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Neuropsychiatric And Hematologic Abnormalities Due To Occult B12 Deficiency
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that keeps the body functioning properly. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include fatigue, low mood, and nerve problems.The human body does not create vitamin B-12, so people must get this nutrient from their diet. It is crucial for making DNA and red blood cells, and it helps support the nervous system.Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in the production of blood cells.Many of the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency arise because it causes a lack of healthy blood cells. The body needs plenty of these cells to get oxygen around the body and keep the organs in good health.A vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to both physical and psychological problems. In this article, we explore 11 symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency and explain why they occur.Share on PinterestVitamin B-12 deficiency can cause symptoms that impact a person’s mental and physical health.Vitamin B-12 deficiency may affect between 1.5 and 15.0 percent of people.This deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms that affect a person’s mental and physical health.It is important to consume foods that contain vitamin B-12 on a regular basis. Adults need around 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 each day.Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in animal-based foods, such as:red meatpoultryeggsdairyfishIf a person does not eat animal products, they will need to add vegetarian and vegan sources of vitamin B-12 to their diet. These include fortified cereals, plant milks, bread, and nutritional yeast.As vitamin B-12 deficiency shares many symptoms with other nutritional deficiencies and health conditions, it is possible that people may neither notice it nor get a diagnosis.Being aware of all of the signs can help people identify the deficiency and seek treatment.Below, we look at the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency and their causes.Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause “pins and needles” in the hands or feet. This symptom occurs because the vitamin plays a crucial role in the nervous system, and its absence can cause people to develop nerve conduction problems or nerve damage.In the nervous system, vitamin B-12 helps produce a substance called myelin. Myelin is a protective coating that shields the nerves and helps them transmit sensations.People who are vitamin B-12 deficient may not produce enough myelin to coat their nerves. Without this coating, nerves can become damaged.Problems are more common in the nerves in the hands and feet, which are called peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerve damage may lead to tingling in these parts of the body.Over time, peripheral nerve damage resulting from vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to movement problems.Numbness in the feet and limbs may make it hard for a person to walk without support. They may also experience muscle weakness and diminished reflexes.Pale or yellow skin, called jaundice, may be a symptom of vitamin B-12 deficiency.Jaundice develops when a person’s body is not able to produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells circulating under the skin provide it with its normal color. Without enough of these cells, the skin may look pale.Vitamin B-12 plays a role in the production of red blood cells. A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause a lack of red blood cells, or megaloblastic anemia, which has an association with jaundice.This type of anemia can also weaken the red blood cells, which the body then breaks down more quickly. When the liver breaks down red blood cells, it releases bilirubin. Bilirubin is a brownish substance that gives the skin the yellowish tone that is characteristic of jaundice.Megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B-12 deficiency may lead to a person feeling fatigued.Without enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around their body, a person can feel extremely tired.Share on PinterestA fast heart rate and shortness of breath may be symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency.A fast heart rate may be a symptom of vitamin B-12 deficiency.The heart may start to beat faster to make up for the reduced number of red blood cells in the body.Anemia puts pressure on the heart to push a higher volume of blood around the body and to do it more quickly. This response is the body’s way of trying to ensure that enough oxygen circulates through all of the body’s systems and reaches all the organs.Anemia that results from vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause a person to feel a little short of breath. It is possible to link this to a lack of red blood cells and a fast heartbeat.Anyone who is experiencing real difficulty breathing should see a doctor straight away.Vitamin B-12 affects oral health. As a result, being deficient in vitamin B-12 may cause the following mouth problems:glossitis, which causes a swollen, smooth, red tonguemouth ulcersa burning sensation in the mouthThese symptoms occur because vitamin B-12 deficiency causes a reduction in red blood cell production, which results in less oxygen reaching the tongue.Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause problems with thinking, which doctors refer to as cognitive impairment. These issues include difficulty thinking or reasoning and memory loss.One study even linked low vitamin B-12 levels to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and Parkinson’s disease.The reduced amount of oxygen reaching the brain might be to blame for the thinking and reasoning problems.Being deficient in vitamin B-12 can affect a person’s mood, potentially causing irritability or depression.There is a need for more research into the link between vitamin B-12 and mental health. One theory is that vitamin B-12 helps break down a brain chemical called homocysteine. Having too much homocysteine in the brain may cause mental health problems.Vitamin B-12 deficiency can affect the digestive tract.A lack of red blood cells means that not enough oxygen reaches the gut. Insufficient oxygen here may lead to a person both feeling and being sick. It may also cause diarrhea.As a result of digestive problems, such as nausea, people with vitamin B-12 deficiency may lose their appetite. A decreased appetite can lead to weight loss in the long term.Even if a person gets enough vitamin B-12 in their diet, some underlying health conditions can affect the absorption of vitamin B-12 in the gut.These conditions include:The following factors make a person more likely to have a vitamin B-12 deficiency:being older, because a person becomes less able to absorb B-12 as they ageeating a vegetarian or vegan diettaking anti-acid medication for an extended periodweight loss surgery or other stomach surgery, which can affect how the digestive system absorbs vitamin B-12Most people can get enough vitamin B-12 from dietary sources. For those who cannot, a doctor may prescribe or recommend B-12 supplements. People can also get B-12 supplements from drug stores or choose between brands online.Most multivitamins contain vitamin B-12. People can take B-12 supplements in the form of oral tablets, sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue, or injections. A doctor can provide advice on the correct dosage of this vitamin.People who have trouble absorbing vitamin B-12 may need shots of the vitamin to treat their deficiency.A doctor can advise people on the best way to prevent vitamin B-12 deficiency, depending on their dietary choices and health.The body needs vitamin B-12 for a range of bodily functions, which include making red blood cells. Being deficient in vitamin B-12 causes physical and psychological symptoms, including nerve problems, fatigue, and difficulty thinking.Most vitamin B-12 deficiency symptoms occur due to a lack of red blood cells, which means that the body does not get enough oxygen. The body’s oxygen supply is crucial for many aspects of health.As with other nutrients, the best way for most people to get vitamin B-12 is in the diet. If a person cannot get enough from their usual diet, fortified foods and other dietary supplements may help.In most cases, doctors can treat vitamin B-12 deficiency. However, people with long-term deficiency may have long-lasting effects, such as nerve damage.Spotting the signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency early on and getting the right treatment can improve a person’s outlook.
Video about Neuropsychiatric And Hematologic Abnormalities Due To Occult B12 Deficiency
8 Signs You May be Vitamin B12 Deficient.
0:46 Pale or Yellowish Skin
1:20 Needle-like Sensations
1:38 Difficulty in mobility
1:55 Mouth Ulcers or Glossitis
2:19 Dizziness and Breathlessness
2:34 Disrupted Vision
2:54 Frequent Mood Changes
Vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as cobalamin deficiency, is the medical condition of low blood and tissue levels of vitamin B12. In mild deficiency, a person may feel tired and have a reduced number of red blood cells (anemia). In moderate deficiency, soreness of the tongue, apthous ulcers, breathlessness, jaundice, hair loss and severe joint pain (arthralgia) and the beginning of neurological symptoms, including abnormal sensations such as pins and needles, numbness and tinnitus may occur. Severe deficiency may include symptoms of reduced heart function as well as more severe neurological symptoms, including changes in reflexes, poor muscle function, memory problems, irritability, ataxia, decreased taste, decrease level of consciousness, depression, anxiety, guilt and psychosis. Infertility may occur. In young children, symptoms include poor growth, poor development, and difficulties with movement. Without early treatment, some of the changes may be permanent.
Causes are categorized as decreased absorption of vitamin B12 from the stomach or intestines, deficient intake, or increased requirements. Decreased absorption may be due to atrophic gastritis pernicious anemia, surgical removal of the stomach, chronic inflammation of the pancreas, intestinal parasites, certain medications, and some genetic disorders. Medications that may decrease absorption include proton pump inhibitors, H2-receptor blockers, and metformin. Decreased intake may occur in vegetarians, vegans and the malnourished. Increased requirements occur in people with HIV/AIDS, and in those with shortened red blood cell lifespan. Diagnosis is typically based on blood levels of vitamin B12 below 120–180 pmol/L (170 to 250 pg/mL) in adults. Elevated methylmalonic acid levels may also indicate a deficiency. A type of anemia known as megaloblastic anemia is often but not always present. Individuals with low or « marginal » vitamin B12 in the range of 148–221 pmol/L (200–300 pg/mL) may not have classic neurological or hematological signs or symptoms.
Treatment consists of oral or injected vitamin B12 supplementation; initially in high daily doses, followed by less frequent lower doses as the condition improves. If a reversible cause is found, that cause should be corrected if possible. If no reversible cause is found, or when found it cannot be eliminated, lifelong vitamin B12 administration is usually recommended. Vitamin B12 deficiency is preventable with supplements containing the vitamin which is recommended in pregnant vegetarians and vegans, and not harmful in others. Risk of toxicity due to vitamin B12 is low.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in the US and the UK is estimated to occur in about 6 percent of those under the age of 60, and 20 percent of those over the age of 60. In Latin America, about 40 percent are estimated to be affected, and this may be as high as 80 percent in parts of Africa and Asia. Marginal deficiency is much more common and may occur in up to 40% of Western populations.
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