Excess vitamin B12: symptoms and how to eliminate it

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Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a micronutrient that the body obtains through food. It is the foods of animal origin that can provide it, although it can also be found in those of fortified plant origin and in food or multivitamin supplements. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in such important functions as protein metabolism, the formation of red blood cells or the proper functioning of the nervous system and cognitive functions. Maintaining adequate levels in the body is essential for good health and its low presence can be as bad as maintaining levels that are too high.

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Do you want to know what happens when there is an excess of vitamin B12, the symptoms and how to eliminate 

Symptoms of excess vitamin B12

Are you wondering what vitamin B12 is for? A correct measurement is essential for the functioning of the organism. Likewise, meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk and derivatives are some of the main sources to obtain the daily dose that the body requires, a dose that, as collected by the National Library of the American National Institute of Health [1]ranges from 2.4mcg/day and 2.8mcg/day in adults, depending on gender, age or specific circumstances, such as pregnancy or lactation. However, although an excess of high vitamin B12 is not common in women or men, it is something that can occur, especially if this water-soluble vitamin is not properly expelled through the urine and ends up producing an abnormal accumulation.

When this occurs, the most frequent symptoms of high vitamin B12 and the possible causes that can alert us to excessively high levels include:

  • Dizziness and headaches for which no objective cause can be found.
  • Dysfunctions of the digestive system, which usually manifest in the form of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Skin rashes, itching, redness or acne.
  • Vision problems.
  • Unexplained fatigue or tiredness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Alterations in heart rhythm. Arrhythmias or palpitations.

How to remove excess vitamin B12

The symptoms indicated can be a sign of numerous pathologies, but they can also hide a high level of vitamin B12, something that can be verified with a simple blood test. However, the suspicion that the cause of some of the symptoms described may be due to vitamin B12 that is too high increases in the case of frequently taking foods or supplements that include it artificially. In any case, medical consultation is important.

If it is an excess of vitamin B12, a series of measures should be put into practice to help lower its levels, since that high amount can end up triggering different pathologies. These are some of the possible solutions:

  • Avoid the intake of more vitamin B12, suppressing the taking of supplements that contain it and establishing a diet in which the foods richest in it are temporarily limited. In this sense, the advice of a nutritionist can be of great help to establish the ideal diet, which helps control high levels of vitamin B12 without ending up falling into deficiencies that are not healthy either.
  • Follow healthy lifestyle habits: a varied diet with a predominance of fruits and vegetables, some exercise and sufficient fluid intake, mainly water that helps purify the body.
  • When vitamin B12 is “shot” a specific medical treatment may be necessary, which will always depend on the disease that may be causing its high levels. Liver disease, which affects the liver, the organ responsible for the proper storage of the vitamin, or some degree of kidney failure, which means that the kidneys cannot properly eliminate excess vitamin B12, are two probable causes of this excess, which must be treated by the corresponding specialists.

Consequences of excess vitamin B12

In the same way that a clear lack of vitamin B12 requires specific actions to increase its level in the body, the excess must also be treated, because in the long run it can have serious consequences for health. These are the main consequences of excess vitamin B12:

  • The risks of “storing” too much vitamin B12 exist, therefore, supplements or medications that contain it should not be taken without the necessary medical prescription.
  • In addition to being able to trigger severe gastrointestinal problems, the accumulation of vitamin B12 can end up affecting the liver, leading to diseases such as liver cirrhosis.
  • The kidneys can also be affected by an excess of this vitamin, being forced to increase their functioning to try to eliminate it, something that could end up damaging them to a greater or lesser extent.
  • It affects the circulatory system, since this situation could favor the formation of dangerous blood clots and even affect the correct pumping of the heart, causing some type of heart failure.

As you may well have known, excess vitamin B12 must be treated thoroughly, however, it lacks must also be treated, which is why at we offer you this article on the Symptoms of a lack of vitamin B12. It is very important to know if you have low or high vitamin B12 and act accordingly.

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