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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Here are 4 symptoms that may mimic dementia

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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Here are 4 symptoms that may mimic dementia

Vitamin B12 deficiency: Here are 4 symptoms that may mimic dementia

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin required for the formation of the blood and the functioning of the nerve system.

The problem with this vitamin is that our body cannot produce it, so it has to depend on food sources and supplements for it.

The deficiency of the B12 vitamin is common among vegetarians and vegans as this mineral is not found in plant-based food products.

Studies suggest that up to 80- 90 per cent of vegans and vegetarians are vitamin B12 deficient. This disorder impacts the human body in several ways.

Right from causing vitamin deficiency anaemia to underpins the central nervous system. Many times symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency is confused with dementia due to overlapping signs.

This leads to wrong or delayed treatment. Here are four signs of dementia similar to that of B12 deficiency.

Confusion

Vitamin B12 is also responsible for making healthy blood cells, which carries oxygen to different parts of the body. Lack of red blood cells will decrease the oxygen supply in the brain leading to confusion. Some people may even feel dizzy from time to time.

​Depression

Studies suggest that high levels of homocysteine caused by low levels of B12 can disturb some brain tissue. This causes interference in your brain signals, leading to mood swings and even depression. Studies suggest that the condition is reversible by taking vitamin B12 supplements.

Poor concentration

If you have been noticing changes in your concentration level lately then get yourself diagnosed for low Vitamin B12 level. Poor concentration is a typical sign of nutrient deficiency caused by a lack of adequate amount of oxygen in the brain and the disturbance in the brain tissue.

05/8​Forgetfulness

The trouble finding the right word while speaking or often forgetting things after keeping it at someplace are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency as well as dementia. The symptoms can be long term or short term, depending on the complexity of your situation.

06/8​Causes of B12 deficiency

There are two major causes of B12 deficiency- pernicious anaemia and diet.

In the first case, your immune system destroys healthy cells in your stomach, preventing your body from absorbing the vitamin from the supplement and food you take.

The second one is caused due to insufficient intake of Vitamin B12 through the diet. It can be because you are not eating enough Vitamin B12 rich food or you are a vegan or a vegetarian.

07/8​How much Vitamin B12 you must consume

The amount of vitamin B12 you need in a day varies from age. The 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

08/8​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.

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