Vitamin B-12 is a vital nutrient that keeps our body functioning right. The body doesn’t create this vitamin, so we must get it from our diet. B-12 is essential for making red blood cells and DNA, and it helps support the nervous system.
Although this vitamin is critical for digestive, cardiovascular, neurological, and immunological functions, B-12 deficiency is one of the most common conditions in the world.
What to Know About B-12 Deficiency?
One research study done through Tufts University has suggested that more than 40% of the people between the ages of 26 and 83 have low-normal B-12 levels. And many of these individuals were experiencing neurological symptoms.
It’s a fact that B-12 deficiency is present to 50% of people over 60, and some of the most common symptoms include low mood, fatigue, and nerve problems.
The elderly are not the only people at risk of B-12 deficiency. Those who’ve had surgery to remove the part of the bowel that ingest B-12, people with diabetes, people following a vegan diet, or those taking drugs long-term are also at risk.
It is essential to consume foods that contain a high level of vitamin B-12. Adults need at least 2.4mg of vitamin B-12 per day. You can find this vitamin in animal-based foods such as eggs, red meat, dairy, fish, and poultry.
5 Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
Here are the symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Fatigue is one of the most common signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency. It happens because the body doesn’t have enough nutrients to produce red blood cells.
As a result, you are not able to transport oxygen to your body, making you feel weak and tired.
2. Pale skin
Yellow or pale skin may be another symptom of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Red blood cells floating under our skin’s surface provide us with color. Without red blood cells, the skin may look yellow and pale.
A vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause a lack of red blood cells or also known as anemia.
3. Mood changes
People with B-12 deficiency often experience changes in mood. Low levels of vitamin B-12 have been linked to brain disorders like dementia and depression.
The theory explains that high levels of homocysteine (a result of low levels of B-12) could cause serious damage to the brain tissue, which can lead to mood changes.
Please note that changes to mood can have a variety of causes.
4. Vision problems
Another symptom of B-12 deficiency is disturbed vision. Vision disturbance can occur when an untreated vitamin deficiency results in damage in the nervous system that leads to the eyes.
Although it is quite scary, it is reversible by increasing your vitamin B-12 daily intake.
5. Mouth pain
Vitamin B-12 profoundly impacts oral health. Being deficient in this vitamin may cause mouth ulcers, glossitis, or a burning sensation.
These symptoms may occur because B-12 deficiency slows the production of red blood cells, which results in less oxygen circulating to the tongue.
As you can see, vitamin B-12 deficiency is a common condition. If you have any of the symptoms, speak to your doctor, or consult with one of our experts.