Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is a water soluble vitamin, the deficiency of which is usually because of the difficulty in digesting it, especially when taken in with food items like meat, eggs, milk, etc. It is extremely important that we recognize vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. Taking precautions in its nascent stages helps avoid complications in the human body.
In a recent government study, it has been shown that lack of B12 is more widespread in the general masses than was previously believed to be. Vegetarians are suggested to take in vegan B12 supplements with their food, as bacteria are used to produce the commercial B12.
Sadly, as 10 to 30% of those aged over 50 fail to derive sufficient amounts of this vitamin from their daily meals. This is because enough gastric acid is not secreted by their stomach. Gastric acids need to be secreted for the breakdown of food. This helps in storing B12 in your liver and muscles of your body until further usage of it can be made by your body.
B12 is extremely crucial in the production of myelin which is a sheath that insulates nerve fibres in the body. This function is essential as it helps keep electrical impulses traveling normally through the body. A lack of this vital vitamin is seen to be identified through symptoms like multiple sclerosis and dementia. In severe deficiency, the thick myelin sheath wears out.
Vitamin B12 was initially discovered in its relationship with an autoimmune disease – ‘pernicious anemia’, which causes the destruction of cells in the stomach called ‘parietal cells’, helpful in secreting ‘intrinsic factor’. This particular ‘intrinsic factor’ is seen to be important for its absorption in normal amounts. Thus an inadequacy of the intrinsic factor as noticed in pernicious anemia leads to the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Biermer’s disease is possibly the most crucial syndrome of the vitamin deficiency, with symptoms such as Anemia with bone marrow promegaloblastosis (megaloblastic anemia), including others such as Gastrointestinal and Neurological symptoms. These indications can other either in isolation or in collaboration with other symptoms.Also known as myelosis funicularis, the neurological complex displays signs like ataxia of dorsal cord type for B12 dearth. Lasting paresthesias is another one of the various manifestations. Reflexes are often seen to be impaired.
Out of the many symptoms of this vitamin b2 deficiency, some common ones are fatigue and depression. Sometimes bleeding of gums is associated with it. A weak memory can also be detected as a symptom of shortage. Nervousness and constipation are some other very common observable symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Apart from the above, there are also few grave long term presages associated with this disease. Among women, menstrual problems are quite common. Strokes and heart diseases (for the young and old alike) are among other symptoms. Alzheimer’s disease is also noticeable as a result of a dearth of B12.
At times, a deficiency can lead to simultaneous hot and cold feelings in the rudimentary stage. Lethargy, sore throat and shooting pains – all occur as a result of inadequacy of the extremely essential mineral. Crucial stages show difficulty in walking and speaking in a person. Neuritis or inflammation of nerves is another symptom of severe vitamin paucity.