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Low on memory, attention? Blame vitamin B12 deficiency, hyperthyroidism

IANS Jun 04, 2024

People feeling problems with memory, attention, focus, and concentration may be having vitamin B12 deficiency as well as hyperthyroidism, said health experts on 3 June.

According to a recent study, published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, nearly one in four patients with either hypothyroidism or subclinical hypothyroidism suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency.

“Hypothyroidism and B12 deficiency both can cause acceleration of the degenerative or age-related processes,” said Dr M. Wali, Senior Consultant, Department of Medicine.

“Hypothyroidism is commonly associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can also contribute to cognitive impairment,” said Dr Sudhir Kumar, from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, in a post on X.com.

The experts called on both vegetarians and non-vegetarians to monitor their B12 as well as thyroid levels.

Dr Wali said that most of the patients these days have vitamin B12 deficiency. “Hyperthyroidism can also cause vitamin B12 deficiency, sometimes because of increased utilisation, and therefore the process of nerve conduction and transmission of the nerve impulses gets delayed.

“These processes can be accelerated among patients more than 55 years of age,” the doctor said. Dr Wali called for enhancing the vitamin B12 testing in patients older than 55 years, and if it is deficient take medications “under supervision”.

“Keep your thyroid normal, and test every three months,” he advised. “People presenting with memory and other cognitive difficulties without any obvious cause should be screened for vitamin B12 deficiency and hypothyroidism,” added Dr Sudhir.


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