B12 vitamin deficiency
As most cases of vitamin B12 deficiency or folate deficiency can be easily and effectively treated, complications are rare.
However, complications can occasionally develop, particularly if you've been deficientin either vitaminfor some time.
All types of anaemia, regardless of the cause, can lead to heart and lung complications as the heart struggles to pump oxygen to the vital organs.
Adults with severe anaemia are at risk of developing:
A lack of vitamin B12 (with or without anaemia) can cause the following complications:
A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems (issues affecting your nervous system), such as:
If neurological problems do develop, they may be irreversible.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimeslead to temporary infertility (an inability to conceive). Thisusually improves with appropriate vitamin B12 treatment.
If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency caused by pernicious anaemia (a condition where your immune system attacks healthy cells in your stomach), your risk of developing stomach cancer is increased.
If you're pregnant, not having enough vitamin B12 can increase the risk of your baby developing a serious birth defect known as aneural tube defect. The neural tube is a narrow channel that eventuallyforms the brain and spinal cord.
Examples of neural tube defects include:
A lack of folate (with or without anaemia) can also cause complications, some of which are outlined below.
As with a lack of vitamin B12, a folate deficiency can also affect your fertility. However,this is only temporary and can usually be reversedwith folate supplements.
Research has showna lack of folate in your body may increase your risk ofcardiovascular disease (CVD).
CVD is a general term that describes a disease of the heart or blood vessels, such ascoronary heart disease (CHD).
Research has shown that folate deficiency can increase your risk of some cancers, such ascolon cancer.
Alack of folate during pregnancy may increase the risk of the baby being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy) or having a low birthweight.
The risk ofplacental abruption may also be increased. Thisis a serious condition where the placenta starts to come away from the inside of the womb wall, causingtummy (abdominal) pain and bleeding from the vagina.
As with a vitamin B12 deficiency, a lack of folate can also affect an unborn baby's growth and development in the womb (uterus). This increases the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida developing in the unborn baby.
Read about vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia, which occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells
Read about the symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia, which usually develop gradually but can worsen if the condition goes untreated
Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of either of these vitamins affects the bodys ability to produce fully functioning red blood cells.
Read about diagnosing vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia, which can often be diagnosed by your GP based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests
Read about treatment options for vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia, which will depend on what's causing the condition.
Read about complications of vitamin B12 deficiency or folate deficiency, which are rare as the condition can usually be easily and effectively treated