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How can vitamin B12 deficiency be treated?

Q: I am a 43 years old woman who was advised serum B12 estimation and the result showed 69 pg. What should I do now? What food supplements can help me?

A:Vitamin B12 is a vitamin present in animal sources of food products including meat, eggs, milk and milk products. If a person is a "Vegan" and does not even take milk, he will have vitamin B12 deficiency. This can be asymptomatic or cause anaemia, memory impairment, lack of concentration, fatigue, depression and numbness in hand or feet. Cause of deficiency could be lack of intake in diet or also a problem of absorbing Vitamin B12. Malabsorption is due to recurrent diarrhoea, giardiasis and certain drugs, which impair absorption or a condition called pernicious anaemia in the elderly.

You need to be initially on injections of vitamin B12, which are freely available by different brand names and are given intramuscular after testing for any allergy tendency. Subsequently, you will continue on oral Vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements. Diet should include above mentioned foods. If there is chronic diarrhoea or worms infestation, these need to be treated.


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