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Dr Dawn Harper on signs of vitamin B12 and vitamin D deficiency

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Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA. Naturally, the vitamin’s contribution is not fully appreciated if you are getting enough of it. However, low B12 levels can cause a tsunami of problems, some of which may be permanent.

“B12 deficiency leads to anaemia and along with this come the symptoms of fatigue, pale skin, breathlessness, augmentin 400 yan etkileri palpitations and feeling faint,” explained doctor Rachel Ward of the Woodlands Medical Centre to Express.co.uk.

According to doctor Ward, these symptoms will generally all resolve when B12 is replaced and the anaemia resolves.

Anaemia is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells in your body.

According to doctor Ward, “the same applies to glossitis – painful, swelling and inflammation of the tongue”.

However, persistent B12 symptoms can occur when the nervous system is severely undermined, she warned.

The nervous system connects the brain, spinal cord and nerves.

According to doctor Ward, when B12 deficiency damages the nervous system, it can lead to unsteadiness, balance issues, numbness and progressive weakness.

“Mentally the effects include confusion, memory issues, depression, irritability and in severe cases, psychosis.”

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As she explained, the effects on the nervous system take much longer to resolve with treatment.

“In cases of severe and prolonged B12 deficiency, the symptoms may not fully resolve which represents permanent brain and nerve damage.”

Given the risks, it is vital to see your GP if you recognise any of the warning signs associated with B12 deficiency.

What causes B12 deficiency?

Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.

Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition whereby your immune system attacks the cells in your stomach that produce the intrinsic factor, a protein your body uses to absorb vitamin B12.

Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet.

“A diet that includes meat, fish and dairy products usually provides enough vitamin B12, but people who do not regularly eat these foods can become deficient,” notes the NHS.

The health body adds: “People who eat a vegan diet and do not take vitamin B12 supplements or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, are also at risk.”

How to treat B12 deficiency

The treatment for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia depends on what’s causing the condition.

Most people can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.

Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12.

There are two types of vitamin B12 injections:

  • Hydroxocobalamin
  • Cyanocobalamin.

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