9 Signs That Scream Out Loud A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
One of the most common deficiencies is vitamin B12 deficiency. Usually if you are on a vegetarian diet or undergone weight loss surgery, then it could be common to have lack of vitamin B12. Apart form this there are a variety of factors that could lead to you lacking in vitamin B12. If you are then here are the 10 signs of vitamin B 12 deficiency you should look out for.
1. Weakness, light headedness, fatigue.
Weakness and fatigue or tiredness are among signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Lack of vitamin B12 leads to decrease of red blood cell production that carries less oxygen throughout the body making you feel tired. Working late could also cause the same problem but if your general condition worsens consult a doctor.
2. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath due to exertion is one of the possible signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. This is due to low haemoglobin whose production also depends on the vitamin B12. This again reduces oxygen and low blood count resulting in anaemia, shortness of breath and weakness. If you face palpitations, fatigue, breath shortness and sore tongue, see a doctor.
3. Nerve damage and the sensation of “pins and needles”
When you lack in vitamin B12, it could also lead to nerve cell damage leading to pins and needles sensation in hands and feet. If unchecked it could become a permanent condition called paraesthesia. B12 is required for myelin production that protects the nerve fibers and increases the nerve impulses. Lack of vitamin B12 also leads to deterioration of cerebral tissue, optic nerve, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Further signs could be loss of balance, and wobbliness while walking on flat surfaces.
4. Swollen, inflamed tongue
Vegans, vegetarians, those who consume alcohol or experience digestive system illness risk vitamin B12 deficiencies. One of the signs is a beefy, inflamed and red tongue also called glossitis. Lack of vitamin B12 leads to rapid division of the epithelial cells in the mouth causing glossitis, angular cheilities, mouth ulcers and candidiasis. Try to get more sources of vitamin B12 in your diet such as meat, poultry, fish, clams, oysters, eggs, or cereal fortified with B12.
5. Constipation, loss of appetite, gas
Lack of vitamin B12 also leads to chronic constipation, upset tummy, diarrhoea, gas and poor appetite. Poor vitamin B in the system leads to poor function of the digestive tract. To get relief, consider a vitamin B12 supplement after speaking with your doctor. A lack of vitamin B12 leads to lack of intrinsic factor -being a protein that the stomach secretes to absorb vitamin B12. Thus, without it, no B12 can be absorbed into the intestines and a person has to resort to supplements.
6. Vision Loss
Among signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is vision loss. B12 contributes to healthy function of the nervous system. Studies have shown that the Vitamin B12 combined with vitamin E and DHA improves vision and retinal sensitivity in glaucoma patients. Long term consumption of vitamin B12 reduces risk of cloudy vision.
7. Depression, behavioral changes
A lack of the essential vitamins needed by the body can result in depression and changes in behaviour. Low vitamin B12 levels impact serotonin production in the brain, the hormone that regulates mood. Low levels of B12 can also cause mood disturbances so consult with your doctor as vitamin B12 supplements can also improve mood.
8. Weakened bones
Vitamin B12 also contributes to bine building cells called osteoblasts. Thus, one of the signs of vitamin B12 deficiency could be osteoporosis because of low vitamin B12 negatively impacting the work of osteoblasts. Osteoporosis leads to weak and brittle bones increasing risk of fractures and breaks.
9. symptoms among the elderly
Among signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, lacking in the vitamin is experienced by 10-15% of people over 60. Either they could have a direct vitamin B 12 deficiency or a health condition that leads to reduction of vitamin B12. Ageing decreases absorption of protein bound vitamin B12. In this case, treatment should be done immediately to prevent irreversible damage that could put one at risk of dementia, confusion and decline in cognitive ability. It is necessary to eat fortified foods to boost the vitamin levels in the body.
Apart from these signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, there are other factors that cause lack of the vitamin. Conditions like weight loss surgery, celiac disease, chronic alcoholism, IBS can obstruct absorption of vitamin B12. Even if one has moderate symptoms, consult a doctor for the necessary supplements of vitamin B12.