Vitamin B12 is important for our body. It is necessary for various body functions, including the production of red blood cells, neurological health, and DNA synthesis. Today, many people suffer from its deficiency and most of them are even unaware about it. In this article, we will talk about how Vitamin B12 plays an important role in keeping our body healthy. Here are seven signs that may signal a severe deficiency.
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Let’s understand the possible causes of the deficiency.
- Age : As people get older, their ability to absorb vitamins from food decreases, making them more vulnerable to the deficiency.
- Diet : Since B12 is mostly found in animal products, those who follow a vegan diet may be at risk of developing a deficiency.
- Medication : Certain long term medications and surgeries can reduce B12 absorption.
Weakness is the most common sign of this deficiency. You feel tired the whole day even after getting enough sleep. This is because B12 is important for red blood cell production. Lack of red blood cells prevents our body from getting the oxygen it needs, which makes us feel weak and tired.
- Pale Skin
A B12 deficiency can also affect your skin appearance. Anemia is a disorder caused by lack of red blood cells, that make you appear pale or even have a yellowish colour to your skin. Due to insufficient circulation, people may also experience coldness or numbness in their hands and feet.
- Blurred Vision
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also affect your vision. People with B12 deficiency complained of blurred or disturbed vision. When the deficiency is not treated, it can damage the optic nerve, which causes blurred vision.
- Sudden Weight Loss
Another possible sign of a B12 deficiency is sudden weight loss. Lack of B12 can reduce your appetite because your body is not able to digest the food properly. Hence, making it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
Nerve damage is another side effect of B12 deficiency. Particularly, the hands and feet may feel tingling, numbness sensations. Myelin, the protective layer that covers the nerves, needs vitamin B12 to stay healthy. Damaged myelin results in these sensations.
- Mouth ulcers
Oral symptoms can also be related to a B12 deficiency. You may develop glossitis, due to which your tongue appears red and swollen. People may also develop sores or ulcers in their mouths due to which they face difficulties and struggle to speak and eat.
- Cognitive Impairment
Our brain health is critically dependent on vitamin B12. Its deficiency can cause problems like memory loss, trouble concentrating and mood swings. In severe cases, it might even cause confusion and dementia.
To prevent B12 deficiency follow the instructions listed below:
- Diet : A well balanced diet is a key to a healthy body. If you are vegetarian, eat foods like breakfast cereals and plant-based milk, or take B12 supplements. If you are non-vegetarian, include fish, meat, eggs, and dairy in your diet to prevent deficiency.
- Supplements : If you are at risk of developing B12 deficiency due to any medical issue or dietary restrictions you can also consider B12 supplements on a doctor’s advice
- Regular Check-ups : Regular blood testing can help detect deficiencies early and enable quick treatment.
- Addressing the underlying medical issue that is causing your B12 deficiency may cure it.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than many people believe. The solution to it is being aware of the symptoms and taking preventive measures like regular check ups, eating a balanced diet and taking supplements if required. Consult a doctor immediately if you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. Your health is worth the effort.