Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for blood formation and the functioning of the nervous system. The problem with this vitamin is that our body cannot produce it, so it has to rely on food sources and supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is common among vegetarians and vegans as this mineral is not found in plant-based foods. Research suggests that up to 80-90% of vegans and vegetarians are deficient in vitamin B12.
4 symptoms that may mimic dementia
This disorder affects the human body in several ways. From causing vitamin deficiency anemia that forms the basis of the central nervous system. Many times, symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are confused with dementia because of overlapping symptoms.
This leads to inappropriate or delayed treatment. Here are four symptoms of dementia similar to vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is also responsible for creating healthy blood cells that carry oxygen to different parts of the body. The lack of red blood cells will reduce the supply of oxygen to the brain, leading to confusion. Some people may feel dizzy from time to time.
Research suggests that high homocysteine levels caused by low vitamin B12 levels may interfere with the functioning of certain tissues in the brain. This disrupts the brain’s signals, leading to mood swings and even depression. Research suggests that the condition is reversible by taking vitamin B12 supplements.
If you have recently noticed changes in your concentration levels, be diagnosed with low vitamin B12 levels. Low concentration is a typical symptom of nutrient deficiency, caused by a lack of adequate oxygen in the brain and disorders in the brain tissue.
Having trouble finding the right word while speaking, or often forgetting things after stuck somewhere, are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as well as dementia. Symptoms can be long-term or short-term depending on the complexity of your situation.
The causes of vitamin B12 deficiency
There are two main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency – pernicious anemia and diet. In the first case, the immune system destroys healthy cells in the stomach, preventing the body from absorbing the vitamin from the supplement and the food you take in.
The second is caused by insufficient intake of vitamin B12 in the diet. This could be because you are not consuming enough vitamin B12-rich foods, or because you are vegan or vegetarian.
How much vitamin B12 should you consume
The amount of vitamin B12 you need during the day varies with age. Average daily recommended amounts, measured in micrograms (mcg), are:
- Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
- Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg
- Adults: 2.4 mcg
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: 2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding
When to see the doctor
Along with the above-mentioned symptoms, if your skin looks pale, you feel weak, there is any change in mobility and you often feel breathless then do not waste a minute scheduling your appointment with the doctor. Your physician may recommend getting a blood test to diagnose the possibility of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Based on the report he will suggest changes in the diet or would prescribe supplements accordingly.