Risks of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Published on: Modified on:

Vitamin B12 is a key component of several body functions. Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the manufacturing of red blood cells, keeps the nervous system working correctly and is key in brain functions.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency ranges from virtually unnoticeable to dementia. Obviously the variable is the extent of time that the deficiency has been present. Normally a person will begin by feeling a bit run down. The first visit to the doctor normally results in being misdiagnosed. Maybe anemia will be diagnosed. Maybe nothing will be diagnosed, unless a blood test is specifically run to determine if the proper levels of Vitamin B12 is apparent than the factor will remain unknown, and usually this is not a common part of a blood panel work up, it has to be requested by the health care provider specifically.

As time passes and the condition is not treated, the symptoms will become much more complex. The complexity of the symptoms will also range from headaches to light headedness to forget fullness and the energy level will be way down. There can be some lasting damage is the condition is not caught and treated by this stage.

Host of Increased Health Problems

The risks of Vitamin B12 deficiency range from Vitamin B12 deficiency based anemia to stroke. The risks include neuropsychiatry disorders. Depression can sometimes be attributed to Vitamin B12 deficiency as can memory loss, dementia and at its worse psychosis. With these neurological disorders simply increasing the dosage of Vitamin B12 to cure the deficiency does not necessarily cure the disorders, because the nervous system, by the time these symptoms present themselves may have been permanently damaged. The incidence of neurological illness is prevalent in the older members of society primarily effecting those sixty two years and older when the body’s natural ability to absorb Vitamin B12 is already naturally declining. Many of whom are misdiagnosed over and over upon the initial consult, complaining of fatigue it is attributed to old age.

Cardiovascular risk factors also increase in cases of prolonged Vitamin B12 deficiency. The increase of myocardial infarction and stroke increase dramatically when there is a prolonged Vitamin B12 deficiency. This heart damage may also be irreversible. Stroke is also increased as a result of prolonged deficiency.

There are also some connections between Vitamin B12 deficiency and Alzheimer’s disease. The research is still in its earliest phases and no conclusions have been made yet, but it is hypothesized with strong anecdotal evidence to support the theory that Vitamin B12 deficiency may play a strong role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The theory is that Vitamin B12 deficiency when prolonged damages the dendrites in the brain and causes sections of the nervous system to die out, resulting in an increased risk of memory loss and dementia.

The risks of Vitamin B12 deficiency are evident and very preventable, a balanced diet and periodic screens can offset any potential problems.