Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Humans
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency can be caused by many things. Among other things from diet, genetic disorders, and so forth. Lack of vitamin B12 or folate will affect the body’s ability to produce healthy and functioning red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.
Large red blood cells that form large with abnormal structures, released into the bloodstream before red blood cells mature or commonly called the form of megaloblas it. This condition is also called megaloblastic anemia, in which the red blood cells can not perform its function due to a defect.
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Suffered from pernicious anemia
The body absorbs vitamin B12 through the stomach. In order for vitamin B12 to be absorbed from the food you eat, a protein called intrinsic factor will attach itself to vitamin B12.
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease affecting the stomach. Autoimmune disease means your immune system attacks your body’s own healthy cells. In pernicious anemia, your immune system attacks the cells in the stomach that produce intrinsic factors. As a result, deficiency occurs because the body can not absorb vitamin B12.
There are several things that increase your risk of developing pernicious anemia. Although the underlying cause is unknown, here are some things that can increase the risk:
- It affects women more than men.
- It is more common in people over 60 years of age.
- Heredity factors from close relatives or relatives suffer the same conditions.
- It has other autoimmune diseases such as Addison’s disease and vitiligo. In fact, there is a link between pernicious anemia and other immune diseases.
Food factor consumed
Meat, fish, and dairy products is a diet that provides a considerable amount of vitamin B12. Vegetarians or people who only eat foods come from plants, may not have enough vitamin B12 in their menus. Or people who have a very simple menu in the long term.
The body usually stores vitamin B12 that lasts for two to four years. To keep these vitamins stored at a healthy level, it is very important to have vitamin B12 in your diet.
Diseases that affect the gut
When the body can not absorb vitamin B12 as usual, it may be caused by a disease affecting the intestine or part of the digestive system. One is Crohn’s disease. It is a long-term disease that causes inflammation of the walls of the digestive system. This condition can make your body deficient in vitamin B12.
Conditions that affect the stomach
The absence of vitamin B12 absorption can be caused by stomach or gastric conditions. For example the risk of getting vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is increased due to gastrectomy or surgical procedure in which a portion of the stomach is removed.
Because of the consumption of certain drugs
Vitamin B12 can be reduced from the body due to consumption of several types of medicines. For example, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are drugs to treat digestive problems, can make vitamin B12 deficiency worse. PPIs drugs prevent excessive manufacture of stomach acid. This stomach acid is needed to release vitamin B12 from the food you eat. Your doctor can identify if any medications are affecting your vitamin B12 levels.
Causes of Folic Acid Deficiency
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin. Therefore, the body will not be able to store folate in the long term. Usually the body keeps enough folate to last for four months. To make sure the body has enough folate reserves, we should get the folate intake from the daily diet. Folate deficiency anemia can develop for several reasons similar to vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Some of the causes are explained below.
Some people may not get folate in everyday life. Some of the factors that may be the cause are unhealthy and unbalanced foods. In addition, maybe they just changed the type or pattern of daily food, for example for reasons of losing weight. People who consume alcoholic drinks are also at risk of anemia of folate deficiency.
The occurrence of malabsorption
If you have Celiac disease, this condition can affect the digestive system. As a result the body can not effectively absorb folate.
For people with heart disease, kidney, and liver, may lose folate from the body. This is due to the effect of the disease that makes you urinate excessively. Some things that can make you excessive urination:
- Congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart is unable to pump enough blood throughout the body
- Acute liver damage. Often this is caused by excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Long-term dialysis: the dialysis machine filters out waste products from the blood
Because of the consumption of certain drugs
Folate is sometimes difficult to absorb and the amount can be reduced. This may be caused by some effects of drugs. The doctor will keep an eye on you if it is necessary to do so. The doctor will know what medications can affect the level of folate in the body.
Some other causes
Premature babies born before 37 weeks of gestation tend to develop folic deficiency anemia because their developing body needs more vitamin folate than babies born to normal gestational age.
Folate deficiency can occur because the body can not meet the needs of vitamins that sometimes exceed their normal levels. The things that make the body need more folate:
- Have cancer
- When pregnant
- Fight infection or health conditions that cause inflammation and / or swelling
- Has a blood disorder, eg sickle cell anemia. This is a disorder due to a hereditary factor that causes red blood cells to change shape
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is advisable to take 0.4 milligram of folic acid supplements per day. This is done until the 12 weeks of pregnancy. This will help the baby grow and develop, and ensure you and your baby have enough folate in the body.
If you have a pregnancy with certain conditions, the body may need additional folic acid. To prevent anemia from occurring, doctors will be watching closely. You can either buy a folic acid tablet directly or request a prescription from a doctor and take it to a pharmacy, a large convenience store, or to a health food store. For people with diabetes, you may need folic acid with a higher dose. You should consume folic acid as much as 5 milligrams per day.