What is it?

B12, also known as cobalamin, has a role in producing red blood cells, DNA and is essential for the proper function of our nervous system. Anemia occurs when there is a decreased amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Due to B12’s role in building RBC’s, lack of B12 may lead to anemia. This is a rather common cause for anemia, especially in the elderly.
There are many causes for B12 deficiency. These include low dietary intake, inefficient absorption, some medications and more. Foods rich with B12 include meats, fish, eggs and dairy.

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B12 Deficiency Anemia.

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms include general symptoms of anemia such as
-Fatigue
-Weakness
-Shortness of breath
-Pale skin
-Tongue swelling and tenderness (Glossitis)

Symptoms that are more specifically found in patients with anemia due to B12 deficiency are neurological symptoms, due to B12’s role in proper function of the neurological system. These include
-Sensations of pins and needles
-Disequilibrium
-Blurred vision
-Mood Changes

Diagnosis

CBC (complete blood count)- This test gives information about the different cells that circulate in your blood. It includes information about white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. It is a common test used routinely and is usually the first test the doctor will ask for when anemia is suspected. This test is sufficient in order to diagnose anemia. If anemia due to B12 deficiency is suspected, the doctor may ask to check Folate and B12 rates in your blood

Treatment

Treatment includes B12 supplementation, either by increasing dietary intake or by tablets. These are often combined with other vitamins.
It is essential to treat folate deficiency as well if present. This is of course alongside with treating the source for deficiency if possible.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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