Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells, the function of the nervous system and the maintenance of DNA integrity. A vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to a variety of health problems and should definitely be compensated for. The most common cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency is a prolonged inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 in the digestive tract.

Causes of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by various factors:

  • Digestive disorders due to some medications (gastric acid inhibitors)
  • Diet low in vitamin B12 (vegan and vegetarian)
  • Infections in the digestive tract or chronic gastrointestinal diseases
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Anorexia and general malnutrition
  • Reduced stomach acid production, as the same cells responsible for producing stomach acid also produce the intrinsic factor to which vitamin B12 can be bound and absorbed into the body
  • Long-term use of gastric acid inhibitors (proton pump inhibitors)
  • Use of laughing gas at the dentist, as laughing gas can deplete the body's reserves of vitamin B12

Symptoms of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be varied and can severely weaken health. It therefore makes sense to have your vitamin B12 status checked and supplement accordingly if necessary.

  • Tiredness and exhaustion
  • Neurological disorders, such as tingling of the extremities or burning of the tongue
  • Memory problems, poor concentration and confusion
  • Muscle weakness, physical weakness
  • Headaches
  • Depression and lack of drive
  • Lack of hemoglobin (anemia)

Therapy for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Treatment options include taking vitamin B12 in the form of food supplements, injections or infusions. As vitamin B12 is absorbed very well through the mucous membranes and skin, there are also intranasal sprays, sublingual drops or lozenges and even patches to stick to the skin. A balanced diet with B12-rich foods is also important. In addition, existing absorption disorders should be clarified and treated.

Dr. med. Karsten Ostermann M.A.

In general, the choice of a suitable preparation and the dosage should only be made after a precise, targeted diagnosis. Deficiencies and overdoses of vitamin B12 can unbalance the body and should be avoided.

Dr. Karsten Ostermann

Further information

The information listed contains relevant topics and serves to improve understanding.