Shortage of Vitamin B12 is a common nutritional insufficiency. The most important reasons for the appearance of this deficiency is the practices that are usually assumed to be good for improving the health are maintaining a vegetarian diet and going on a surgery for losing weight. Vitamin B12 deficiency in the blood can have many different symptoms since this vitamin is essential for various body functions.
Here are 10 most important symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
1. Weakness, fatigue, lightheadedness
Michael Roizen is a chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, and he says that tiredness and weakness are the symptoms that usually appear when deficient in B12 Vitamin. When the levels of this vitamin are low, the body begins to produce lower amounts of red blood cells which are essential for oxygen spreading in the body. That is the reason you are sleepy, tired, exhausted, and even dizzy.
2. Shortness of breath
A physiological sign that your body lacks vitamin B12 is shortness of breath. This vitamin helps in the hemoglobin production, which is the oxygen-transport protein that is in the bloodstream. Shortage of vitamin B12 can reduce the flow of oxygen to the body tissues which are causing anemia. This is what leads to weakness and shortness of breath. In case you experience a sore tongue, unexplained palpitations, fatigue, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, we advise you to see a doctor and do a physical exam.
3. Nerve damage and the sensation of “needles and pins”
Vitamin B12 deficiency is able to damage the nerve cells a lot, which can lead to a needles and pins sensation in the feet and hands. In the human nervous system,this vitamin is essential for the creation of myelin, which is a white sheath located around the nerve fibers. It rises the speed at which are conducted the impulses. Shortage of Vitamin B12 in the body might result in deterioration of the spinal cord, cerebral tissue, optic nerves, and the peripheral nerves.
4. Pale or jaundiced skin
There is one more physical indication that your body lacks vitamin B12 is jaundice in the whites of the eyes or on the skin. The red blood cells production depend of the levels of Vitamin B12. Megaloblastic anemia is an anemic condition which occurs when there is an improper creation of red blood cells. With this health condition, all red blood cells in the body are fragile, large, and cannot be divided. They are very big to pass out of the bone marrow and in the blood circulation. That means that you do not have that much red blood cells to circulate around the body and, consequently, the skin can have pale color.
5. Swollen and inflamed tongue
If you have some digestive system diseases, you are vegan, or you consume a lot of alcohol, you are at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. The oral manifestation of the shortage of B12 in the blood is glossiti. This illness is characterized with a red, beefy, smooth tongue. DNA synthesis can become impaired in case the body lacks vitamin B12.
Because of that, the epithelial cells of the mouth start to split very fast and cause angular cheilitis, glossitis, oral candidiasis, and recurrent oral ulcers. In case you notice some of these symptoms, you should try to change your diet — add more animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, clams, eggs, oysters, or cereals that have more vitamin B12.
6. Constipation, gas, appetite loss
There are various reasons which could cause digestive problems such as gas or constipation, and a vitamin B12 shortage is one of them. In case you ignore this, a vitamin B12 deficiency could possibly lead to upset stomach, chronic constipation, gas, appetite loss, and diarrhea. Reduced levels of this vitamin can affect the usual gastrointestinal tract functioning. If you want to restore your normal vitamin B12 levels and relief the constipation, you could try taking vitamin B12 supplements.
People with vitamin B12 deficiency usually lack the essential factor — a protein that is being secreted by the stomach which is very important for the absorption of vitamin B12. It sticks to vitamin B12 and then it takes it to the intestines to where it is being absorbed. As a result, the digestive system is not able to absorb the vitamin B12. In those case, a good thing that you can do is start taking injections of vitamin B12.
7. Behavioral changes and depression
It is a common thing that a shortage of some of the essential vitamins could lead to depression and behavioral changes, and vitamin B12 is one of those vitamins. Theshortage of this vitamin has a huge impact on the production of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin assist in the regulation of our mood.
8. Vision loss
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to decreased vision and optic neuropathy due to the fact that vitamin B12 plays a great role in the function of the nervous system and nerves. Loss of vision could be diagnosed in those persons who are suffering from malnutrition or who don’t consume animal produces. According to some recent researches, the combination of DHA, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin E, enhanced the retinal sensitivity and visual fields among those patients with glaucoma. Generally, long- term consumption of B12 supplements is able to lower the risk of reduced and cloudy visual acuity.
9. Weakened bones
Just as vitamin D and calcium, vitamin B12 has an essential role in formatting the bone-building cells of the body. Lack of vitamin B12 compromises the good work of the function of the bones and could possibly lead to osteoporosis. This is a disease of having weak, fragile, or brittle bones as a result of loss of a tissue that is caused by nutrient deficiency in the body. The accelerated loss of the bone could possibly lead to bone fractures, falls, and breaks. The elder people are more prone to this disease than the others, which is why doing regular blood tests is essential for them.
10. Subtle symptoms among the elder people
This vitamin shortage is estimated to affect around 10-15% of persons older than 60 years. People couldhave a deficiency or an underlying health disorder which could cause their levels of vitamin B12 drop.Unexpectedly, numerous elderly people don’t have the key symptoms of shortage of this vitamin. Nevertheless, it’s a known fact that the absorption of protein-bound vitamin B12 coulddecrease as people age.
You should not delay the treatment and reverse the damage right before it turns to be irreparable. Theworst that can happen is to have dementia, mental confusion, and a failure in the mental abilities(judgment, memory). Simple blood test and screening are everything you need if you want to know whether you have this shortage. We suggest you to get the proper amount of vitamin B12 with fortifiedfoods or supplements in order to boost the nutrients absorption by the digestive tract.