Pediatric Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Pediatric Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Making sure your baby gets enough nutrients during its first formative months and years is critical to ensuring good physical and brain health. Pediatric vitamin B12 deficiency is frequently missed in the pediatric population.

Complications associated with vitamin B12 deficiency include developmental delays, cognitive problems, and behavioral problems, which can progress to coma and even death.

The signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency in infants and young children are similar to autism (obsessive compulsive tendencies and speech, language, and writing difficulties) and colic or gastroenteritis (irritability or GI symptoms).

Nursing mothers should ensuring that they are getting sufficient B12 in their diet, or through supplements, to protect the health of their child. Infants born to mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency may develop this deficiency within their first year of life.

In adults, possible causes of vitamin B12 deficiency in adults include vegetarianism, pernicious anemia, celiac disease, H. pylori, Crohn’s disease, gastric bypass, eating disorders, use of proton-pump inhibitors, histamine blockers, or metformin. Infants with vitamin B12 deficiency may experience worsening of this deficiency when breast-fed by a deficient mother.

If you have any questions or concerns about Vitamin B12 deficiency in children or adults, please call us at (972) 355-4614 or come by the pharmacy to speak with a member of our staff.

Source: Pacholok, S., “Pediatric vitamin B12 deficiency.” Pharmacy Times. 2014;80(2):59-64.