Immune system struggling to fight off infection or does your body ache? Then you may be deficient in Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D.
However, symptoms of B12 deficiency can be a great mimicker of other illnesses and thus a doctor would need to examine you first to make sure there is nothing else going on that needs to be treated.
Before receiving a Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D injection we would need to conduct a blood test to confirm whether you are low in that particular vitamin (you can also ask your NHS GP to do this test and bring your recent blood test results to your consultation at PrivateGP).
For more information read the sections below. To book an appointment to see a doctor regarding either Vitamin B12 or Vitamin D Injections please contact us.
Vitamin B12 deficiency Anaemia or Folate deficiency Anaemia develops when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function properly causing Anaemia.
The main symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or folate deficiency anaemia are persistent tiredness or lack of engegry (lethargy)
Through having a blood test at PrivateGP.com with our doctor or at your NHS GP will be able to determine if you are deficient in B12.
Both vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are more common in older people, affecting around 1 in 10 people above the age of 75. Vitamin B12 deficiency is rare in younger people, although those who follow a strict vegan diet may be more at risk.
Vitamin B12 and folate work together to help the body produce red blood cells. Vitamin B12 also helps to keep the nervous system (brain, nerves and spinal cord) healthy. Folate is important for pregnant women because it reduces the risk of birth defects in unborn babies.
Most cases of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency are easily treated.
A course of Vitamin B12 injections can be recommended or alternatively Vitamin B12 supplements until the deficiency is under control. In cases where there are problems absorbing vitamin B12, such as in pernicious anaemia, you will need injection/supplements for the rest of your life.
Folic acid supplements are used to restore folate levels, which usually need to be taken for four months.
Improving your diet can prevent the condition returning, depending on the underlying cause of your vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.Nutrition can be discused with our doctor can during the consultation.
Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb other vitamins as Calcium and Phosphors which are need to keep healthy bones and muscles. Vitamin D also helps with our general health and mood.
There is also evidence to suggest that Vitamin D can help prevent diseases such as Cancer, Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Vitamin D Deficiency is common in the UK, where certain groups are more at risk. Vitamin D Deficiencies are be caused by three main reasons.
Increased need for vitamin D
Growing children, pregnant women, and breast-feeding women need extra vitamin D because it is required for growth. So, vitamin D deficiency is more likely to develop in the following groups of people:
Pregnant or breast-feeding women. Vitamin D deficiency is even more likely to develop in women who have had several babies with short gaps between pregnancies. This is because the body’s stores of vitamin D get used up, and there is little time for them to be built up before another pregnancy.
Breast-fed babies whose mothers are lacking in vitamin D, or with prolonged breast-feeding, as there is little vitamin D in breast milk. (Note: there are significant advantages to breast-feeding; you should not stop breast-feeding due to concern about vitamin D levels – your baby can simply have vitamin D supplements as drops by mouth – also available at PrivateGP.com)
Where the body is unable to make enough vitamin D
This can occur for various reasons:
People who get very little sunlight on their skin are at risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is more of a problem in the most northern parts of the world where there is less sun. In particular:
People who stay inside a lot. For example, those in hospital for a long time, or housebound people.
People who cover up a lot of their body when outside. For example, wearing veils such as the niqab or burqa.
People with pigmented skin (because less sunshine gets through the skin).
Strict sunscreen use can potentially lead to vitamin D deficiency, particularly if high sun protection factor (SPF) creams (factor 15 or above) are used. Nevertheless, children especially should always be protected from the harmful effect of the sun’s rays and should never be allowed to burn or be exposed to the strongest midday sun.
Elderly people have thinner skin than younger people and so are unable to produce as much vitamin D. This leaves older people more at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Some medical conditions can affect the way the body handles vitamin D. People with Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, and some types of liver and kidney disease, are all at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
Rarely, some people without any other risk factors or diseases become deficient in vitamin D. It is not clear why this occurs. It may be due to a subtle metabolic problem in the way vitamin D is made or absorbed. So, even some otherwise healthy, fair-skinned people who get enough sun exposure can become deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can also occur in people taking certain medicines – examples include: carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, barbiturates and some anti-HIV medicines.
Vitamin D deficiency is more likely to occur in people who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, or a non-fish-eating diet.
Most cases of Vitamin D deficiency are easily treated.
A course of Vitamin D injections can be recommended or alternatively Vitamin D supplements until the deficiency is under control.
Nutrition can also be discussed with the doctor.