Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The sign in your vision you could be lacking B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when the autoimmune system attacks cells in the stomach – named pernicious anaemia. There’s a sign in your vision that you could be lacking the nutrient.

Inside the stomach there’s a protein called intrinsic factor.

Someone suffering from pernicious anaemia has an immune system that attacks cells in the stomach.

Specifically, the immune system targets cells that are responsible for making intrinsic factor.

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Usually, intrinsic factor combines with vitamin B12 – sourced from food – and travels to a part of the gut called the distal ileum.

Here, the mixture of vitamin B12 and intrinsic factor is absorbed into the body.

This enables the nutrient to benefit the body’s red blood cells, nerve cells and DNA.

With pernicious anaemia, this doesn’t happen – instead, prolonged absence of vitamin B12 leads to symptoms.

Researchers from Mahidol University, Thailand, did a case study on a young man who had some of his bowel removed.

Having suffered from gangrene at a young age, the boy had his parts of his bowel – including the ileum – cut out at 11 years old.

At the time of the study, the 19-year-old has low levels of vitamin B12 in his body.

This would make sense, as the part of the bowel where vitamin B12 is usually absorbed – the ileum – had been cut out.

He also had less than the normal number of cells in his bone marrow – called hypocellular – and the bone marrow is where red blood cells are created.

He had complained of blurred vision and his visual acuity was 5/200.

Treatment was intramuscular injections of 1,000 micrograms of cyanocobalamin – a man-made form of vitamin B12.

Four months later, the man’s visual acuity improved, as did his levels of vitamin B12 and the bone marrow returned to normal functioning.

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The researchers concluded: “This is a frank case of optic neuropathy in a patient with vitamin B12 deficiency due to a massive small bowel resection.”

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

The NHS confirms “disturbed vision” is one symptom caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Others include depression, irritability, and changes in the way you walk and move around.

Additionally, some people may experience mouth ulcers, pins and needles, and a pale yellow tinge to the skin.

Treatment

Treatment for a vitamin B12 deficiency is injections of man-made versions of the nutrient.

This would either be hydroxocobalamin or cyanocobalamin – the latter was the treatment option for the boy in the case study.

In the UK, hydroxocobalamin is the recommended option as it stays in the body for longer.

These injections will be administered by a medical professional, such as a nurse or doctor.

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Coronavirus bombshell: Hidden factors that play role in contracting deadly virus exposed

UCL Intensive Care Medicine Professor Hugh Montgomery claimed multiple factors explain why coronavirus cases differ from country to country. Professor Montgomery, who currently represents the Intensive Care Society Charity, insisted genes, pollution, culture and how data is recorded all played a role in the overall number of official coronavirus cases. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Professor Montgomery highlighted many of the risk factors that explained why coronavirus may differ between areas.

Professor Montgomery said: “There are other differences you have got to consider that account for different levels of mortality.

“It is a little unfair, in some cases, to compare Vietnam, that maybe only had four or five intensive cases, to Britain or somewhere else.

“There are demographic factors as well.

“We know obesity is a risk factor for severe disease and if you look at a place like Vietnam, the bulk of the population is very thin.

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“They eat healthy vegetable-based diets and take more physical exercise so are very lean.

“It could be simple factors such as that.”

Professor Montgomery also noted that air pollution may play a role in the spread of coronavirus and the severity if contracted.

He said: “Factors like obesity combined with air pollution which may well be playing a part in the transmission of the virus.

“It may also be making the severity worse as well as other risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure and so forth.”

Mr Montgomery concluded that it was difficult to pinpoint one true cause of the spread of the virus as there are many factors to consider.

He closed by saying: “It is very hard to judge how much it is genes, how much it is the nature of the people, how much of it is cultural and how much of it is down to reporting.”

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Professor Montgomery has also warned if Britons do not take responsibility for their actions, a second coronavirus wave could overwhelm the NHS.

While the Government is confident the NHS can now deal with the number of people with COVID-19, Professor Montgomery claimed the NHS is still recovering from the first wave and dealing with a tsunami of new cases could prove to be difficult.

The charity Professor Montgomery represents, The Intensive Care Society, is currently working to provide essential wellbeing and support to the intensive care community through the coronavirus pandemic. Any donations to this cause are appreciated during this difficult time period. 

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Heart attack: Worst food group which significantly raises your risk

Heart attacks occur when the supply of blood to the heart is suddenly blocked. A lack of blood to the heart may seriously damage the heart muscle and can prove deadly. When it comes to one’s diet, aiming for five portions of fruits and vegetables will help to keep the heart healthy. When it comes to a food which does the opposite, there is one that should be avoided as much as possible.

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When a heart attack occurs, it can disrupt a person’s normal heart rhythm, potentially stopping it altogether.

When the heart stops getting a supply of blood during a heart attack, some of the tissue can die.

This can weaken the heart and later cause life-threatening conditions such as heart failure.

Heart attacks can affect the heart valve and cause leaks.

Keeping healthy and active are some of the best methods to reduce having a heart attack and spotting early signs is also crucial.

When it comes to being healthy and reducing your risk of serious conditions, eating bacon should be avoided.

More than half of bacon’s calories come from saturated fat.

Saturated fat raises the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and boost the chance of a heart attack or stroke.

Bacon also contains high amounts of salt which bumps up the blood pressure and makes the heart work harder.

High amounts of sodium can lead to stroke, heart disease and heart failure.

Bacon’s added preservatives are linked to these issues as well.

A study of almost 30,000 people followed for up to three decades found those who regularly consumed processed meat such as bacon were more prone to premature death.

In particular, having red or processed meat every seven days was linked to a three percent to seven percent higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Senior author of the study, Norrina Allen, professor of preventative medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago said: “It is a small difference, but it’s worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni and deli meats.

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Red meat includes beef, lamb, pork, veal and venison.

Processed is bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami and corned beef.

The study published in JAMA Internal Medicine included self-reported diets over the previous year or month of 29,682 men and women with an average age of 53.

Lead author Dr Victor Zhong said: “Modifying intake of these animal protein foods may be an important strategy to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death at a population level.”

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute said: “The major risk factors for a heart attack include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, overweight and obesity, an unhealthy diet, lack of routine physical activity, high blood sugar due to insulin resistance or diabetes.

“Some of these risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar tend to occur together.

“When they do, it’s called metabolic syndrome. In general, a person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop heart disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who doesn’t have metabolic syndrome.”

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