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Vitamin B12 deficiency: When nerves suffer …
Spring is finally here and awakens the spirits of life again! However, if you still feel tired and weak, the reason could not be the long winter, but a vitamin B12 deficiency.
If the important vitamin is missing, the nerves suffer. The result: exhaustion, anemia, tiredness and nervous disorders. The causes of a vitamin B12 deficiency are as diverse as the symptoms.
Not only vegetarians and vegans often suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. People with gastritis, dementia, obesity or, unfortunately, those who regularly consume alcohol can also be affected. Our checklist below gives you an overview of whether you are one of the vulnerable people.
Where does the body get vitamin B12 from?
As a rule, we absorb vitamin B12 through food, especially meat. Egg, milk and sea fish products, on the other hand, only contain small amounts of vitamin B12. Since the body cannot compensate for a lack of the vitamin on its own, vegetarians and vegans, for example, have to take it separately, either by injection or medication.
What vitamin B12 levels are normal?
In order to know whether you are suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is important to have your B12 level tested.
– Is the value below< 280pg/mL there is a clear deficiency that needs to be treated.
– The value is in the normal range between 280 and 950 pg/mL
Take B12 deficiency seriously and compensate!
Deficiency symptoms resulting from a vitamin B12 deficit appear harmless and easily correctable. However, if the body suffers from it for a long time, the effects can be serious.
As a rule, compensation must be provided by intramuscular injections at weekly intervals. Once the vitamin B12 level is back within the normal range, a vitamin B12 preparation in tablet form is usually sufficient to maintain it.
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Checklist: Do you belong to the vulnerable groups of people?
– Vegetarians and vegans struggle to maintain healthy levels of vitamin B12 because they don’t eat enough foods that contain the vitamin. Studies have shown that milk, egg or fish products usually contain less B12. In addition, the efficient absorption of vitamin B12 through the small intestine varies greatly.
– Anyone who suffers from food allergies or intolerances often does not eat optimally. In addition, the causative diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis with their inflammations, ensure that the small intestine can absorb even less vitamin B12.
– Chronic gastritis prevents vitamin B12 from combining with intrinsic factor (which is produced in the gastric mucosa). Further transport for absorption in the small intestine is disrupted or prevented.
– But medication can also be counterproductive when it comes to optimal intake of vitamin B12. Acid blockers such as pantoprazole or antidiabetics can prevent the absorption of vitamin B12 by reducing acid production.