and have shots of vitamin B12. Besides, vitamin B12 patch is another effective treatment method which also has the same effectiveness of vitamin B12 shots. However, ensure not to put them on sensitive areas and once you notice some rashes, inform your physician right away.

• Avoid taking antacids – antacids are known to increase vitamin B12 deficiency because it restricts the production of hydrochloric acids which are essential to the absorption of vitamin B12.

Eating a balance diet that contains adequate amount of vitamin B12, is the finest precautionary measure you can take to spare yourself from developing vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.

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