Vitamin B12 also called cobalamin, is one of 8 B vitamins that help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. B complex vitamins are needed for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. It helps the nervous system function properly, helps make red blood cells, and to help the iron work better in the body. All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can commonly be found in
- The elderly
- Those who’ve had surgery that removes the part of the bowel that absorbs B12
- People on the drug metformin for diabetes
- People following a strict vegan diet
- Those taking long-term antacid drugs for heartburn
You might have vitamin B12 deficiency if you have any of the following symptoms.
- Pale or Jaundiced Skin
- Feeling Weakness and Fatigue
- Sensations of Pins and Needles
- Breathlessness and Dizziness
- Red and swollen tongue
- Disturbed Vision
- Mood Changes
How Vitamin B12 level Test is Conducted?
The blood sample is used to check the vitamin B-12 status, but a urine test is also conducted.
Although it is not necessary to fast before a B-12 test, a person may need to consult the doctor before going for the test. It also is important to tell the doctor about any medications and supplements you are taking, as some can affect the results.
Vitamin B12 level Test Results
The results may be varied with age or some other medical factors, so it is better to consult with your health care specialist. The generic readings may fall into the following categories:
- High: An abnormally high vitamin B-12 status is anything over 900 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
- Normal: The normal range for vitamin B-12 in the blood is between 200 and 900 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
- Low: Levels of vitamin B-12 are low if they are below 200 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).
What to do in case of having low Vitamin B12 level.
The following food will help to treat the deficiency of Vitamin B12
- Beef, liver, and chicken.
- Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams.
- Fortified breakfast cereal.
- Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Supplements for a multivitamin is also available which can be taken after consulting it with the doctor.
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