Vitamin B12 deficiency, also known as hypocobalaminemia, is a condition that in the long term can cause serious damage to the nervous tissue. As such, it is important that it is diagnosed and treated as early as possible.
Most of the time, vitamin B12 deficiency can be averted and mild deficiency can be overcome with the proper diet, namely one that is rich in food originating from animal sources, such as red meat, chicken, dairy products, eggs and seafood. As you can see, there is sufficient variety of vitamin B12 sources to satisfy all tastes; however, in the event someone is a vegetarian or a specific medical condition is preventing them from eating those products, there is always the alternative of taking oral vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment
Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment is not always an easy affair, as patient response and treatment conditions may fluctuate through the passage of time. Mild cases can usually be resolved by use of oral supplements and the adoption of a diet rich in vitamin B12 for a set period of time, until the problem subsides. However, more serious forms of this deficiency, such as the dreaded pernicious anemia (which prevents the body from physically processing this vitamin from food sources), require supplementation of vitamin B12 on a permanent basis. In fact, sometimes oral supplements are not even enough and intramuscular injections are further needed to maintain proper blood levels of vitamin B12.
If injections become a necessity, they usually have to be administered once a day in the beginning stages of Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment, to be later reduced to once per week and then to once per month during the final stages of treatment. At other times, however, the deficiency is diagnosed at a critical point; in this case, blood transfusion might be required to prevent serious further damage to the patient. If this happens, the patient might need to undergo treatment in an intensive care unit, in order to minimize the risk of exposure to comorbid conditions.
VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY TREATMENT WITH NASAL SPRAY
A relatively new option for the Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment is by use of a nasal spray such as Nascobal. Though a rather costly solution, it is very efficient, needs to be used only once per week, and can spare you the trouble of oral supplements and the pain of injections.
Sometimes, the underlying cause of the deficiency may be celiac disease (an autoimmune small intestine disease), Crohn’s disease (an inflammatory disease that can affect almost any part of the digestive system) or alcoholism (a matter of lifestyle). In these cases, Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment of the underlying cause can ameliorate the deficiency and minimize the need for vitamin B12 supplementation.
VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY TREATMENT WITH INJECTIONS
The traditional method for the supplementation of vitamin B12 has been intramuscular injections. However, due to the obvious practical disadvantages of the method, oral supplementation has in recent years gained popularity with physicians and patients alike, with relevant clinical research conclusively proving that the latter method can be just as effective, at least to some people. Therefore, to minimize discomfort and unless the condition is too serious to be treated by pills alone, it is recommended that you discuss with your physician, whether you can try an oral vitamin B12 supplement for a given time period. If the results are satisfactory, you can carry on as needed. If not, you can then resort to other methods.
In any event, it is to be noted that damage to nervous tissue due to lack of sufficient quantities of vitamin B12 cannot be reversed. Corrective Vitamin B12 deficiency treatment can only prevent further damage. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that any such deficiency is diagnosed in a timely manner and treated immediately.