A deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to numerous ailments, including anemia. It is important to understand the causes and symptoms of this disease, along with the treatment options. There are several different types of deficiencies, including Transcobalamin II, Pernicious anemia, and age-related deficiencies.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include short-term memory loss, fatigue, irritability, and general weakness. This condition can be treated by taking vitamins. It can also affect the nervous system, leading to peripheral neuropathy, which may result in problems with vision, pins, needles, and difficulty walking.
Typically, a healthcare provider will conduct blood tests to detect pernicious anemia. These tests can measure the level of hematocrit (the proportion of hemoglobin in the blood) and the total number of red blood cells. In addition, the test will check for antibodies against the intrinsic factor, which is a protein that is produced by the parietal cells in the stomach.
People with pernicious anemia are also at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer. In fact, research shows that patients with this condition have three times the chance of developing stomach cancer. In some cases, people may also develop an autoimmune disease, which causes the immune system to attack the cells that produce intrinsic factors.
This condition usually occurs in people over the age of 50. It is also more common in women than men. In some cases, the disease can run in families. A person with this condition can get help from a doctor or a hematologist, a physician who specializes in blood diseases.
Because pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease, it is more likely to occur in people with other autoimmune conditions. For example, people with vitiligo, Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for the disease.
Various hematological manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency are well known. However, hypersegmented neutrophils, which are also known as megaloblastic anemia, are a key feature of this condition. Symptoms include anemia, neutrophil hypersegmentation, and thrombocytopenia.
The diagnosis of megaloblastic anemia is usually made by a combination of clinical features and laboratory data. A peripheral blood smear is a crucial tool for the evaluation of this condition. The peripheral blood film can show abnormalities such as macrocytosis and cytoplasm asynchrony. This is often seen in 3 percent of the general population.
Megaloblastic anemia is the result of a deficiency of the vitamin B12-folic acid system, a combination of amino acids needed for the synthesis of DNA and rapidly dividing cells in the bone marrow. A normal serum folic acid level is 2-20ng/mL. Deficiency in folic acid is the most common cause of megaloblastic anemia.
A study was conducted to determine the presence of hypersegmented neutrophils in peripheral smears of patients with microcytic hypochromic anemia (MCHA). A total of 100 smears were evaluated, 41 with NH and 31 without. The smears were compared with blood counts to determine whether the hypersegmented neutrophils were associated with thrombocytosis.
The smears were classified into the three morphologic forms of NH: normal, peripheral, or nuclear. The study revealed that a normal mean corpuscular volume of 96 fL was present in only 1.7 percent of the patients. In the remaining cases, the mean lobe count was elevated.
Transcobalamin II deficiency
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 and transcobalamin II is a rare autosomal recessive disorder, causing failure to thrive and long-term neurological sequelae. The condition results from an inborn defect that leads to the trapping of free vitamin B12 in lysosomes. It is characterized by megaloblastic anemia and pancytopenia. Despite treatment, severe neurologic symptoms may be irreversible.
Transcobalamin II is a carrier protein that transports the cobalamin molecule into hepatocytes and other hematopoietic cells. It enters the cells through a receptor encoded by CD320. It is also known as R-protein. It is produced by the salivary glands of the mouth. Normally, it is required for cell division and DNA synthesis. Its role in methyl transfer is important for normal neural function.
The transcobalamin II gene is located on chromosome 22q12.2 and contains nine coding exons. It is known to be the receptor for vitamin B12 in the hematopoietic system. Several genetic studies have revealed that TC II is associated with the red blood cell mean corpuscular volume. The absence of TC II causes a secondary impairment of methionine synthase and methyl-malonyl CoA mutase.
In addition to a clinically evident deficiency, patients with a TC II deficiency have elevated methylmalonic acid levels. This may indicate recurrent infections and neurologic abnormalities. The defect in mitochondrial DNA synthesis may also result in vacuolization.
Cobalamin deficiency usually occurs at a young age. It can be caused by ileal disease, infection, primary achlorhydria, or Whipple disease. The condition is rarely life-threatening. However, it can lead to progressive stiffness of the legs and intellectual disability.
Getting the vitamin B12 your body needs can be tricky. If you have a medical condition, are taking medication, or have undergone weight loss surgery, you may not get the amount you need. In addition, age can make it difficult to absorb. You can get your vitamin B12 fixed from fortified foods and supplements. Depending on your situation, you might need to take a vitamin B12 supplement every day.
A study conducted by researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University examined the connection between folate and vitamin B12 and found that high doses of the two were linked to improved cognitive performance. For example, people with good vitamin B12 levels tended to perform better on a cognitive test requiring sustained attention and associative learning. On the other hand, seniors with poor vitamin B12 levels performed poorly on the same test.
The aforementioned study was the latest in a series of studies to measure the relationship between nutrition and cognition. The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, collected between 1999 and 2002. They compared the vitamin B-12 and folate levels of individuals aged 60 and over.
The results indicated that older adults with low vitamin B12 levels tended to have anemia, which isn’t a good thing. This is because red blood cells are depleted of hemoglobin. Fortunately, the two nutrients are naturally present in many foods and can be acquired via fortified foods and supplements.
Symptoms of deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are caused by a lack of vitamins in the body. This can be caused by digestive problems, a medical condition, or genetics. This can lead to low energy, fatigue, and anemia. It may also cause nerve damage.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include a slow heart rate, weakness, numbness, and a pale complexion. Usually, these symptoms can start slowly and only become noticeable after several months. If you are unsure of your symptoms, you should talk to your doctor. He or she can order a blood test to diagnose the problem. This will allow your doctor to see how low your vitamin B12 levels are. You can also find out your level on the nutrition labels of foods you eat.
If your symptoms are severe, you can be treated with injections. These injections temporarily treat the vitamin B12 deficiency. You may feel a small amount of discomfort where the needle is inserted. Depending on your symptoms, you may be referred to a hematologist or a specialist.
Those with autoimmune diseases or cancers are more prone to developing pernicious anemia. This is a form of anemia caused by a decrease in the amount of stomach acid. This can lead to damage to the lining of the stomach, which prevents the absorption of vitamin B12. If you have this condition, you may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a hematologist, or a doctor who specializes in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 causes anemia, which is a disorder that causes people to feel weak. Symptoms include tiredness, breathlessness, and faintness. A blood test can confirm the diagnosis.
In severe cases, nerve damage can result. The spinal cord may be damaged, and this can cause muscle weakness and a loss of senses like light touch. There may also be problems with proprioception and sense of movement. These symptoms may be permanent.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a number of factors. Some of the more common ones are autoimmune conditions, gastrointestinal disease, or chronic alcohol use. If you have a history of these conditions, you may have problems absorbing B12. Some medicines, such as chloramphenicol and metformin, can interfere with the absorption of B12.
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition that occurs when your body attacks the intrinsic factor cells in your digestive tract. People with pernicious anemia are three times more likely to develop stomach cancer. The condition is often found in older adults. It is thought to run in families. However, it can occur in younger people as well.
A deficiency of vitamin B12 can affect the brain. This can lead to irreversible nerve damage and can cause memory loss and psychological problems. This is why it is important to identify and treat the problem early.
Depending on the cause, treatment varies. Some treatments include supplementation and diet changes. Others may involve medication or surgery.
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