Life Threatening Vitamin Deficiency From Vegetarian Diet

Sara has been a vegetarian from her early teens till her early thirties, which is for the last 15 years. She started having eyesight problems when she was 18 and things kept on becoming worse for her by the time she was in her thirties. At this time she was suffering from extreme depression, her periods kept on becoming more and more painful and tinnitus and chronic fatigue began.

And earlier this month Sara was admitted to hospital after flu put her in bed for over 10 days. Specialist doctors found that she was extremely underweight and suffering from a high vitamin B12 deficiency and low hemoglobin levels. The doctor gave her high injection doses of vitamin b12 which improved her condition. Now she self-injects her with vitamin B12 every other day.

Vitamin B12 is also referred as the energy vitamin for us. Our body requires vitamin b12 for a number of different purposes such as blood cell development, energy production, DNA synthesis, and myelin formation. Myelin is insulation which protects the nerves and helps them to effectively communicate with each other.

Studies prove that at least 25% of the total population in the United States is Vitamin B12 deficient.  Hereis some more info on how this type of vitamin deficiency can affect us.vitamin-b-12-rev

Vitamin B12 Problems for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 is not widely available in plants so this problem is very common among vegans. If you aren’t a meat eater, you might be suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency as well. In case you are wondering if meat eaters ever suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency, I would like to tell you that it’s possible and there are few reasons to this such as old age, usage of antacids and anti-ulcer drugs, usage of metformin and other medications.  All of these can hamper absorption of B12.

Common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency

These are the common symptoms that are experienced by Vitamin B12 deficiency patients:

  1. Depression: Depression occurs due to the shortage of compounds known as monoamines. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of monoamines which then eliminates depression.
  1. Sleep Problems: If you are finding it difficult to sleep, you must get a medical checkup for Vitamin B12 deficiency. The possible reason could be the lack of melatonin in your body.
  1. Cancer: As we have already discussed above, Vitamin B12 has an important role in DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in damaging your DNA which can cause cancer.
  1. Anemia: It is a disease which is caused due to the shortage of red blood cells in your body. Vitamin B12 helps in the production of red blood cells and prevents this disease from affecting other organs and functions in the body.
  1. Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease: Lack of folic acid and vitamin B12 can raise your homocysteine levels which could result in increased risk of heart disease and strokes.

Final Thoughts

It is always recommended that you keep your diet balanced by eating vegetables and meat. This would keep you healthy and eliminate a lot of possible diseases. But still, if you find it difficult to eat meat, there are other options for you such as oral and injection doses of vitamin B12.

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