How to Recognize and Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Do you feel dizzy, unbalanced, weak, or fatigued? Do you have lightning or jaundiced skin? Are you on a meatless diet? Have you noticed that you are having changes in your mood? If you answered yes to any of these questions then one possible explanation is a deficiency in vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The good news is that this condition is diagnosable and relatively easy to monitor and treat. Eating a healthy diet and proper treatment with supplements or injections will usually solve this issue. Today you can even buy B12 injections online and safely administer them in the comfort of your own home, making healing more convenient than ever. Read on to learn more about what vitamin B12 is, why it matters, and what to do if you lack it.

What Is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, contributes to the development of red blood cells and DNA. It helps with the absorption of folic acid and cellular metabolism. It also is necessary for your brain and nervous system to operate properly. Some studies suggest that it also assists in the healthy functioning of the immune system. Vitamin B12 comes from the animals and animal by-products that we eat. It is not produced by the human body and plants are not a viable source for it either. 

What Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

A person who does not have a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 in his/her system has vitamin B12 deficiency. People with this condition may develop many neurological symptoms such as a feeling of pins and needles in the extremities known as paresthesia, a loss of control over balance and coordination, and problems with sight. You also might experience changes in your attitude, personality, and energy levels if you have low levels of vitamin B12. Pale or yellow skin, a swollen, red tongue, and anemia are also serious symptoms of a shortage of this B vitamin.

Who Is Most at Risk?

The individuals at greatest risk are:

– Vegans and vegetarians (particularly pregnant women following this diet)

– Elderly individuals

– People who have had a specific intestinal section surgically removed

– Heartburn sufferers who take certain antacids over long periods of time

– Diabetics taking metformin

– Those who cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 

How Is It Treated?

Most often low levels of vitamin B12 can be prevented and corrected through a healthy diet containing appropriate amounts of red meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, and fish. Regular consumption of these foods should naturally provide you with all the vitamin B12 you need. There are a few cases where additional steps might need to be taken to ensure proper B12 levels. Vegans and vegetarians, particularly when pregnant, may want to take supplements or injections and should purchase artificially strengthened foods and beverages to ensure good vitamin B12 status. Those others in the at-risk category shown above should also consider taking multivitamins and injectable or oral forms of straight vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be detrimental to your health but do not worry as it is also a recognizable condition for which doctors can test and that treatments are readily available. If you believe you might have vitamin B12 deficiency then don’t wait, talk to your doctor today and find relief.