Diet. Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet. A diet that includes meat, fish and dairy products usually provides enough vitamin B12, but people who do not regularly eat these foods can become deficient.
What is the most common cause of B12 deficiency?
However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.
Is B12 deficiency serious?
If left untreated, the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency tend to worsen and irreversible problems involving the nerves and brain may develop. The risk of experiencing a number of serious complications, including heart failure, may also increase.
What is the root cause of B12 deficiency?
Atrophic gastritis is a major underlying cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, as is the prolonged use of proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole, and H2-receptor blockers. One organism that is associated with vitamin B12 deficiency is Helicobacter pylori, found in over half of all patients.