A healthy level of Vitamin B12 is very important for the smooth functioning of the body. From the health of the brain to the production levels of blood cells – vitamin B12 facilitates it all. But today as the workload and the level of stress is on its rise, the number of people who are deficient in this essential nutritious component is unfortunately quite high in numbers.
Since vitamin B12 is so crucial for the healthy functioning of the body, it is just as crucial to keep a tab on its levels. Its deficiency is often overlooked, which ends up in it developing into a much more severe medical complication. Therefore, knowing the symptoms of the vitamin b12 deficiency and getting tested at regular intervals is very important to stay on the path of good health.
When to Get Tested?
According to the report by one of the most reputed organizations, 8 out of every 10 Indians fall prey to vitamin b12 deficiency. Hence, it is essential to know when to get tested so that this deficiency can be dealt with easily at its earlier stages itself.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Even though regular testing is highly recommended, there happen to be some symptoms that directly imply the deficiency of vitamin b12. Often neglected, one should get the vitamin b12 test as soon as any of the following symptoms show up:
- Fatigue: when the body is deficient in vitamin b12, it is very common to feel fatigued all the time. This is because vitamin b12 facilitates the formation and circulation of red blood cells. Upon its deficiency, the number of healthy red blood cells also decreases. Since these cells are supposed to circulate oxygen, the declined circulation of the same causes the person to feel tired all the time.
- Pale or yellow tone of the skin: another common symptom of vitamin b12 deficiency is the yellowish tone of the affected person’s skin. This deficiency may also pave the way for jaundice, which ends up having some serious effects on the health of the person.
- Gastrointestinal problems: various kinds of gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation, and nausea may be implying to the vitamin b12 deficiency in the patient’s body. Even though vitamin b12 deficiency is not the only medical condition that these symptoms point to, they are a valid preliminary pointer for the same. One can always get a vitamin b12 test when going through gastrointestinal problems.
Other symptoms that indicate the deficiency of vitamin b12 levels are prevalent headaches, depression, lack of ability to focus, pain and burning sensation in the mouth, and vision disturbances. The symptoms can sometimes even go beyond the ones mentioned in this section, though these are the most observed ones.
Preparing for the Test
The vitamin b12 test is a basic blood test carried out by a medical professional. As per differing cases and needs, the physician may advise what preparations one needs to do before the test. However, here are a few general instructions that medical professionals usually ask people to do before getting a vitamin b12 test done:
- Fasting for about 6 to 8 hours before coming for the blood test.
- Stopping the consumption of certain medications as it may hamper the process of the vitamin b12 test.
Results of the Test
Once the blood test for vitamin b12 has been done, the medical professional is supposed to analyze the report and suggest medications or treatments as per the needs. The result of 200 to 900 picograms per mL is considered healthy for adults. If the levels of vitamin b12 in the body stoop below the number of 200 picograms per mL, it is considered as a deficiency of this component. Treatments and medications are provided to the patients as per the severity of their case.
Even though the range of 200 to 900 picogram per mL is considered normal for most adults, some people belonging to the older section of the age group may go through the symptoms of the deficiency category when their vitamin b12 falls into the range of 200 to 500 picogram per ML.
As it is now understood that vitamin b12 levels are extremely crucial in the body, tolerance of the same is quite important. Since our body does not manufacture vitamins by itself, the presence of them in the body depends majorly upon the diet of the person. Hence, one should always maintain a balanced diet to prevent such medical conditions.
Apart from taking preventive steps such as maintaining a healthy diet one should also get regular tests at their nearby pathology labs. This helps ensure that no deficiency or underlying disease due to less amount of vitamin b12 levels arise. A regular vitamin b12 test helps people ensure that they need to keep their health in check.