Cobalamin, also known as vitamin B12, is one of the essential nutrients in the eight B water-soluble vitamins. The way to consume this nutrient is by consuming animal food and supplements and is considered the largest most complex of all vitamins. This vitamin is essential for many functions within the human body, an integral part of healthy and normal energy metabolism within all the cells of the body. The B12 also helps in areas of healthy brain function, red blood cell formation, and DNA regulation. Luckily the body has a process for letting you know when you are lacking this essential nutrient, and signs of vitamin B12 deficiency can vary in different people.
What Exactly is B12 Deficiency?
The vitamin B12 is utilized from the supplements or food consumed on a daily basis. In a healthy adult, your body has the ability to store between three and five years worth of vitamin B12. This reserve is usually stored in the liver, so part of the reason you will not exhibit the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is that you will have to go a few years of poor vitamin intake before the liver begins to respond and send out signals to the body that it is low on reserve. These signals will then appear throughout the body as different symptoms. Although regularly scheduled blood testing can identify a deficiency in the b12 vitamin reserve, many people do not see the doctor for annual checkups and the results are they exhibit serious signs later on in the process.
Having an Annual Physical
The importance of an annual physical cannot be understated. Your physician will draw blood and be able to determine your B12 level long before you begin to exhibit signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. As you age, the level of B12 that was adequate in your younger years may not be enough, so the body releases signs and signals that tell you there is a growing deficiency of this vital nutrient. According to studies at the Mayo Clinic, doctors are becoming more aware each year how vitamin B12 is essential for supporting optimal health and a healthy brain and nervous system. Specific testing is now part of regular testing in patients to ensure the blood levels are within the ideal range. Doctors now utilize the following to help them to determine at what point a patient is in the lack of this vitamin in the body.