FAQ: Should Be Monitored When Vitamin B12 Therapy Is Started?

How do you monitor B12 levels?

When a B12 level is normal or low normal but a deficiency is still suspected, a healthcare practitioner may order a methylmalonic acid (MMA) test as an early indicator of B12 deficiency. A low B12 and/or folate level means that you have a deficiency.

Do you treat B12 or folate deficiency first?

Vitamin B12 supplements are usually given by injection at first. Then, depending on whether your B12 deficiency is related to your diet, you‘ll either require B12 tablets between meals or regular injections. These treatments may be needed for the rest of your life. Folic acid tablets are used to restore folate levels.

When should B12 levels be rechecked?

In mild vitamin B12 deficiency, we recommend repeat measurements of serum vitamin B12, homocysteine, and methylmalonic acid levels two to three months after initiating treatment.

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Why do you give B12 before folate?

Before you start taking folic acid, your GP will check your vitamin B12 levels to make sure they’re normal. This is because folic acid treatment can sometimes improve your symptoms so much that it masks an underlying vitamin B12 deficiency.

Should I be worried if my B12 is high?

Though daily high doses of B12 are unlikely to cause harm in most people, extremely high doses should be avoided unless prescribed by a healthcare professional. If you think you may be deficient in B12, speak with your doctor, who can recommend an appropriate treatment based on your level of deficiency.

How do you know if your B12 is low?

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  1. Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness.
  2. Heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
  3. Pale skin.
  4. A smooth tongue.
  5. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas.
  6. Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking.
  7. Vision loss.

Which is one of the first symptoms of folate deficiency?

Common symptoms of folate deficiency can include:

  • Tiredness, fatigue and lethargy.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Neurological signs, such as a feeling of pins and needles, tingling, or burning, or peripheral neuropathy, i.e. a numbness in the extremities.

How can I raise my B12 levels fast?

To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:

  1. Beef, liver, and chicken.
  2. Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams.
  3. Fortified breakfast cereal.
  4. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  5. Eggs.

How long does it take to correct folate deficiency?

The body has about 1,000-20,000 mcg of folate stores, and adults need about 400 mcg/d to replenish the daily losses. Folate deficiency may take 8-16 weeks to become evident.

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Can Vitamin B12 reverse nerve damage?

Supplementation for vitamin B12 deficiency should be provided parenterally since poor oral absorption is usually the cause of the disease. Supplementation with vitamin B12 typically halts progression of the disease, but does not reverse it since much of the disability is secondary to the spinal cord pathology.

How long does it take for nerves to heal from B12 deficiency?

Neurologic improvement begins within the first week also and is typically complete in 6 weeks to 3 months.

What is normal level of vitamin B12 in elderly?

A serum vitamin B12 level between 200 pg/mL and 900 pg/mL is considered normal, but a threshold of 300 to 350 pg/mL is recognized as a marker for a desirable status in the elderly. The laboratory diagnosis is usually based on low serum vitamin B12 levels or elevated serum methylmalonic acid and homocysteine levels.

Can I take folic acid and B12 together?

No interactions were found between folic acid and Vitamin B12. This does not necessarily mean no interactions exist. Always consult your healthcare provider.

Is oral B12 as effective as injections?

In both studies, high-dose oral B12 was as effective as intramuscular injection at achieving neurologic and hematologic response. Vitamin B12 is available over the counter in the form of tablets (100, 500, 1,000, or 5,000 mcg) and lozenges (50, 100, 250, or 500 mcg).

How often can you have B12 injections?

The usual dose for pernicious anemia-associated vitamin B12 deficiency is 100 mcg given as an injection into the muscle or under the skin once daily for 6-7 days. Then the dose may be given every other day for 7 doses followed by every 3-4 days for around 3 weeks. Then, 100 mcg should be injected every month for life.

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