5 Causes of B12 Deficiency

RAWPIXEL.COM/SHUTTERSTOCK

A vitamin B12 deficiency, whether because you’re not getting enough B12 or aren’t absorbing it well, can cause symptoms like fatigue, difficulty walking, weakness, and confusion. Find out if you may be vulnerable to this condition.

A vegetarian or vegan diet

Adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet delivers a lot of health benefits, but helping you maintain your B12 levels isn’t one of them. Keep in mind that the body can’t produce vitamin B12—you need to get the nutrient from the foods you eat.

Alyssa Tucci, senior nutrition manager at Virtual Health Partners, points out that this vitamin is found almost exclusively in animal products, so plant-based diets can be one of the causes of B12 deficiency. She suggests incorporating supplemental B12 into your daily regimen if you’re a veggie to ensure that you’re meeting your needs.

Intestinal trouble

As if those suffering from Crohn’s or celiac disease don’t have enough to contend with on a daily basis, a B12 deficiency could be another result of those conditions. “Under normal circumstances, vitamin B12 is absorbed in the intestines—as are most other nutrients,” explains Tucci. “Conditions that cause inflammation and damage to the small intestines, like Crohn’s and celiac disease, can impair our ability to absorb this important vitamin.”

Antacids

We often think nothing of popping an antacid for a sour stomach or to combat acid reflux, but this seemingly innocent move can be one of the causes of B12 deficiency. “In order for B12 to be absorbed, you need to have adequate stomach acid,” says Andrea Maxim, ND.

“Many people are taking acid blockers, which significantly reduce the amount of stomach acid you create.” According to Dr. Maxim, when this acid is created, the stomach releases a protein called intrinsic factor that helps the intestine absorb B12. When you reduce stomach acid with antacids, “the release of intrinsic factor becomes impaired, and therefore B12 can’t get absorbed.”

Common prescription drugs

It’s not just over-the-counter antacids that can cause B12 trouble; Yaffi Lvova, RDN, of Baby Bloom Nutrition, points to prescription medications such as methotrexate (used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and some cancers), certain antibiotics, and some cholesterol-lowering drugs as causes of B12 deficiency.

Diabetes

A study published in the Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders revealed that patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at high risk for B12 deficiency. Metformin, a common treatment for type 2 diabetes, is the connection—it is another prescription medication that seems to interfere with B12 absorption.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

The 8 Most Common Causes of Heel Pain

Pain that occurs under the heel is known as plantar fasciitis. This is the most common cause of heel pain. Pain behind the heel is Achilles tendinitis. Pain can also

13 Tips for Cutting Back on Sugar

Added sugars are empty calories. Your body doesn’t need them, and they can pack on the pounds pretty quickly. The average American eats about 22 teaspoons a day. That’s more

8 Myths You Might Believe About Stress

When you feel stressed, that’s your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand or threat. If you aren’t able to cope with certain things such as meeting a

10 Best Ways to Strengthen Your Bones

Maintaining bone health is essential at all stages of life and even if you have strong bones, you shouldn’t take this for granted. Bone conditions can occur at any age

14 Tips to Improve Your Bone Health

Building a strong skeleton happens all day. From the best ways to exercise to the top foods you should have on your plate, these tips will help fortify your frame.

7 Health Mistakes You Don’t Know You Are Making

Eating fast food, failing to exercise, smoking a pack of cigarettes per day, avoiding the doctor… Everyone knows that certain habits, practices, and lifestyle choices are seriously bad for your

Everything You Should Know About Food Poisoning

Overview Signs and Symptoms When to see a doctor Causes Risk factors Prevention Overview Also known as food-borne illness, food poisoning is determined by eating contaminated, toxic or spoiled food.

7 Surprisingly Dirty Spots in Your House

Bathroom Which part of the bathroom contains the most bacteria? The toilet? Wrong. In fact, toilets are probably the cleanest part of the entire average house because everyone is scared

5 Incredible Secrets to Lose Weight

Have you ever wondered how is to lose weight with delicious meals? With so many temptations around us, we can’t really lose weight. Just think that one burrito has 1.000

11 Signs You’re Way Too Dehydrated

Dehydration is a common health condition in which the body loses more water (whether through sweating, urinating, or breathing) than it takes in. The amount of fluid needs to be

Scroll to Top