Are you weak and pale? Do you often feel tired or agitated? Chances are it all stemmed from stress or anxiety. Perhaps a long day at work or due to an irregular sleeping pattern. Yet all of this could be sourced back to a Vitamin B12 deficiency. It is a condition characterized by deficiency of this Vitamin, which helps carry oxygen throughout your body. Insufficient Vitamin B12 can make you anaemic, rendering you weak and tired almost often.
Whatever you eat, either keeps you or kills you. Your diet or as such, your dietary habits are the primary sources of intake of all the essential nutrients and minerals in the body. And moreover as our bodies do not make vitamin B12, we intake it from the foods and supplements which we regularly consume. Animal-based foods such as meat, milk and eggs are excellent sources of vitamin B12. Although, precisely how much you need and from what you should get it depends on factors such as age, sex and metabolism.
1Causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency
There can be other causes of such deficiency, besides a diet. It can also happen if you have certain conditions.
Categorically put, the causes of the deficiency can be divided into 3 parts. Namely:
- Heavy drinking is attributed to low vitamin B12 levels.
- A strict vegetarian diet over a prolonged period of time can also cause this deficiency.
- A condition that causes thinning of the stomach lining, known as Atrophic gastritis, is known to cause B12 deficiency.
- Pernicious anaemia, a condition marked by lack of vitamin B12, leads to lowered productions of red blood cells
- Post gastrectomy (a procedure which requires the removal of the stomach, either partially or as a whole)
- Certain immune and neurodegenerative disorders such as Grave’s disease (an auto-immune disease of the thyroid gland) or lupus (a group of diseases characterized by an inflammation of one’s skin) can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Certain medications contain acid reducing compounds which can also cause such deficiency
- Intestinal diseases such as celiac disease (a condition in which digesting food becomes troublesome because of the small intestine’s sensitivity to gluten) or Crohn’s disease (marked by inflammation of the intestines) can be responsible as well.
- A genetic disorder known as Transcobalamin deficiency can also lead to this deficiency. This disorder damages the circulation of ‘Cobalamin’ or Vitamin B12 throughout the body.
Symptoms of this deficiency are quite apparent. Signs of this condition resemble anaemic symptoms as a lack of vitamin B12 directly leads to anaemia.