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What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 got its name cobalamin from cobalt content. Its essential vitamin for humans as it is needed for cell divisions and growth.

What are symptoms of B12 deficiency?

B12 deficiency causes fatigue,weakness, leg cramps ,weight loss, tingling numbness in limbs, anemia ,loss of taste sensation and sometimes severe enough to cause paralysis of limbs .It also causes recurrent oral ulcers and stomach pains.

What are diet sources of Vitamin B12?

Non vegetarian foods are rich source of vit-B12 while vegetarians have very few choices .They get B12 from milk and milk products like butter,cheese,panir,curd,butter milk etc.

How can B12 deficiency be diagnosed?

Your doctor will suspect it on clinical history and sometimes after looking at your complete blood count (CBC) report. B12 level can be done in pathology laboratory and if level is low one can diagnose B12 deficiency.

What are causes of sudden rise in cases of B12 deficiency?

Most common cause is increased awareness and availability of lab test to carry out B12 level in body. Other causes are milk hating people taking no milk at all. Pasteurization process done on milk also reduces its B12 content. It is believed that RO plants used to purify water drains out B12 from drinking water and makes person liable to its deficiency .Over use of drugs like proton pump inhibitors for acidity also predisposes to B12 deficiency. Chewing GUTKHA and katha-chuna also causes reduced absorption of it and its deficiency.

How B12 deficiency is treated?

It is treated with supplementation of Vit B12 . It is available in oral and injectable forms Tablets are to be taken sublingually (to be dissolved below tongue) . Tablets are not very effective and have to be taken daily therefore its practical to correct it by giving injections in muscle. Injections are given alternate day initially followed by weekly and monthly course which has to be continued for long periods.

How long will it take to correct complains after treatment is started?

Most of the symptoms and complains will start responding within few days of starting treatment. However some severe problems related to Nervous system can take weeks to respond to therapy.

What should one do to prevent B12 deficiency?

1) Take plenty of milk and milk products.
2) Avoid tobacco and GUTKHA.
3) Don’t take acidity tablets for long time.
4) Mix water of RO plants with plain water.
5) If feasible use well water.