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Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a host of medical problems. Vitamin B12 deficiency is the result of inadequate diet or a failure of the body to absorb the vitamin b12.

Conditions

Certain conditions are related to vitamin b12 deficiency. The most well known condition of vitamin b12 deficiency is anemia. Anemia is a condition of the blood. Vitamin b12 is vital to the production of red blood cells. There are other conditions that are not immediately diagnosed as a vitamin b12 deficiency. Vitamin b12 deficiency can sometimes present itself as nerve damage, or the early stages of dementia (Alzheimer’s disease). Depression is also a condition associated with vitamin b12 deficiency. Pernicious anemia is not a condition of vitamin b12 deficiency but typically the cause of vitamin b12 deficiency when dietary causes have been ruled out. Vitamin b12 deficiency can also cause sessions of mania, psychosis and fatigue. Vitamin b12 deficiency over a long period of time can cause irreversible damage to the nervous system. Vitamin b12 deficiency is usually very difficult to diagnose and goes misdiagnosed for long periods of time. Patients are treated for a host of other ailments in the hopes that the treatments will relieve the symptoms, and still do not receive the relief they hope for. Vitamin b12 deficiency can be determined through a simple blood test but it is often overlooked as a possible problem.

Treatment

Vitamin b12 deficiency is treated by increasing the delivery of vitamin b12. Vitamin b12 supplements in severe cases of vitamin b12 deficiency are delivered via injections at very high doses. In the case of pernicious anemia the vitamin b12 supplements are delivered at the rate three times of the recommended daily dosage. It is thought that at the higher levels at least some of the vitamin b12 will be absorbed. Vitamin b12 deficiency can also be treated by the use of sublingual vitamin b12 and other forms of vitamin b12 supplements. The first step in suspected vitamin b12 deficiency should be a visit to a health care provider, to determine through a blood test if there is a vitamin b12 deficiency, once that has been determined than treatment options should be discussed.

Prevention

The prevention of vitamin b12 deficiency is simple enough. Taking a daily supplement of vitamin b12 and eating a proper diet that is rich in vitamin b12 will ward off any problems associated with the dietary vitamin b12 deficiency. If there is a family history of pernicious anemia it is best to get checked to be sure that the condition is not present.

Vitamin b12 deficiency can be a very serious condition with lasting effects, it should not be ignored. Vitamin b12 deficiency is treatable and curable with no lasting damage if caught in time.

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