1. One symptom of B12 deficiency is Fatigue, which is the most common symptom of people who have low levels of vitamin B12. But fatigue by itself can be a sign of almost any health condition or just that you haven't been sleeping enough! Other signs of B12 deficiency include weight loss, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, abdominal bloating and gas, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, loss of balance, and a sore, red tongue.

2. Vitamin B12 deficiencies may happen when you aren't getting the right nutrients in your diet, when your body can't absorb nutrients properly, and when you have various other problems of the digestive system.

3. Since most B12 in our diets comes from animal products, vegans are at risk for B12 deficiency. Crohn's and celiac disease, weight loss surgery, and chronic alcoholism can all interfere with a person's ability to absorb enough of the nutrients they need. Seniors have more problems with nutrient absorption and malnutrition as well.

4. Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient that helps your body make healthy red blood cells. If you have a chronic lack of B12, your body can't make the amount of red blood cells that it needs, which can lead to anemia.

5. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults over age 14 get at least 2.4 micrograms of B12 a day; pregnant or breastfeeding women need slightly more.

6. Most people with vitamin B12 deficiencies have a mild problem. But in some cases, vitamin B12 deficiency can have serious consequences. You can develop mental problems, including confused thinking, memory loss, and dementia, which in some serious cases can be irreversible. Low levels of B12 can also cause nerve damage and anemia and weaken your bones.

7. Animal products like meat, poultry, and seafood, and dairy foods like milk, eggs, yogurt, and cheese are the best sources of vitamin B12. Honey, vegetables, and fruits are not really sources of vitamin B12, which is why people who follow a vegan diet may not get enough of it. If you're a vegan, think about eating a breakfast cereal fortified with B12. You can also take a B12 supplement, which is recommended for pregnant and nursing mothers who are vegans or even strict vegetarians.

Sometimes B12 deficiency is caused by conditions other than diet. If your body can't absorb B12 properly, you'll need a doctor's help to boost your B12 to safe levels.

8. Describing your symptoms to your doctor may give him a clue that you could have low levels of vitamin B12. But you'll need blood tests to confirm it. Some people can easily fix low levels of B12 by simply changing their diet, while others will need a doctor's help.

9. Some diabetes medications, some antibiotics, antacids, some seizure medications can make it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12. All of these drugs can interfere with your body's ability to break down vitamin B12 from food.

10. For some people, taking a vitamin supplement or eating more animal products (or both) can help boost their B12 levels back to where they should be. But other people may have a severe deficiency or may have an underlying health condition that causes their B12 to drop.

Doctors can treat a B12 deficiency in several ways. If your symptoms are mild or moderate, you may start with an oral B12 supplement, which you take once a day; a vitamin B12 nasal spray used weekly; or vitamin B12 injections, which you need less frequently.


Headlines
Shopping for Omega-3s: Top Sources at Your Store
Sunday, October 01, 2017

Lung Cancer Risks: Myths and Facts
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Guide to Kidney Cancer
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Do You Know the Benefits of Walking?
Saturday, June 17, 2017

High-Protein Diets: The Good and the Bad
May 10 ,2017

Eye Exams: More Important Than You Might Think
March 22 ,2017

Warning Signs Of Heart Attack,Stroke & Cardiac Arrest
February 27 ,2017

What to Do to Help Prevent Cancer
February 10 ,2017

15 Cancer Warning Signs Never to Ignore
December 29 ,2016

Foods to Help Your Body Fight Cancer
November 05, 2016

Florida Medicaid's State-Mandated Formulary Impact on Utilization and Cost
October 13, 2016

15 Ways to Be Happier
Sep 27, 2016

16 Tips for Pain-Free Joints
Sep 8, 2016

Screening reduces late-stage breast cancer in Calif.
Sep 8, 2016

The Life-Changing Magic of Choosing the Right Hospital
August 26, 2016

Contraceptive Coverage: Fertile Ground for Controversy
August 26, 2016

How Much Do You Know About Spreading Germs?
August 11, 2016

Taking Action on Medicare Prescriber Enrollment
June 30, 2016

Cancer doctors leading campaign to boost use of HPV vaccine
June 24, 2016

ACH Newsroom Main Page ACH Newsroom Main Page



Return to the ACH Newsroom