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Can Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Cause Hypoglycemia?

by
author image Esther Kinuthia RN BSN BA
Esther Kinuthia is a registered nurse with extensive experience in health and wellness. She holds a B.S. in nursing, B.A in psychology and has worked for more than ten years in the health-care field. She enjoys writing articles on a variety of topics for the Internet. Her work has been published in various websites.
Can Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Cause Hypoglycemia?
Woman with headache holding her head Photo Credit jakubzak/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin B-12 is necessary for metabolism, red blood cell production and maintaining healthy nerve cells. Vitamin B-12 is naturally found in animal foods such as red meat, fish, eggs and milk. Hypoglycemia is low blood glucose levels in the blood. Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins help convert consumed foods into glucose that can be utilized by the body.

Vitamin B-12 and Hypoglycemia

Vitamin B-12 helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats into glucose. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can therefore cause low glucose levels. One of the main symptoms of hypoglcemia is fatigue and vitamin B-12 supplements are widely used to treat severe fatigue. The supplements increase energy by helping the body convert food into glucose. Vitamin B-12 deficiency also causes anemia and neurological damages.

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia

Patients with hypoglycemia experience symptoms such as headache, irritability, confusion, sweating, hunger, trembling, double vision, blurry vision, fatigue, rapid heart rate, malaise, nervousness, convulsions and seizures, according to MayoClinic.com. Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to fainting and coma. Severe hypoglycemia is a medical emergency that may lead to seizures and permanent damage to the brain and nervous system. Patients at risk for hypoglycemia especially diabetics familiarize themselves with symptoms of hypoglycemia so that they seek immediate medical attention when they notice the symptoms.

Vitamin B-12 Admnistration

Vitamin B-12 is administered as a deep muscle injection in deltoid, ventrogluteal or dorsogluteal muscles. B-12 may also be administered as oral tablets and nasal gel. B-12 shots are preferred for severe cases of B-12 deficiency because the vitamin is absorbed immediately in the bloodstream. Some patients, such as those with anemia caused by B-12 deficiency, may require life-long B-12 injections.

Vitamin B12 Side Effects

Common side effects of vitamin B-12 include headache, nausea, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, fever, joint pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, weakness, numbness and tingling, itching, pain and swelling at injection site, according to Drugs.com. Vitamin B-12 supplements may also cause adverse side effects such as blood clots in extremities, heart failure and abnormal production of red blood cells.

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