Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Symptoms Of Deficiency

Contributed by: Rachana Arya

Introduction

The B vitamins are a group of eight nutrients, each with distinct roles in maintaining the body’s healthy.

Despite having names that sound similar (B1, B2, B3, etc.), these vitamins are chemically different substances, and they frequently coexist in the same foods.

Generally, dietary supplements that contain all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. Each B vitamin has a specific role in the body and is essential for preserving cell health.

The eight kinds of vitamins in the vitamin B complex include: 

  1. Thiamine (B1)
  2. Riboflavin (B2)
  3. Niacin (B3)
  4. Pantothenic acid (B5) 
  5. Pyridoxine (B6)
  6. Biotin (B7)
  7. Folate (B9, also known as folic acid) 
  8. Cobalamin (B12) 

Individually, all these eight B vitamins play crucial roles in a wide variety of functions in the human body.

The symptoms of a vitamin B deficiency vary, depending on which B vitamin a person is lacking resulting in different symptoms.

In this blog, we will discuss some tell-tale signs in the body of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Importance of Vitamin B12 

Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin that is needed for producing and maintaining new cells (nerve and red blood cells) and for making DNA.

It is often called “the energy vitamin.” That’s because the body needs this vitamin to convert food into fuel. 

B12 is water soluble, which means your body only absorbs the limited amount it needs, and the rest is excreted in your urine. 

Lack of vitamin B12 can result in a variety of health concerns such as pernicious anaemia, and also result in “irreversible” harm in the long run.  

Hence, it’s critical to identify and successfully treat B12 insufficiency as soon as possible and keep track of all the symptoms that could point to deficiency-related diseases.

General symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency

Some symptoms linked to this nutritional shortage include:

  • A faint yellowish tint in the skin 
  • Modifications to how you walk and move

Chronic Symptoms 

Left untreated, low levels of B12 can lead to irreversible damage to nerve cells, which can cause the following symptoms:

  • Anaemia
  • Numbness and tingling sensation in the hands, arms and feet (paresthesia)
  • Difficulty in walking and moving arms
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Weakness in muscle 
  • Irritability and depression
  • Mouth sores, ulcers, swollen tongues, and other oral issues
  • Memory loss
  • Dementia-like symptoms
  • Psychosis

Foods that can help 

Nutrient vitamin B12 is not produced by the body naturally. Vitamin B12 insufficiency brought on by inadequate food intake is the easiest to correct.

By consuming meals high in vitamin B12 and taking oral vitamin B12 supplements, the disease can be cured. It is crucial to consume meals high in this vitamin.

Numerous foods are abundant in vitamin B12 and their consumption can help you meet your daily vitamin B12 needs. 

These include:

Beef, pig, ham, poultry, lamb, seafood, crab, dairy items like milk, cheese, and yoghurt, as well as eggs, are some of the richest sources of vitamin B12.

Additionally, fortified cereals might give you adequate amounts of this essential nutrient. Vegetables that are high in vegetarians that contain a very high amount of Vitamin B12 are spinach, beetroot, potatoes, mushrooms, alfalfa, and others.

Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency 

The diagnosis of this deficiency is based on laboratory tests. Your doctor will draw a sample of your blood to determine if your red blood cells are larger than normal and if your haemoglobin level is lower than normal.

Final thoughts

If you experience any vitamin B12 deficient symptoms, you need to see your doctor right away to have a test done.

The majority of older adults, pregnant women, vegans and people with certain health conditions should prioritise routine screening since they are more likely to acquire B12 insufficiency.

So, if you are facing any of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, then you should take a vitamin B12 test to check your vitamin B12 levels and take appropriate steps to rectify the deficiencies.

Get Your Vitamin B12 Levels Checked Today!



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