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Vitamin B12 check

What is vitamin B12?

Whether red blood cells, skin or nerve cells - vitamin B12 is required whenever your organism forms new cells. Therefore it is also called a “cellular vitamin”.

What tasks does vitamin B12 have in the body?

Vitamin B12 is essential in various metabolic processes Involved in your body, including the breakdown of fatty acids, cell division and the function of nerves. Its central importance for the metabolism of the vitamin folic acid (folate) also makes it important for blood formation. It cannot be produced by humans, animals or plants. Only microorganisms are able to do this. A strict vegan diet can therefore lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency more easily.

In many cases, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be avoided by regularly consuming animal products. But even if you pay attention to a diet rich in vitamin B12, a targeted intake of vitamin B12 may be necessary if you have certain risk factors (e.g. older age, underlying diseases).

How do I notice a vitamin B12 deficiency or an overdose?

So that vitamin B12 can be utilized by the organism, the so-called “intrinsic factor” is necessary " necessary. This is formed by your stomach lining. For this reason, chronic inflammation of the stomach can promote a vitamin B12 deficiency. Older people can also more easily develop an undersupply of vitamin B12 due to changes in the mucous membrane in the stomach. In addition, a deficiency can occur due to illness, for example in various gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease and after a stomach removal (gastrectomy).

The symptoms that can occur as a result of a vitamin B12 deficiency , are diverse and largely non-specific. It therefore happens all too often that a defect is only discovered late. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, hair loss and problems with concentration. Numbness, unsteady gait and anemia are also possible symptoms. If a severe vitamin B12 deficiency remains untreated for a long time, it can cause permanent damage, especially to the brain and nervous system. However, there are no known dangerous (toxic) effects at high doses.

Carry out a vitamin B12 check at Avi Medical

If you would like to find out more about vitamin B12, simply make an appointment at one of our Avi Medical practices and discuss it with our team of doctors. Here you can decide together whether a vitamin B12 test makes sense for you.

Good to know: Currently The laboratory determination is only taken over by the statutory health insurance company if there is a specific medical indication and not as a preventive measure (e.g. for a vegan/vegetarian diet or for general complaints).