How Long Does It Take to Recover From Vitamin B12 Deficiency?



If you’ve been grappling with health concerns and are wondering, "how long does it take to recover from vitamin B12 deficiency?" you're not alone. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common and can cause troublesome symptoms.

In this guide, we’ll unpack everything you need to know about vitamin B12 deficiency, including the signs and symptoms, why it occurs, and how long it takes to recover from vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency might manifest subtly at first, but over time, these symptoms can become more pronounced. 

Common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue and Weakness: A reduced red blood cell count can lead to feelings of constant fatigue and unexplained weakness.
  • Numbness and Tingling: Especially in the hands and feet, often accompanied by a staggering walk or balance problems.

If you experience any of these symptoms, book an appointment with your primary healthcare provider. 



How Common is Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency is surprisingly common, especially among the elderly. 

Aside from the elderly, vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk since B12 is primarily found in animal products.

Prolonged use of certain medications and specific medical conditions can also lead to a deficiency.

How Do I Know If I Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Suspecting you have a deficiency and confirming it are two different things.

  • Blood Test: A simple blood test can reveal B12 levels. However, it's essential to discuss symptoms with your doctor since you can exhibit symptoms even at the lower end of the "normal" range.
  • Further Testing: In some cases, doctors may recommend further testing, like a methylmalonic acid test, to get a clearer picture.

How Do You Get Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Several factors can contribute to the onset of this deficiency.

  • Diet: As mentioned, vegans and vegetarians are at risk due to a lack of animal products in their diet.
  • Absorption Issues: Certain conditions like atrophic gastritis or medications like proton pump inhibitors can hinder B12 absorption.

How Do You Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Once diagnosed, treatment can begin immediately. It’s important to see your doctor as soon as you suspect a vitamin B12 deficiency. 

The earlier you catch your vitamin B12 deficiency, the less time it will take to recover.

Treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency may include:

  • B12 Injections: For severe deficiencies or absorption issues, regular B12 injections might be recommended.
  • Oral Supplements: Over-the-counter oral supplements can suffice for milder cases or as a follow-up to injection treatments.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

So, how long does it take to recover from a vitamin B12 deficiency after treatment has been administered?

Recovery is a phased process, but the initial results can be swift.

  • Immediate Relief: Within days of treatment, symptoms like fatigue may start to wane.
  • Full Recovery: While initial symptoms improve quickly, nerve damage (if any) can take months to heal.

The Best Supplements for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Fortunately, there are several supplements that can help address a vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Methylcobalamin is a form of B12 that's quickly absorbed and retained by the body.

Cyanocobalamin is another popular form, often used in standard supplements.

Our Origins range harnesses the power of nature to provide the body with essential vitamins and nutrients. This range includes organ meat supplements and chicken broth bombs that are rich in vitamin B12 and poised to help you increase your vitamin B12 levels. 



Can Vitamin B12 Deficiency Cause Complications?

Yes, a prolonged deficiency can have lasting impacts.

Prolonged neglect of a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible neurological damage. 

It may also impair cognitive function, causing memory loss. 

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Vitamin B12 Deficiency? A Phased Recovery 

Understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for Vitamin B12 deficiency can pave the way for a quick recovery. 

As a general rule, it can take days to months to fully recover from a vitamin B12 deficiency. 

If you suspect you're deficient, it's vital to consult with a healthcare professional to chart the best recovery course.

Explore our range of science-backed, Australian-made vitamins and supplements, expertly formulated to support your overall health and wellbeing.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Danny Urbinder

Danny Urbinder is a qualified naturopath and lecturer. He has been passionate about complementary and integrative medicine for over 25 years.

As a qualified naturopath who graduated from the Southern School of Natural Medicine, Danny lectured in Nutritional Biochemistry at the Australian College of Natural Medicine for many years. He also worked in functional pathology at Australian Reference Laboratories as Technical Services and State Manager.

For 15 years, since 2005, Danny worked at BioCeuticals as Director of Education and Director of Clinical Services. In 2012 he created and headed up FX Medicine, an online education platform bringing together education, research news and stories, to provide a high-quality reference source for those seeking evidence-based information on complementary and integrative medicine.