Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin and responsible for several crucial functions in human body. This vitamin is also known as B vitamin and Cobalamin. Human body needs this vitamin to keep nerves, red blood cells healthy and building DNA. Its deficiency can cause various health problems such as memory loss, migraine, pain in body, chronic fatigue etc.
Vitamin B12 functions in body
- Building genetic material in body.
- Production of RBCs that carry oxygen in body.
- Maintain healthy nervous system.
Normal range of Vitamin B12
- Normal level of Vitamin B12 is between 200 to 900 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).
Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is obtained from animal products such as cheese, milk, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
- Weakness, chronic fatigue, lethargy
- Body pain, limb pain
- Pale skin colour
- Shortness of breath
- Increases heart beat
- Memory loss
- Sore tongue
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Frequently upset stomach
- Weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Tingling sensation in toes and fingers
- Paralysis due to spinal cord getting affected
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is ascertained by blood test. If the level of vitamin B12 in blood is below 200 pg/ml then supplements in oral and injectable forms are given.
Treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency
Generally oral capsule are used for treating vitamin B12 deficiency for 3-6 months.
Non vegetarian can take supplements till level comes to normal and thereafter can maintain its level from diet modification.
Strict vegetarians need to take supplements till its level comes to normal. Then stop taking supplement and start again if the symptom persists or reappear.