Reports out today suggest that longterm use of prescribed heartburn and ulcer medications has been linked to a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 is relatively common especially in older adults. This can lead to medical problems if left undiagnosed, PharmacyKwik recommends that you get your Vitamin B12 levels checked at your doctors.
Medicines that inhibit acid production are prescribed readily in the UK and they have a very important role in preventing diseases.
Stomach acid is needed for us to absorb vitamin B12 from foods such as meat, fish and dairy. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to dementia and other neurological problems.
2 types of medication known as proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists both reduce the amount of acid production in the stomach and are prescribed by your doctor.
Professor Mark Pritchard of the British Society of Gastroenterology has said that patients using heartburn or ulcer controlling medicines for more than 2 years or more are at an increased risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Patients taking medicines used for ulcers for 2 years or more can ask for a simple blood test to measure the vitamin B12 levels in their blood at their doctors.