Metformin, Diabates, Vitamin b12 Deficiency and you!
At present, there is an increasing concern about the risk of getting a vitamin B12 deficiency among those who are taking Metformin. Cobalamin and cyanocobalamin are the other names of vitamin B12 that plays significant roles in the human body like maintaining the healthiness of blood cells and the nervous system.
Also, studies show that vitamin B12 can aid in the prevention of heart disease and also probably Alzheimer’s, but studies are still going on for the latter. Vitamin B12 is mainly obtained from animal products like beef, eggs, seafood and dairy products; hence, vegetarians are at a higher risk of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency. Often, old people are also at a risk of b12 deficiency due to the absorption problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
Anemia, memory loss, neuropathy, confusion and also dementia are some symptoms of the lack of B12.
Along with insulin and other antidiabetic pills, Metformin is usually the first drug to be used for patients newly diagnosed with diabetes. If you have diabetes and taking a daily dose of Metformin for a year or so then you should check your Vitamin B12 levels. There is an association of taking metformin with the risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this doesn’t mean that you should quit taking your Metformin, at least not without consulting your doctor first!.
Metformin does an excellent job when it comes to managing type 2 diabetes. Moreover, the safety record of this medication is great.
Decreased absorption however may have occurred leading to lower B12 level. A contributing factor is calcium malabsorption. Studies show that taking supplemental calcium can help in reducing the induced malabsorption of B12. It is not understood how common this happens. However, more researches are being conducted regarding its medical or clinical significance.
When taking Metformin, it is suggested that you have your B12 levels checked!
When taking Metformin, it is suggested that you have your B12 or cobalamin level checked annually. When you have a low B12 level then you should consult your physician about B12 supplementation. It is enough to have a quality supplement taken either orally or in the form of injections. You may also consider taking a B-complex. This supplement may include the B complex vitamins such as B1, B2 ,B3 and B6 (Pyridoxine) which are required for good absorption of vitamin B12. A quality B-complex supplement should also contain folic acid.
If your health care provider suggests calcium supplementation, then you should be taking a certified pure or quality coral calcium supplement. Certified pure suggests that the methods are proper in getting calcium from coral as well as the danger of heavy metals including mercury, lead, and aluminum is eliminated.