Readers ask: Who Is Most Likely To Be Vitamin B12 Deficient?

Who gets B12 deficiency?

You can get vitamin B12 deficiency anemia if you don’t get enough vitamin B12 in your diet from foods like milk, eggs, and meat. You’re more likely to be low in this vitamin if you’re older, or you eat a vegetarian diet. It can also happen if your body can’t absorb enough of it from the foods you eat.

What is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in adults?

However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.

Which vitamin B is more likely to be deficient in older adults?

Experts estimate that up to 20% of people 50 and older may have a low intake of vitamin B12. It’s common, serious, and worst of all, it’s usually overlooked until it causes significant health problems. Vitamin B12 treatments are safe and effective, as long as you catch the problem before permanent damage occurs.

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Can B12 deficiency run in families?

Pernicious anemia is thought to run in families and seems to affect people who have other autoimmune conditions, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Addison’s disease, more often than those who do not. A healthcare practitioner can order a blood test to check for pernicious anemia.

How long does B12 deficiency take to correct?

Recovery from vitamin B12 deficiency takes time and you may not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment. Improvement may be gradual and may continue for up to six to 12 months.

How long does it take for B12 supplements to work?

A response usually is seen within 48 to 72 hours, with brisk production of new red blood cells. Once B12 reserves reach normal levels, injections of vitamin B12 will be needed every one to three months to prevent symptoms from returning.

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.

Does B12 deficiency cause weight gain?

People with vitamin B12 deficiency are likely to experience a wide range of symptoms, though weight gain is unlikely one of them. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain, consider discussing it with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine the root cause.

What does a B12 deficiency tongue look like?

B12 deficiency will also make the tongue sore and beefy-red in color. Glossitis, by causing swelling of the tongue, may also cause the tongue to appear smooth.

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Why do older adults need B12 supplement?

Vitamin B12

B12 is important for creating red blood cells and DNA, and for maintaining healthy nerve function. “Getting enough B12 is a challenge for older people because they can’t absorb it from food as well as younger people,” says Tucker. “Even if your diet contains enough, you may be falling short.”

What medications should not be taken with B12?

Certain medications can decrease the absorption of vitamin B12, including: colchicine, metformin, extended-release potassium products, antibiotics (such as gentamicin, neomycin, tobramycin), anti-seizure medications (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), medications to treat heartburn (such as H2 blockers

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.

What autoimmune disease causes low B12?

Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK. Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition that affects your stomach. An autoimmune condition means your immune system, the body’s natural defence system that protects against illness and infection, attacks your body’s healthy cells.

Can low B12 cause hair loss?

When vitamin B12 levels are low, your hair follicles may not be able to grow new hair as efficiently, resulting in hair loss. A vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of anemia, which is associated with low iron levels, hair thinning, and hair loss.

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Is iron and vitamin B12 the same thing?

Iron is an important mineral that the body needs to produce red blood cells. Vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from the stomach. Vitamin B12 is important for normal blood, cells, and nerves. Folic acid is needed to form healthy cells, especially red blood cells.

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