Can I be Vitamin B12 deficient when my blood test shows a good level of Vitamin B12?
What’s Vitamin B12, and What Happens When You Lack It?
Vitamin B12 is like a little helper for your body. It’s important for making red blood cells, keeping your nerves in top shape, and helping your body build DNA, which is like the instruction manual for your cells.
But sometimes, people don’t get enough B12. If you don’t eat things like meat, dairy, and eggs, you might miss out on B12. This is especially true if you’re a strict vegetarian or vegan. As you get older, your body can also struggle to absorb B12 from your food. There’s a tricky condition called pernicious anemia where your immune system mistakenly attacks cells that help you soak up B12.
When you’re running low on B12, it can cause all sorts of trouble. You might feel really tired weak, and have trouble breathing. Your skin might lose its healthy colour, and you could get a weird tingling feeling in your hands and feet. If this goes on for a long time, it can even mess with your brain, causing confusion and balance problems.
How Do You Know If You Lack B12?
Doctors usually check your blood to see if you’re low on B12. But these tests aren’t always perfect. They used to use a radioactive method, but now they use more modern tests. These newer tests can sometimes give wrong results because of certain things in your blood.
In a real-life story, a 59-year-old woman had severe anemia, making her feel tired and have trouble breathing. Her blood test showed her red blood cells were too big, which can be a sign of low B12. But her B12 level in the blood looked fine, as did her folate level. Other things in her blood hinted something wasn’t right. In the end, she got B12 injections, and she felt better.
This story reminds us that even if the B12 test says your levels are normal, there could still be a problem. So, doctors have to look at other things when checking for a B12 shortage. This clinic in Mentone, Bayside area of Melbourne offers testing and treatment for Vitamin B12 deficiency.