B12 Deficiency may Cause Chronic Fatigue

November 12, 2012

B12 Deficiency may Cause Chronic Fatigue

A major symptom of B12 deficiency may be chronic fatigue and cognitive dysfunction. But this is easily corrected.

Vitamin B12 plays many roles in the biological system. In particular it is responsible for the formation of red blood cells and it protects neurons and nerves. It is also responsible for the absorption of vitamin B9 otherwise known as folic acid and it is also important for energizing cells. Individuals who lack intrinsic factor are known to have a B12 deficiency symptoms. Intrinsic factor is produced in the stomach and is required for the proper absorption of B12. They develop a serious condition known as pernicious anemia. It’s a good idea to be aware ob B12 deficiency symptoms so you’ll know when to get profession help. B12 deficiency symptoms may take a long time to show up or come crashing down all of a sudden.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

  • Fatigue is a major part of B12 deficiency symptoms (that run down feeling)

  • Excessive breathing during normal activity or light exercise (your out of breath)-when you are low on B12 you need more oxygen in your system to run metabolic pathways hence the extra breathing.

  • Heart arrhythmia

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Possible weight loss

  • You might have a pale skin color due to the lack of red blood cells

  • Become sick more often due to bacterial or viral infections

  • Brain dysfunction include muscle weakness, dizziness, confusion, tingling sensations in your extremities, lack of focus and concentration and overall cognition.

B12 Deficiency Causes

There can be a number of B12 deficiency symptom causes but in general there are 3 main issues. These include: autoimmunity, intestinal issues and diet.

Some individuals generate antibodies to cells in the stomach lining that secrete intrinsic factor (IF). This is a form of autoimmunity. Autoimmunity is when your immune system recognizes self as foreign. As such the immune system marks those proteins or cells for destruction. Individuals who produce antibodies to cells that produce IF can’t produce this factor in the stomach. This factor is required for the proper absorption of B12. These individuals develop what is known as pernicious anemia. These individuals require injection of B12 to correct the problem.

Individuals who have intestinal issues such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have difficulty in absorbing B12 because their intestinal lining is badly inflamed.

Last but not least, B12 deficiency symptoms can be caused by an improper diet. This is more likely to happen if your are a vegetarian or vegan. Eggs and meat are good sources of B12. This individual should supplement with B12 but actually with all Vitamin Bs.

How Find Out if you Have a B12 Deficiency

If you suspect you have a B12 deficiency symptoms, you need only visit your healthcare provider. Your doctor will look for signs of fatigue, pale skin and heart arrhythmia. All that is needed is for a blood test to be done to see if you have a low red blood cell count. A blood sample can also be assayed for the presence of B12. Your physician may also check for the presence of IF as well if he/she suspects an autoimmune condition.

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