By far the most common vitamin B12 deficiency causes are directly related to a persons lifestyle and diet. In order to make certain that you are not vitamin B12 deficient you should always make certain that you are eating enough food that contains vitamin B12. The most common types of these foods are meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, cheese, or shellfish. When you eat enough of these foods it is normal for them to be processed in the stomach where the body separates the B12 from the food using a protein called intrinsic factor and then this protein, along with the B12, is absorbed into the body through the small intestine.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes
The most common vitamin B12 deficiency cause is the choice to adhere to a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet. This type of diet is sorely lacking in any vitamin B12 and in fact advocates of these types of lifestyle diets commonly recommend that a person take a daily supplement that includes vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency is also common amongst chromic alcoholics. Individuals with Chrohn’s disease or celiac disease are also known to commonly have a vitamin B12 deficiency. Less common and yet still common enough to mention is individual’s that are infected with a tapeworm from fish or those that have some other type of bacteria infection that interferes with their proper digestion.
Some people that have a certain condition called pernicious anemia, where their body itself destroys the intrinsic factor protein and as a result their ability to absorb vitamin B12. While others have had surgeries where they have has critical portions of their stomachs or intestines removed and as a result they have lost their ability to naturally extract B12 from food and absorb it into their bloodstream. The last most common vitamin B12 deficiency cause is the taking of antacids or heartburn medications for chronic conditions. The individuals that take these medications regularly for years can create a condition within their stomach where the medications interfere with their ability to extract and absorb vitamin B12, as a result they too can become vitamin B12 deficient.
While these are the most common vitamin B12 deficiency causes there are numerous other conditions that can make a person vitamin B12 deficient. These conditions are as numerous as the people that have them and for them it is best to identify their symptoms, treat those symptoms, and as a result cure their deficiency. The most typical symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are fatigue, loss of appetite, pale skin. swollen tongue, constipation, difficulty with concentration and light headedness. More severe vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by depression, loss of motor functions, numbness or pricking and tingling in extremities, and dementia.
Of course the most severe of these symptoms would need to be treated by seeking the attention of a medical doctor. As for the lesser of the symptoms, a person would do well to analyze their diet and/or take a vitamin B12 supplement if they are experiencing these symptoms and cannot identify any other cause. Certainly if the symptoms persist, it is advised that you seek out a physician in order to determine the vitamin B12 deficiency causes that are directly related to you.
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