Quick Answer: Why Do Alcoholics Have Low B12?

How does alcohol affect vitamin B12 absorption?

Vitamin B-12 plays an important role in production brain chemicals that effect our mood and many other crucial brain functions.

Low levels of B -12 and B-6 have been linked to depression.

Drinking alcohol regularly for more than two weeks decreases vitamin B12 absorption from the gastrointestinal tract..

What vitamin deficiency is common in alcoholics?

Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A. Although inadequate dietary intake is a major cause of the vitamin deficiency, other possible mechanisms may also be involved.

Can you drink alcohol with B12 injections?

Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol while you are being treated with Vitamin B12.

Do alcoholics have low potassium?

Watson et al. (1984) reported significantly lower total body potassium in alcoholics, compared to non-alcoholics. They found no correlation between total body potassium and day 1 serum potassium levels.

Why is magnesium low in alcoholics?

Mg deficiency is primarily due to renal Mg-wasting and is exacerbated by dietary Mg deprivation, gastrointestinal losses with diarrhea or vomiting, as well as concomitant use of drugs such as diuretics and aminoglycosides. Osteoporosis is prevalent in the alcoholic population.

Why do alcoholics have low vitamin B?

Thiamine deficiency is fairly common with people who suffer from alcohol addiction, due to: The overall poor nutrition these individuals may encounter. Alcohol inhibiting a person’s ability to fully absorb the necessary nutrients from their food. Cells struggling to uptake this vitamin.

How long does it take to correct a B12 deficiency?

A response usually is seen within 48 to 72 hours, with brisk production of new red blood cells. Once B12 reserves reach normal levels, injections of vitamin B12 will be needed every one to three months to prevent symptoms from returning.

Why do alcoholics lack vitamins?

Alcohol inhibits absorption of vitamins and nutrients by active transport processes, an effect that may be crucial in precipitating specific nutrient deficiencies (e.g. thiamine) in alcoholics 1. Hypocalcemia in alcoholics can result from malabsorption 3. Chronic alcohol abuse decreases the absorption of zinc 46.

What does a B12 deficiency tongue look like?

B12 deficiency will also make the tongue sore and beefy-red in color. Glossitis, by causing swelling of the tongue, may also cause the tongue to appear smooth.

Can low B12 cause weight gain?

People with vitamin B12 deficiency are likely to experience a wide range of symptoms, though weight gain is unlikely one of them. If you’re experiencing unexplained weight gain, consider discussing it with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine the root cause.

Is there an alternative to B12 injections?

Oral vitamin B12 replacement at 1000 μg daily is an adequate alternative to IM B12 injections. Close monitoring with clinical review and repeat vitamin B12 levels are required on a monthly basis to review symptoms and ensure normalization of B12 deficiency.

How often should you have B12 injections?

If your vitamin B12 deficiency is not caused by a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet, you’ll usually need to have an injection of hydroxocobalamin every 2 to 3 months for the rest of your life.

Can you drink alcohol with pernicious anemia?

Do not drink alcohol while you are being treated. Alcohol can prevent the body from absorbing vitamin B12. Eat foods that have folate (also called folic acid). This is another type of B vitamin.

What happens when your vitamin B12 is low?

Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and can affect memory and thinking.

What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?

However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.

Can alcoholism cause B12 deficiency?

A: Yes. Research shows that even moderate alcohol consumption may decrease vitamin B12 levels, and alcoholics are thought to be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

What vitamins do heavy drinkers need?

True. Those who abuse alcohol are prone to vitamin deficiencies, especially of vitamin B-l (thiamin), vitamin B-3 (niacin) and folacin (folic acid), along with deficiencies in the minerals zinc and magnesium. The answer, of course, is to have a more moderate alcohol consumption.

What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:vision problems.memory loss.pins and needles (paraesthesia)loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.More items…

Can alcohol cause a vitamin D deficiency?

Drinking too much alcohol can contribute to vitamin D deficiency. Although statistics vary, there are roughly somewhere between 12 and 18 million Americans affected by alcoholism. Doctors say 70% of us don’t get enough vitamin D.

What deficiencies do alcoholics have?

Alcoholics have been found to have deficiencies in calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. Research shows that drinking alcohol itself does not limit the absorption of minerals, but alcohol-related problems do.

Can you get B12 injections over the counter?

Cyanocobalamin is a prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) man-made form of vitamin B12 used to prevent and treat low blood levels of vitamin B12. Most people get enough vitamin B12 from their diet.