B12 Deficiency Disease is an abnormal state of the body caused by the inadequate supply of vitamin B12 in the body.
Vitamin B12 is essential for keeping the body healthy. Every organ of our body needs it because it is involved in the production of red blood cells which supplies oxygen to every single cell of the body.
What is Vitamin B12?
There are eight B vitamins and each of them have different functions. They are considered as water-soluble vitamins and can be consumed in a daily manner because they are not stored in the body. They absorbed efficiently by the digestive tract to maintain wellness of the body and excessive amounts are eliminated in the urine. Vitamin B12 is also called as cobalamin because it is known to have an element of cobalt. It is absorbed in the small intestine, specifically, in the ileum.In order for it to be absorbed, it needs a substance called intrinsic factor, which is produced by the parietal cells in the stomach (See: Stomach cancer symptoms). This vitamin is later on stored in the liver at about 10mg. It is exclusively synthesized by bacteria that are primarily found in eggs, dairy products and meat.
Vitamin B12 has an essential part in neurologic function and DNA synthesis. Other functions of this vitamin are for the combination of RBCs, upholding nervous system function and the growth and development of children. During the division of cells, it is an essential component that hastens DNA synthesis. It is greatly needed by tissues that have rapidly dividing cells. Vitamin B12 is also need in the metabolism of fatty acids because it is required for the preservation of myelin. Nerves are encircled and protected by fatty sheaths that are made of complex protein called myelin, which is why it is essential to improve the body’s neurologic function.
What is B12 Deficiency Disease?
Since the main function of Vitamin B12 is to maintain optimal neurologic function and DNA synthesis, then a deficiency of this vitamin will significantly affect these. B12 Deficiency Disease can result to a broad spectrum of neuropsychiatric and hematologic ailments that are often reversible by timely diagnosis and rapid treatment.
The primary origin of this condition is the inadequacy of vitamin absorption due to the depletion of the intrinsic factor that makes the process of absorption in the ileum possible. When B12 Deficiency Disease occurs, the synthesis of DNA is interrupted and abnormal cells, known as megaloblast, can form and eventually result to anemia. The B12 Deficiency Symptoms such as fatigue (See: Chronic Fatigue Symptoms), pallor and poor immune system can arise. This condition can be associated to a variety of methylmalonic acidurias.
What are the Identified Causes of B12 Deficiency Disease?
There related causes that can contribute on the incidence of this condition commence with the undersupply of nutrients in your daily diet. This can be a usual event for vegans because of their diet preferences. People are frequently confused on the principles of vegan and vegetarian diet. Vegetarian diet is just a form of vegan diet. Vegan diet is the general term and consists of more strict principles than vegetarian diets because the evasion of eating meats and its other associated products is sternly observed. Meat and dairy products are responsible for the synthesis of this vitamin and the absence of these products can lead to the deficiency of vitamin B12.
Other causes can be linked to the damage of some parietal cells of the stomach which can further lead to pernicious anemia. It can also be a consequence of surgeries involving the stomach like Billroth I and II and can be caused by genetic factors. Another reason why b12 deficiency takes place is because of indigestion and malabsorption. This is maybe due to the damage on the structure of the stomach or the ileum. In addition with this, some drugs for instance, metformin can hinder the absorption of Vitamin B12 in the body.
What are the Treatments for this Condition?
Mild deficiency can be reversed by maintaining a jam-packed diet that is rich in Vitamin B12 and other essential nutrients. If a person can’t tolerate taking or eating this kind of foods then he may be prescribed to eat fortified foods with vitamin B12 and take oral supplements to compensate his shortages. There are particular dosages for every age group and some other conditions like in pregnancy that should be taken for a period of time. On the other hand, for long term or chronic cases, the supplements are usually taken for life.
For life long B12 Deficiency Disease, intramuscular injection is often a requisite along with oral supplements to keep the amount of Vitamin B12 at normal levels in the body. The frequency of its administration usually start at one shot per day then later on becomes once a week and finally once a month. If the diagnosis is performed at a grave stage, then a blood transfusion is often suggested to help the person surpass the crisis. The blood transfusion should be closely monitored because it can contribute to additional complications to the patient (pulmonary edema and heart failure). A modern treatment option for this condition is the Nascobal nasal spray which is efficient but very costly. It can work on its own without the adjunct of any other therapies.
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