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Vitamin B12 Deficiency May Lead To Nerves Damage And Other Health Problems

As we mentioned on vitamin B12 benefits post before, it is one of essential nutrients for human body. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a combination of factors. For example, lack of food due to a strict diet (including vegetarian) or poverty, indigestion and poor absorption of food, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers. Alcoholics and the elderly, including a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Deficient in Vitamin B12 can cause nerve damage, megaloblastic anemia, and impaired immune function so that in the end will have other health problems. If it occurs in infants and children will greatly inhibits their development.

Folic acid levels in most vegetarians are generally high (from plants). Because the effects of folic acid and vitamin B12 in the body is almost the same, then the presence of vitamin B12 deficiency is often not detected earlier. If the deficiency occurs in those who consume enough meat / animal protein, there is a problem in the absorption system.

Menstrual disorders (lack of blood flow) can also be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12. Disorders of the nervous system due to deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause permanent damage that can not be corrected with supplementation of vitamin B12. In general, the body can store vitamin B12, so it takes time for the body's annual deficiency after a strict diet or due to other factors.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

Deficiency of vitamin B12 in the light levels will cause mild symptoms or may not be perceived. However, if ignored, can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:
  • Dizziness
  • Weak and quickly tired
  • Difficulty concentrating or difficult to remember something
  • Pale skin
  • Heart rate and rapid breathin 
  • Easy bruising or bleeding, including bleeding gums can
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Weight loss

In case of severe vitamin B12 deficiency, patients may experience:
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Confusion, hallucinations and depression
  • Difficulty walking (loss of balance)
  • Incontinence (unable to control bladder)
  • Psychosis (abnormal mind condition)
  • Impaired vision
  • Dementia
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or hands
Prevent vitamin B12 deficiency
To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, there are several ways you can do. For non-vegetarians can eat lean meats, dairy products, or fish, and eggs (vitamin B12 foods). As for vegetarians should increase the consumption of algae and seaweed. In addition, vitamin B12 supplements can also help maintain health and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, even though not too effective. Below are average daily recommended amounts for different ages, taken from ods.od.nih.gov

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months0.4 mcg
Infants 7–12 months0.5 mcg
Children 1–3 years0.9 mcg
Children 4–8 years1.2 mcg
Children 9–13 years1.8 mcg
Teens 14–18 years2.4 mcg
Adults2.4 mcg
Pregnant teens and women2.6 mcg
Breastfeeding teens and women2.8 mcg

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