Do You Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Most individuals will have a healthy level of vitamin B12 in their bodies. However, some don’t. Some health conditions, prescription drugs and the things that you eat or don’t eat might be causing the deficiency. When the deficiency is left untreated, it can result in problems with your heart and central nervous system.
Taking vitamin B12 supplements, and changing your diet can help. But before that, your physician should find out why you are not getting enough of the vitamin. As a Los Angeles pharmacy, we share some of the most common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some prescription drugs can lower the levels of vitamin B12 in our bodies. This can be especially true if you use these medications for a long time. Some of these medications include those for:
Many health experts think that long-term use of the diabetes medication metformin can result in malabsorption problems.
An antibiotic named chloramphenicol used to treat infections can lead to issues with vitamin B12 absorption.
Medications used to treat heartburn can block the stomach acid that helps in the absorption of vitamin B12. These include H2 receptor agonists and proton pump inhibitors. Usually, these are used to treat peptic ulcer disease and acid reflux.
Many recent studies are showing that usage of anti-epileptic medications can affect the way your body absorbs vitamin B12.
If you take these medications on a regular basis, your physician may check the levels of vitamin B12 in your body every year. If your B12 levels are too low, then your doctor may change your prescriptions or may also recommend vitamin B12 supplements.
Some people may suffer from a health condition called atrophic gastritis. This is a health condition in which the stomach of the person does not make enough hydrochloric acid, which helps in the intestinal absorption of vitamin B12. If you suffer from atrophic gastritis, it will be easy for your body to absorb vitamin B12 from vitamin supplements and food items fortified with the vitamin. This is why many medical experts suggest people over the age of fifty get necessary vitamin B12 from these sources. However, in some cases, higher doses might be required by older adults to ensure proper levels of the vitamin. Therefore, ask your doctor about the dosage that is right for you.
Some health issues can make it difficult for your small intestine to absorb vitamin B12. These include celiac disease and inflammatory bowel diseases. Treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency due to these conditions can include managing the health conditions and taking vitamin B12 supplements.