Leukaemia: Vitamin deficiency that can mimic the symptoms of blood cancer

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Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is a cancer that occurs in the bone marrow. It causes the mass production of defective blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency impacts the bone marrow, producing similar symptoms. When there is a risk of these being mistaken it is best to consult a doctor who can examine you thoroughly.

“Insufficient vitamin B12 in the body can lead to troubling alterations in your bone marrow,” explained GP Charlotte Cremers of shopgiejo.com.

“Acute leukaemia symptoms include profound alterations in the bone marrow.

“The effects resemble those of vitamin B12 deficiency and can easily be overlapped.”

In some cases one condition can worsen the other.

Dr Cremers said: “Vitamin B12 deficiency increases folate levels in the body that can mask acute leukaemia symptoms worsening the condition.”

Folate is another name for vitamin B9, which is used in the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow.

“If you experience any Vitamin B12 or acute leukaemia symptoms, seek medical help immediately to prevent critical conditions.”

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Several of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency result from abnormalities in the blood cells the bone marrow produces.

This can include producing the wrong proportion of red or white cells, or producing red blood cells that are abnormally large.

This results in shortness or breath and frequent tiredness as your red blood cells becomes less capable of carrying oxygen.

Changes to the number of platelets, another bone marrow product, can result in more frequent bruising or difficulty to stop bleeding after an injury.

One case study reported on by Baylor University Medical Centre looked at a patient with acute myeloid leukaemia.

The patient was administered for the cancer but was discovered to also have an unrelated vitamin B12 deficiency.

This was worsening the symptoms of the cancer by compounding them.

Some of the symptoms became milder when the vitamin deficiency was treated.

Vitamin B12 can is commonly found in certain animal products.

Fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products are all good sources of the vitamin, according to the NHS.

Sometimes foods are artificially fortified with vitamin B12, such as some breakfast cereals.

Vegetarian and vegan sources include yeast extracts and B12 fortified soy milk.

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