Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Kidney condition can be linked to deficiency

Dr Oscar Duke issues warning over ‘fizzy’ vitamins

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Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing pernicious anaemia including their age, gender, and whether they have a family history of the condition.

Women over the age of 60 are more likely to develop pernicious anaemia.

So too are those with an autoimmune condition such as Addison’s disease or vitiligo.

Addison’s disease is a rare condition that affects the adrenal glands; these two glands sit onto the kidneys.

In Addison’s disease the adrenal gland is damaged.

As a result, the glands don’t produce enough cortisol or aldosterone.

Symptoms of Addison’s include:
• Lack of energy or motivation
• Muscle weakness
• Low mood
• Loss of appetite
• Unintentional weight loss
• Increased thirst.

Although these can be symptoms of Addison’s disease, they can also be symptoms of other conditions.

A vitamin B12 deficiency can have other causes as well as pernicious anaemia.

These include diet.

Foods high in vitamin B12 include meat, fish, and dairy.

Furthermore, it could be that the condition is as a result of a condition affecting the stomach or the intestines.

Medicines too can lead to a reduction in the amount of B12 produced by the body.

PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) can affect B12 absorption.

It is also possible for patients to experience a functional deficiency where they experience problems of a B12 deficiency despite having healthy levels of the vitamin.

Common treatments for a B12 deficiency are dietary changes and injections of vitamin B12.

Should a patient experiencing the deficiency have a vegan diet, B12 supplements will be recommended instead of dietary changes.

Guidance about how to get the right levels of vitamins are available on the NHS website.

Meanwhile, more information about B12 can be found via the NHS or your GP.

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