Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors & Treatment

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms: Vitamin deficiency anemia is a lack of healthy red blood cells bring about by lower than usual amounts of vitamin B-12 and folate. This can happen if you don’t eat enough foods containing vitamin B-12 and folate, or if your body has trouble absorbing or processing these fiber. Without these nutrients, the body produces red blood cells that are too large & don’t work properly. This reduces their ability to carry oxygen. Symptoms can incorporate fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness. Vitamin supplements, taken by pill or injection, can right the insufficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is a district in which your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells, due to a lack of vitamin B12. This vitamin is need to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all bit of your body. Without enough red gore cells, your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen. Without sufficient oxygen, your body can’t work as well.

Folic acid, also cry out folate, is another B vitamin. Anemias bring about by a lack of vitamin B12 or a lack of Folate are 2 types of megaloblastic anemia. With these kind of anemia, the red blood cells don’t develop normally. They are very large. And they are form like an oval, not round like healthy red blood cells. This causes the bone marrow to construct fewer red blood cells. In some cases the red blood cells die sooner than usual.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms Overview

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Treatment of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Because the deficiency typically results from difficulty absorbing the vitamin from meat, vitamin B12 supplements are beneficial for elderly individuals with a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamins from supplements are more easily absorb than those from meat. Vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia can be treat with high doses of vitamin B12 supplements. Vitamins can be taken orally by deficient individuals without causing symptoms. Regular blood tests are performed to ensure that the vitamin B12 level returns to and remains normal.

People who have very low levels of the vitamin or who are experiencing symptoms caused by nerve damage typically receive vitamin B12 injections into their muscles. Injections, which can be self-administered, are given daily or weekly for several weeks until the vitamin B12 level returns to normal. Then, for the rest of your life, injections are given once a month unless the disorder that is causing the deficiency can be fixed. Anemia usually goes away within six weeks. However, severe symptoms of nerve damage that last for months or years could become permanent. After treatment, the majority of older people with dementia and vitamin B12 deficiency do not experience any improvement in their mental function.

  • Vitamin B12 supplements
  • For people with nerve damage, vitamin B12 given by injection

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Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Either your diet lacks vitamin B12 or your body is unable to absorb the vitamin properly causes vitamin B12 deficiency. The following situations or conditions can result in vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Lack of vitamin B12 in your diet- Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in individuals who do not consume sufficient foods that naturally contain vitamin B12 or foods that are fortified with vitamin B12.
  • Gastritis- A common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach lining. Due to a lack of hydrochloric acid, which is required for vitamin B12 absorption, it may result in vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Pernicious anemia- A rare medical condition known as pernicious anemia prevents people from producing intrinsic factor, a protein produced by the stomach. In order for your body to absorb the vitamin B12, intrinsic factor is required. B12 deficiency is common in people with pernicious anemia.
  • Digestive diseases- Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, two digestive disorders, can prevent your body from fully absorbing vitamin B12.
    Surgery: Vitamin B12 absorption may be compromise in those undergoing gastrointestinal surgery, such as gastric bypass (weight loss surgery).
  • Alcohol use disorder- This state can damage your digestive system and cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Transcobalamin II deficiency- This is a rare genetic disorder that damage the transport of vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) within the body.

Vitamin B-12 deficiencies

Low levels of vitamin B-12 can be caused by.

  • Diet- Since meat, eggs, and milk are the primary sources of vitamin B-12, individuals who do not consume these foods may require B-12 supplements. B-12 has been added to some foods, like breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast products.
  • Pernicious anemia- The immune system of the body attacks cells in the stomach that produce intrinsic factor, resulting in this condition. The intestines are unable to absorb B-12 without this substance.
  • Gastric surgeries- The amount of intrinsic factor produce and the amount of space available for vitamin B-12 absorption may be reduce if parts of your stomach or intestines have been surgically removed.
  • Intestinal problems- Vitamin B-12 absorption can be impeded by Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and tapeworms ingested from contaminated fish.

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Risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency anemia include

  • A family history of the disease.
  • Having part or all of your stomach or intestine removed.
  • Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • HIV.
  • Some medicines.
  • Strict vegetarian diets.
  • Being an older adult.


Vitamin deficiency anemia typically develops slowly over several months to years. The initial signs and symptoms may be subtle, but as the deficiency worsens, they typically get worse. This could consist of.

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Weight loss
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Muscle weakness
  • Personality changes
  • Unsteady movements
  • Mental confusion or forgetfulness

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms FAQ’S

What happens when your vitamin B12 is low?

Without enough red blood cells, your tissues and organs don't get enough oxygen. Without enough oxygen, your body can't work as well. Symptoms include weak muscles, numbness, trouble walking, nausea, weight loss, irritability, fatigue, and increased heart rate.

How can I raise my B12 levels fast?

The most common way to treat B12 deficiencies is by adjusting your diet. If this is unsuccessful, vitamin supplements may be recommended. If you're looking to boost the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, you should eat more animal products, like meat, seafood, dairy and eggs.

Is B12 deficiency a serious condition?

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as: vision problems. memory loss. pins and needles (paraesthesia).

What is a normal B12 level?

Normal ranges of blood B12 levels are 200-900 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter). Under 200 pg/mL indicates deficiency. Levels over 900 pg/mL are often caused by vitamin B12 supplementation. You should talk to your doctor to help you understand your vitamin B12 blood test results.

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