B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Prolonged incidence of B12 Deficiency Symptoms will give you a high chance of acquiring Pernicious Anemia.


The etiology of having Pernicious Anemia is greatly related to the malabsorption of Vitamin B12 in the small intestine, which in result can be originated by a degree of factors. Significant contributory causes for the pernicious anemia are irregular bacterial flora development in the small intestine, Celiac or Chron’s disease and surgical procedures like gastric bypass surgical procedure.

What is Anemia in B12 Deficiency Disease?

Anemia is described as a medical condition distinguished by lack of oxygen delivery to various body parts due to abnormal red blood cells. The classic cause of anemia is the insufficiency of hemoglobin carried by red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrying body of red blood cells. For males the indicative laboratory finding of the condition is less than 13gm/dl while for females it is at 12gm/dl.

It can be a life long or perpetual disease and B12 Deficiency Symptoms can vary from being undetectable, mild to severe. It can be a result of a prolonged event of vitamin B12 deficiency of the body because there would be a delay on the red blood cell’s development. The cells are immature, large and nucleated. It is as well termed as megaloblastic anemia due to its bizarre characteristics. This type of anemia builds up over time and is naturally asymptomatic on its early stage. The condition’s onset occurs earlier than the age of 30 years old and the diagnosis age is at 60 years.

What are the B12 Deficiency Symptoms?

The symptoms of this disease involve many systems in the body since vitamin B12 has various functions. Symptoms can be mild at first but it will worsen if the depletion is not attended to with vitamin B12 intramuscular injections and oral supplements treatment.

The early symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency includes light-headedness or a dragging feeling, weakness, paleness, rapid breathing and increased heart rate. It could later progress to easy bruising and hemorrhage of the gums, chronic constipation, regular indigestion, weight loss, soreness and itching feeling at the rim of the tongue, niggling pain beneath the ring finger and at the outside rim of the palm and wrist (See: Wrist pain). White spots on the skin may also appear.

Moreover, at a long term basis, it can lead to memory loss that aggravates through time; eye twitches that is irritating on the lower eyelid, tickling feeling that occurs on the hips (See: Hip pain) and downwards, fatigue (See: Chronic Fatigue Symptoms), sleeplessness, migraines, neurologic injuries and irregular menses.

B12 Deficiency Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia can frequently imitate anemia due to folic acid or vitamin B9 deficiency. For this reason, vitamin B12 deficiency is from time to time erroneously diagnosed as folic acid deficiency. The outcome of this disease can give you sans-hemoglobin red blood cells that have defective functions. The treatment regimen for this type of anemia should always start with diagnostic examinations to accurately determine its cause.

How is Pernicious Anemia Diagnosed?

The importance of its diagnosis is mentioned earlier. The initial pace is always a meticulous physical and history assessments by a member of health care team. The results of this test are utilized for the thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition. A number of laboratory examinations are performed for the diagnosis of this condition. It consist of a CBC or complete blood count, blood smear examination or peripheral smear, measuring vitamin B12 blood levels, tests for the existence of auto antibodies to intrinsic factors that self destruct it, blood iron levels or iron binding capacity of the blood.

In addition with these tests we have the assessment of folic acid levels to help in the rule out folic acid deficiency and Schilling test. Schilling test is a 24 hour urine examination and it requires the patient to hoard his urine for the next 24 hours; he is instructed to dispose of the first stream of urine after awakening due to its concentration during the inactivity through the night. Hemocysteine or methymalonic acid blood levels should also be analyzed because it is a sensitive gauge of vitamin B12 deficiency. To end with the diagnostic tests, bone marrow biopsy or bone marrow aspiration can be suggested to perform if there is a suspected bone marrow dysfunction.

What are the Complications of B12 Deficiency Symptoms?

The complications that can arise due to B12 Deficiency Symptoms affect several organs such as the heart, nerves and digestive tract. The heart works harder to pump blood to provide enough oxygen to every part of the body. The heavy workload can stress the heart and may cause murmurs or unusual heart sounds that can be heard upon auscultation, hypertrophy of the left ventricle or even failure of the heart which can be the reason of the patient’s death. Vitamin B12 deficiency can destroy nerve cells and cause sensory alterations such as numbness and tingling sensation in the feet and hands which can result to problems with balance and walking. It also changes the sensory perception of the patient. For the digestive tract, it can alter the facade of the tongue and shrink the lining of the stomach.

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