Cobalamin, also known as vitamin B12, plays an important role in normal body activities. The water-soluble vitamin B12 contributes to the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in blood development, DNA synthesis and energy production in the body. Vitamin B12 can be obtained naturally from foods such as meat, fish and dairy products. It is routinely synthesized in scientific laboratories to treat patients suffering from vitamins men deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
Vitamin B12 is used to treat pernicious anemia, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. It is used to improve mood and energy, increase concentration, and strengthen the immune system. It delays aging and lowers high homocysteine levels in the body. People with very high homocysteine levels have an increased risk of coronary heart disease. High homocysteine levels in the blood can damage the lining of the arteries and cause the blood to clot more easily than it should. This leads to increased clogging of blood vessels and increases the risk of pulmonary embolism, heart attack and stroke.
Vitamin B12 is used both singly and with other vitamins to treat heart disease, diabetes, sleep disorders, melancholy, mental health problems, weak bones, AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, and swollen tendons. It is also used in the treatment of asthma, allergies, cervical cancer and skin infections.
When vitamin B12 is reduced in the body, the body shows exact deficiency symptoms.
Often, a vitamin B12 deficiency results from an unbalanced diet. Deficiency can also be the result of medications that reduce stomach acid production.
A common reason is that there is not enough stomach acid to separate vitamin B12 from consumed protein. Other reasons for vitamin B12 deficiency can include malabsorption, persistent illnesses such as liver and kidney problems, and pernicious anemia. Alcohol consumption can also trigger vitamin B12 deficiency. Pregnant women usually suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency such as fatigue, bleeding gums, intestinal problems, irritability and poor concentration become noticeable in the early stages. Other symptoms such as feeling cold or hot, sharp pains in the body, sore throat or a feeling of lifelessness may also be quite noticeable. A warning sign indicating a significant vitamin B12 deficiency are lines or grooves on the fingernails and the disappearance of moons on the undersides of the fingernails.
Loss of appetite, accompanied by weight gain, is very common with vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 vitamin deficiency can also lead to long-term problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, menstrual disorders, and heart disease.
B12 vitamin deficiency can also cause acute pain in the limbs, weakness in the arms and legs, and uncomfortable twitching of the limbs.
Depressive symptoms, nervousness, unpleasant body odor and nerve inflammation are other signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, as are complications with walking and talking. Vitamin B12 is often tested along with a folic acid test because a deficiency of either vitamin can lead to a form of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells are larger than normal and typically caused by a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12. A deficiency of vitamin B12 can sometimes lead to pernicious anemia.
B12 deficiency can be corrected by eating foods that contain plenty of B12. Eating meat, fish, seafood, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk can reduce B12 deficiency.
For those of you who don’t eat animal products, or if you have a health problem that affects your intake of essential nutrients, health experts recommend taking a B12-containing multivitamin and eating breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin B12.
Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and fortified cereals can increase folic acid levels in the body, which in turn helps improve vitamin B12 levels in the body. If the problem is extreme, it is important to talk to a doctor. Your doctor may recommend B12 supplements in the form of tablets or injections. Sinus sprays are also available to correct a vitamin B12 deficiency.
If you experience symptoms of B12 deficiency, you should ask your doctor for advice and have a blood test to determine your B12 level.