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Jan 2023

What are the causes and risk factors of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Jan 30, 2023

Another name of vitamin B12 is cyanocobalamin, which helps in maintaining the well being of our neural and mental state. This crucial vitamin helps in cell metabolism, nerve function, and the production of red blood cells and DNA. Vitamin B12 also helps to prevent nervous system and spinal congenital abnormalities in babies.

Our body cannot produce vitamin B12 on its own, therefore we need to get it from our everyday diet. Vitamin B12 deficiency may occur if your body does not absorb enough vitamin from the food. And untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can cause physical, psychological and neural problems.

What are the risk factors of vitamin B12 deficiency?

  • Have a family history of vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Being 70 or older
  • Autoimmune disorder
  • Digestive system disease
  • HIV
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Poor diet
  • Following a strict vegan diet
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Taking medicines including oral contraceptives and metformin

If you have any or more of these risk factors then go for vitamin b12 test to detect if you have this vitamin b12 deficiency. And knowingly vitamin b12 test price is quite low.

Causes of lack of vitamin B12:

The main reason behind lack of vitamin B12 is if you are not having enough of this vitamin in your diet or if your body is not absorbing this vitamin enough. Many health conditions can affect your body’s ability in absorbing vitamin B12. The constitutions which causes lack of vitamin B12 are:

  • Poor diet: Not eating foods that contain vitamin B12 can contribute to deficiency. Beef, sardines, fortified cereals, eggs, and dairy products are naturally high in vitamin B12.
  • Digestive disorder: Certain digestive systems can restrict your body’s capability of absorbing vitamin B12. The conditions include Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
  • Pernicious anemia: Pernicious anemia is a rare disorder, which affects the production of indistinct factors which is a protein your stomach makes. And without this protein, your body cannot absorb vitamin B12 well.
  • Gastritis: Gastritis is a very common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Inflammation in the stomach lining is called gastritis. This affects your body’s ability to metabolize vitamin B12.
  • Surgery: Having a gastrointestinal surgery including gastric bypass surgery, can restrict the absorption process of vitamin B12.
  • Alcohol abuse: Consumption of too much alcohol can chronically damage your digestive system, which can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.

Those are all the causes of vitamin B12 deficiency. Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can severely damage your nervous system in the long term. To prevent this deficiency make sure to eat eggs, milk, red meat, fish and fortified products. It is also important to manage digestive disorder and alcohol consumption.