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When am I most likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency?

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You may also be more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency if you have:

You can also get vitamin B12 deficiency if you follow a vegan diet, or you are a vegetarian who doesn't eat enough eggs or dairy products to meet your vitamin B12 needs. In both cases, you can add fortified foods to your diet or take supplements to meet this need.

  • Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned
  • Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12
  • Conditions that affect your small intestine, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite
  • Immune system disorders, such as Graves' disease or lupus
  • Been taking certain medications that interfere with the absorption of B12. This includes some heartburn medicines including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as  rabeprazole, omeprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole and pantoprazole; H2 Blockers such as cimetidine, famotidine and ranitidine; and certain diabetes medicines such as metformin.

From: Vitamin B12: What to Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension: "Facts About Vitamin B12."

University of Arizona’s Arizona Telemedicine Program: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Pernicious Anemia."

Harvard Health Publications: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Vegetarians, elderly may not get enough vitamin B12, says the Harvard Health Letter."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Pernicious Anemia."

Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute: "Vitamin B12."

Kaiser Permanente: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Vitamin B12."

MedlinePlus: "Anemia -- B12 deficiency."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 8, 2019

SOURCES:

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) Extension: "Facts About Vitamin B12."

University of Arizona’s Arizona Telemedicine Program: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Pernicious Anemia."

Harvard Health Publications: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Vegetarians, elderly may not get enough vitamin B12, says the Harvard Health Letter."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Pernicious Anemia."

Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute: "Vitamin B12."

Kaiser Permanente: "Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia."

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: "Vitamin B12."

MedlinePlus: "Anemia -- B12 deficiency."

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on June 8, 2019

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How can vitamin B12 affect being pregnant or a new mom?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.