If you suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency, diet therapy and not supplements should be the answer. It is relatively rare for people to suffer from this particular problem unless there is an underlying health problem. Being deficient in B12 is common if you are an alcoholic, have a bowel condition such as Crohn's Disease or are very old. But some vegans and vegetarians occasionally suffer as they do not get sufficient quantities of essential B vitamins via their diet.
If you are lacking in these vitamins, you could potentially be causing serious damage to your body. Your nervous system, growth and development as well as healthy blood cells all depend on this vitamin.
So what symptoms should you be looking out for? The problem is that the signs can be rather vague. You could have no obvious indications of a problem. Alternatively, sleeping problems, extreme tiredness, irritability, diarrhea, confusion, trouble breathing and being pale are all potential indicators of an underlying problem. But they could also be there because of the original illness or may be caused by some other medical complaint. Therefore the only definitive way of testing for a B12 deficiency is via blood tests.
Some people are tempted to fix any issue with a pill. It appears to be easier to take a supplement rather than try changing your diet. While doctors sometimes recommend medication, this is usually for the most severe cases. Your body simply cannot absorb vitamins and minerals from tablets as well as it can from natural sources.
Vitamin B12 deficiency diet therapy can help those who are less seriously affected. The best way to improve your intake is to make sure you eat a healthy breakfast. Wholegrain cereals contain essential B vitamins. If you are not vegetarian, quality meat provides a great source as does eggs and dairy produce. Be aware though that boiling milk destroys the vitamins.
If you are vegetarian or vegan, you may need to take supplements as the vitamin B12 contained in plants is not accessible to humans. Some people will tell you that Nori (seaweed) and Spirulina (an algae) both contain good quantities of this vitamin and they do but not in a form that we humans can access. So don't waste your cash in expensive health stores. You can eat some foods that have been fortified with vitamins such as yeast extract, vegetable protein, and soya milk.
Studies have been undertaken in third world countries to find out why the citizens rarely suffer from B12 deficiency. It appears that the reason is the fact that their vegetables are fertilized with human manure. However excellent a source of B vitamins this is, I am sure most US citizens would prefer not to have these foods on their table.
If you are diabetic you may also be at risk due to the effects of some of your medication so it is best to discuss treatment with your doctor. He will probably suggest the Vitamin B 12 deficiency diet therapy as the best option for you.