Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

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Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Serving in the community pharmacy for more than 8 years, I’ve encounter a lot of health complaints like feeling pain, numbness, and tingling in hands or feet, sensory loss, and weakness of the arms, fingers, hand and feet, muscle cramps, nerve pain, slowness of reflexes. Some patients are vegetarian/ vegan for years; Some are due to diet imbalance that led to nutrient deficiency, especially vitamin B12.

Majority of the time when I receive these health issues, vitamin B12 and other Bs like B1, B6 helps them to improve their health conditions. These has led me to search of the logic and mechanism behind the B12 and B-complex miracle.

B12 deficiency treatment

In fact, Vitamin B12 has several mechanisms of action in our body that are crucial to maintaining your well being, such as:

  • Hemoglobin synthesis (our body uses it to transport oxygen, a functional red blood cells)
    Regulate your gene activity by controlling gene methylation. This process plays a role in myelin production. Myelin surrounds and insulates our nerve cells, helping electrical signals travel quickly smoothly through your nervous system. So that your nerve can communicate effectively.
  • Although B12 role in maintaining our myelin sheath is not yet fully understood, majority of the cases of people with vitamin B12 deficiency face a risk of nerve damage due to myelin breakdown, causing tingling, burning, numbness in the feet and hands, as well as depression and dementia.

B12 deficiency is very common in my pharmacy. People lack of balanced diet. Animal-based foods such as red meat, dairy products, fish, poultry and eggs are the only recognised source of dietary B12. Inability of stomach acids to aid in absorption also causes this deficiency. Consequently, drugs that reduce stomach acid should be taken with B12 supplements.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

B12 deficiency neurological symptoms recovery

A number of other conditions, procedures, and drugs are associated with a reduced the ability to absorb B12. These include:

  • autoimmune diseases,
  • pernicious or unexplained anaemia,
  • pancreatic diseases,
  • illeal resection,
  • Crohn’s disease,
  • HIV infection,
  • gastritis,
  • gastric or small intestine surgeries,
  • malabsorption syndromes,
  • multiple sclerosis, and
  • use of histamine2 receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors a.k.a. gastric medications.

“When balanced diet is challenging, choosing B12 supplements will be super essential and important to us.”

vitamin b12 supplementation

Compared with cyanocobalamin (contains a cyanide molecule, cyanide is a poisonous substance, although view as insignificant, your body still need to remove this compound), it appears that methylcobalamin is better absorbed and retained in higher amounts within your tissues. In simple terms, they are used much more effectively. In general, methylcobalamin is used primarily in your liver, brain and nervous system.

Methylcobalamin is the specific form of B12 needed for nervous system health. Because of methylcobalamin’s importance in nervous system health, it is also an important nutrient for vision. In fact, continued visual work (like work on a computer) often leads to a reduction in something called “visual accommodation”. Methylcobalamin can significantly improve visual accommodation, while cyanocobalamin appears to be ineffective.

Besides, an elevated level of homocysteine is a metabolic indication of decreased levels of the coenzyme forms of vitamin B12, especially methylcobalamin. Homocysteine has received a tremendous amount of emphasis in the scientific literature because of its associations with heart disease and a variety of other specific health conditions.

“Nearly every cause of lowered energy production nowadays, lays the groundwork for developing chronic diseases later.” 

Methylcobalamin also has to do with sleep quality. Exact mechanism is not yet clear, but it is possible that methylcobalamin is needed for the synthesis of melatonin. It modulates melatonin secretion, enhance light-sensitivity, normalised circadian rhythm (24 hour clock). You require less sleep and feeling a little bit more refresh when waking in the morning.

All above is my research results and my experiences while using B12 on my patients, hope above all informations in my diet blog malaysia helps! Till then, take care~

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