Vitamin B12 deficiency is seen as a modern age epidemic affecting the lives of many, knowingly or unknowingly. Many people are deficient in this vital nutrient but are not able to identify it due to the weird symptoms it presents.

Some suffer from an abnormal dull ache at the back of the head, which is often misdiagnosed as cervical spondylitis, whereas some feel numbness in hands or other body parts which often is related to calcium deficiency.

Also, we tend to connect B12 deficiency symptoms like fatigue, vision disturbances, stress, and nerve pain with excess physical labor or sitting in front of laptop screens for hours.

This deficiency often misdiagnosed by doctors too until and unless proper routine checkups are done, or your b12 levels are checked in labs.

B12 deficiency neurological symptoms are so severe that it can affect your normal day-to-day life immensely and even make you bedridden in some cases.

 Deficiency Symptoms and Misdiagnosis

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Disorders

A vitamin B12 deficiency is often mistaken for several chronic diseases and often leads to misdiagnoses. People suffering from the following health conditions should get their vitamin B12 levels inspected:

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Autism
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Body pain
  • Chron’s disease
  • Psychological illnesses
  • Impotence & Infertility
  • Weak Immune System
  • Nerve Pain
  • Vision Impairment
  • Neck Pain & contractions at the back of the head at the bottom of the skull
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anemia
  • Intestinal disorder
  • Nerve Pain and damage (Neuropathy)
  • Muscle tremors
  • Dizziness and Breathlessness
  • Tingling sensation and numbness
  • Heart Diseases
  • Thyroid Disorder

To avoid all the negative consequences occurring from B12 deficiency consume foods rich in Vitamin B12 and if you think your diet is not appropriate or you are a Vegan, consider taking a B12 supplement as per the advice of a Doctor or a health practitioner.

Vitamin B12 Foods
  • Caviar
  • Oyster
  • Liver dumpling
  • Mackerel
  • Mussel
  • Lean beef
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Tuna
  • Duck breast
  • Salmon
  • Squid
  • Salami
  • Mozzarella
  • Lean pork
  • Cream cheese Quark
  • Cottage cheese
  • Anchovies
  • Chicken
  • Yogurt
  • Feta cheese
  • Eggs
  • Goat’s milk
  • Moringa Oleifera
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Fortified Milk
  • Shitake Mushrooms

Vegetarians do not have several options. The best way is to include dairy products, eggs, and certain fortified foods in your diet. Consider taking 50 -100 mcg as part of a B-complex supplement that also contains a full spectrum of B vitamins and minerals.

 Normal Range in Humans

Vitamin B12 Normal Levels Blood Test

According to lab tests, values of less than 200 pg/mL are a possible sign of a B12 deficiency. Older adults with vitamin B12 levels between 200 – 500 pg/mL may also experience symptoms as mentioned in this article.

Generally, blood test reports based on picograms per milliliter (pg/mL) reflect levels below 150 pg/mL as low, 200 to 600 pg/mL as normal and 800 pg/mL as high.

 Dosage for Children and Adults

Vitamin B12 Optimal Doasage

As per the recommendations of the National Institute of Health (NIH), the average daily U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is:

  • 0-6 months – 0.4 mcg
  • Infants 7-12 months – 0.5 mcg
  • Toddlers 1-3 years – 0.9 mcg
  • Children 4-8 years – 1.2mcg
  • Children 9-13 years – 1.8 mcg
  • Age 14 and older, 2.4 mcg
  • Adult and adolescent pregnant and lactating women, 2.6 mcg -2.8 mcg
  • 50 years of age or above- 25-100 mcg per day

Considering a Vitamin B12 Supplement

Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements

If a Vitamin B12 deficiency is identified, it’s likely that your doctor will recommend a vitamin b 12 dosage of 1000 -1500 micrograms (mcg) per day as such a dose is effective to bring up vitamin B12 blood levels to the maximum mark.

When taking a B12 supplement, always opt for Methylcobalamin as it is one of the best forms of absorbable form by the body.

The takeaway

Vitamin B12 is required for the most basic of bodily functions; a deficiency can resonate quite far. It is by bar considered the essential nerve nutrient.  As its deficiency develops, there are a number of symptoms that crop up, and often misdiagnosed or associated with other issues.