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Health & Wellness

Fatigue and Depression May Be Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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You have not been your usual self lately, and have been feeling sluggish and forgetful. While it may be easy to brush it off as an “off-day,” these symptoms may actually be indicative of Vitamin B12 deficiency, as shared in a feature on The Wall Street Journal.

fatigueB12 is a key nutrient in making red blood cells and DNA, and in keeping the nervous system working correctly. It is actually a rare condition; a study conducted in 2005 revealed that it only affects 1 in 1,000 Americans.

Elderly people, however, are more prone to the condition, as are people who do not eat meat or dairy products. Those who have absorption problems, as well as those who are taking acid-blocking medications and those who are taking the drug Metformin for their Type 2 diabetes, also have higher rates of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

The symptoms of low B12 levels include anemia, depression, dementia, confusion, loss of appetite, and balance problems. Long-term B12 deficiencies may result in severe anemia and nerve damage, among others.

The recommended dietary allowances for Vitamin B12 (based on information from the National Academy of Sciences) are as follows:

• 0-6 months: 400 nanograms
• 6-12 months: 500 ng
• 1-3 years: 900 ng
• 4-8 years: 1.2 micrograms
• 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
• 14 years and older: 2.4 mcg
• Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg
• Nursing mothers: 2.8 mcg

Vitamin B12 supplements may help address issues of Vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 levels can also be increased by consuming B12-rich foods, which include meat, liver, poultry, fish and dairy products.

Health & Wellness

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Causes, Signs and Symptoms

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Vitamin B12, chemically known as cobalamine, is an essential B-Vitamin utilized in order to create a better sleep-wake pattern in a lot of individuals. It is also said to be very important in the nervous system’s red blood formation. Moreover, vitamin B12 is important as a means to enhance the functions of folic acid in the body. Once the body is deficient of this B-Vitamin, all its functions will be affected.

There are causes linked to B-Vitamin deficiency. For one, a person may get the deficiency due to restricted diets. For another, it may also be a result of inborn error in body metabolism. Others may acquire the deficiency from lifestyle factors especially seen in vegans. This is due to the fact that Vitamin B12 is not present in most vegetables. In other instances, the deficiency may be a result of liver and pancreatic damage as well as Crohn’s disease.

One may also be able to determine Vitamin B12 deficiency. Early manifestations include loss of appetite, diarrhea and numbness of the hands and feet. Sleep, cognitive and coordination disturbances may also be experienced by patients. At the worst, it may result to breast cancer.

For full version of this article, please visit “Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Causes, Signs and Symptoms“.