Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms Warning you should Never Ignore!

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms: Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in producing and maintaining healthy nerves and blood cells. But the question is do you get enough of vitamin B12 from your diet? Vitamin B12 is responsible for carrying oxygen from the red blood cells. It is water soluble vitamin which can be stored in the lover for many years. It also supports a healthy immune system and reproductive system.

Vitamin B12 is necessary for protein metabolism and converting carbohydrates into glucose. Other than this, Vitamin B12 also carries may other crucial functions in the body.

  • Secretion of adrenal hormone
  • Proper digestion
  • Absorption of iron

But the body doesn’t make vitamin B12 on its own, so it has to be derived from animal based food and supplements. Even after eating diet rich in dairy and meet, many people suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency which can lead to many health problems.

Although, it is a very important nutrient, but vitamin B12 is usually overlooked too. The deficiency of this vitamin can be caused by several factors. Here are a few common causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Pernicious Anaemia
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption
  • Prolonged Usage of Gastric Reflux meds
  • Not getting enough of the nutrient in the diet.
  • As most of the natural source of vitamin B12 is meat, vegetarians can’t get enough of this nutrient.
  • With aging, it gets difficult to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.
  • People with digestive problems find it difficult to absorb this vitamin

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms can take years to show up sometimes and people don’t even know the seriousness of the condition. Here we will discuss these warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency that you should never ignore.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms:

1. Dizziness

People who have deficiency of vitamin B12 will feel shortness in breath and dizziness frequently because the body is not making enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen all around the body.

2. Inflamed and Smooth Tongue:

An early warning sign of vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms is an inflamed tongue which is referred to as glossitis. This condition can be very painful and uncomfortable. The tongue also gets smooth after losing few bumps. As these bumps let you recognise the taste, if you fail to do that it means that body doesn’t have enough of vitamin B12.

3. Skin Color Appears Yellow

People with low vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms appear pale or may have a bit of yellow skin tone. This condition is because of the lack of red blood cells in the body. The cells become weak and break easily causing an excess of bilirubin which gives a yellow tinge to the skin.

Pins and needles Vitamin B12 deficiency can give a sensation of prickling in the feet and the hands which happens by pressure being applied on the nerves or the blood vessels which supply these nerves. This deficiency can cause serious damage to the nerves over time if not taken care of.

4. Exhaustion:

If you feel extremely tired and out of breath just after climbing a few stairs or having a short walk, then this can indicate low level of vitamin B12 in your body.

5. Diabetes:

It is found in studies that people who have type 1 or type 2 Diabetes mostly have vitamin B12 deficiency.

6. Change in Mobility:

Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect the balance and coordination in people. Notably, this condition is more prevalent in elderly people, however if you observe a change in the way you walk, you could also be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.

7. Vision Problems:

If you have double or blurry vision, then take a vitamin B12 test to check the level as deficiency of this vitamin normally leads to vision problems.

8. Anxiety:

Vitamin B12 is known to be responsible to stimulate the production of dopamine and serotonin which are happy brain chemicals. Serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter, keeps people happy and low levels of serotonin may lead to depression. As a result of deficiency in this vitamin, people often suffer from anxiety.

9. Loss of Memory:

Vitamin B12 plays a major key role in the brain’s functioning. Younger people can start experiencing loss of memory or dementia in case of vitamin B12 deficiency.

10. Inability to keep Eyes Open:

As the blood is not getting enough of oxygen, the body fails to operate properly. People with vitamin B12 deficiency find it very difficult to keep the eyes open for a long time.

Risk Groups Who are Mainly Prone to B12 Deficiency:

Vegans and vegetarians who cannot eat food products based on animals mostly suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, many kind of drugs which are used as medicines can alter the absorption of vitamin B12 in the body. Aged people above 50, who do not have enough stomach acid are also deficient in this important vitamin.

The best sources through which you can get vitamin B12 are

  • Meat which includes lamb, chicken, turkey and goa0074
  • Seafood like sardines, salmon, tuna fish and shrimps
  • Dairy –low fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified coconut milk for vegans.

Vitamin B12 is of utmost importance and that is why it is called the energy vitamin popularly. You can easily prevent deficiency of Vitamin B12 by either including these food items in your diet or taking it in supplement form. If left untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to prolonged blood diseases as well as neurological issues.

Ignoring this serious deficiency can cause many health problems to your heart, nerves and other organs in the body. Although you might be eating vitamin B12 enriched food but sometime it doesn’t get absorbed by the body.

Do your vitamin tests on a regular basis and consult a doctor immediately if you experience frequent dizziness or numbness. As the symptoms take time to appear, it would be wise to keep observing any changes or signs in your health condition.

Written by Dr Maria MD

MD Board Certified physician
8 years of experience in health care
Former Naturopath at the UK
Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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