How do you know if your b12 deficient?

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal functioning of the human body. The deficiency of this vitamin can cause some serious health complications, including nerve damage and anemia, which is why it’s crucial to identify if you are b12 deficient. Most people are not even aware that they lack sufficient amounts of this vitamin. This article will inform you about ways to find out whether or not you have a B12 deficiency.

What Is Vitamin B-12?

Before moving forward, let’s talk about what exactly vitamin B-12 is. A water-soluble vitamin commonly found in animal products like meat and dairy, it plays a vital role in maintaining healthy nerve cells and red blood cells in your body. It also helps synthesize DNA – the genetic material present in our bodies’ cells.

Symptoms And Causes Of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

There may be many reasons behind having low levels of this nutrient; however, below mentioned are that causes most frequently associated with b- 12 deficiencies.

  • Inadequate intake leading to malabsorption
  • Not consuming enough meat or other animal products containing food items high amount of this vitamin
  • Stomach-related issues (Crohn’s disease)
  • Gastric surgery
  • Veganism

The following symptoms can occur when one has less than adequate amounts:

Numbness Or Tingling Sensation:

It can happen anywhere from hands to feet causing pins-and-needles sensations –B1ithough tetrabenazine/dihydropteridinone betaine/Thiamine could lead similar symptoms.


Feeling lethargic despite taking proper nutritional diet

Unsteady Gait Or Loss Of Balance Control:

Trouble walking around without stumbling now then may indicate low level of VB nitric acid

Rapid Heart Beat:

If your heartbeats faster than the usual rate, it could be a sign of several deficiencies including B-12.

Pale Skin/Icterus(15)

People with pernicious anemia may develop yellowish discoloration along with itching and nhl19

Inflamed Tongue

Redness and soreness of tongue that can also cause difficulty in swallowing food items.

Diagnosis Methods Used By Physicians

There are specific medical tests to diagnose whether a person is b12 deficient or not. This diagnosis typically involves isolating vitamin b-12 from someone’s blood sample and checking its levels there. Here are some different ways doctors undertake:

Serum Test

Measures the amount of vitamin B12 in your blood.The report usually comes after 7 days having reference values ranging approximately between200 to 910 ng/L(pg/mL)3to keep one physically active.

VitaminB₃ Reference Range
VitaminB -120 pg/ml –2​00–950
This test helps identify deficiency but sometimes doesn’t work during treatment process so other tests are preferred.

Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) Test

As we know that this acid formation only happens when one’s body lacks sufficient amounts of VBthirteen,cobalamin which makes increased MMA presence in urine as result.

Complete Blood Count (CBC)

This test measures hemoglobin levels along with red/white blood cell counts & platelets.Healthcare practitioners precisely look for abnormality in the mentioned parameters giving indications about possible causes leading to definite conditions mentioned later.First line investigations:

Macrocytic Anemia

Large-sized erythrocytes indicating inadequacy regarding vitamins namely VBtwelve/nine/B1 ⁠hich affects RBC production ,but stress/tobacco usage can cause similar effects although regenerative anemia can cause macrocytosis.

Pernicious Anemia

It’s a type of blood disorder which leads to insufficient VB 12 absorption in body triggering celluar degeneration like erythroblasts/lymphocytes/neutrophils having origins from autoimmune mechanisms.

Schilling Test

This test confirms pernicious anaemia – Cobalamin (B-12) malabsorption

Serum holotranscobalamin II

When your physician wants to be more specific, they suggest measuring the level of active B-12 through testing serum holotranscobalamin II. The report comes with reference values ranging between 37 and 182 pmol/L4.This highly sensitive &first line screening method for cobalmin-deficient patients proves its effectiveness along with homocysteine levels/dimethylglycine-to-betaine ratio measurements.

Prevention And Treatment

Prevention is always better than cure; hence it’s crucial to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin B-12 by following certain diets that contain good amounts such as:

  • Meat, fish & dairy products are sources rich in vitamin b-2.
  • Organ meats like liver or kidney, beef , pork are very high in this nutrient
    Vegetables such as spinach and broccoli despite being low on this content help absorb greater amounts of other essential nutrients required for the complete growth cycle.

If you have already been diagnosed with deficiency problems then here few treatments to follow suggested by health care professionals:

Oral Replacement Therapy:

Odds oster verbal medication tablets containing Vit B-twelve around cyanide groups enables easy transfer into one’s stomach absorbus giving preference over IM injections. Daily-dosing routine provides equivalence in dosage and bioavailability A study published By which demonstrated this treatment plan successfully increasing cobalamination of its subjects after following prescribed medications.

Parenteral Replacement Therapy

In cases of severe deficiency problems, physicians recommend administering injections relating b12 under muscle/tissues. The frequency and dose selection vary based on the patient’s condition but prove effective for reflexes improvements/unsteadiness in balance control becoming less common.


Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient vital for functioning good health.Someone who lacks enough amounts may lead a risk of developing nerve damage or anemia maintaining healthy diets/taking vitamin supplements to maintain its levels preventively..If you feel any symptoms mentioned above, it’s always better to have routine check-ups rather than ignoring them. Physicians use specific tests like serum holotranscobalamin II and Schilling tests etc.,While certain issues can cause similar pointed questions/ examinations.Its prevention &management require lifestyle modifications plus mental support being conscious regarding change indicating your body also changes over-time although proactively stepping upon detecting imbalance would be better as always.


  1. NIH Office Of Dietary
  2. Methylmalonicademia(MMADR Propionate) available at (Link)
    3.Biochemistry Studies available at (link)
    4.Ramzi A AJKCKG.This test determines early detection HD present research describes:Sensitivity analysis,interval valuations and detailed differentialsClinica Chimica Acta 2019;493:S252.
    5.Oral cyanocobalmin compared parenteral therapy:study by (Main Sponsorer=

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