12 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency


12 Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
That Shouldn’t Be Ignored Vitamin B12, otherwise known as Cobalamin,
is a water-soluble vitamin that has an important role in our bodies. It’s involved with everything from red blood
cells to DNA, and it even helps our nervous system function properly. A source of B12 is available from a number
of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll
find B12 in some fortified dairy alternatives. B12 deficiency is commonplace today, especially
amongst the elderly. If you don’t get enough B12 from your diet
or if you can’t fully absorb it from the foods you eat, you could be at risk. Keep watching and you’ll discover the signs
of vitamin B12 deficiency. Number 1 – Pale Or Jaundiced Skin Having a pale complexion can signal a B12
deficiency, especially if the person has jaundice, which is a yellow tint found in the skin and
whites of the eyes. Insufficient B12 interferes with the production
of red blood cells, jaundice is one of the results of that. The DNA that’s needed to make red blood
cells depends heavily on B12. Without it, The DNA misses out on crucial
steps in this process, producing red blood cells that are incapable of dividing. The end result is known as Megaloblastic Anemia
– in which the red blood cells created in your bone marrow are too big, also making
them much weaker. Since these red blood cells are so big, they
never make it out of your bone marrow, and are not circulated around your body. As you have a lower number of red blood cells
in circulation, your skin takes on a pale tone. Number 2 – Skin, Hair And Nail Problems Vitamin B12 is not only important for the
production of blood cells, but it’s connected with your skin, hair and even your nails. A lack of it, therefore, will have an unfavorable
effect. Like I mentioned in the previous point, B12
deficiency can cause yellowing of the skin – but unfortunately, it can go even further. In fact, it can even lead to vitiligo, a disorder
that leads to areas of your skin having white patches. Acne, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation, and even
skin lesions can be caused by a B12 deficiency. Your hair’s health can also suffer, with
your hair turning gray earlier and falling out, and fingernails becoming brown-gray in
color. Number 3 – Sensations of Pins And Needles A prolonged lack of B12 can have one major
ramification; nerve damage. B12 is intricately linked to your metabolic
pathway helping to produce Myelin, a fatty substance that insulates and protects nerves. A long-term deficiency of B12 means that the
Myelin that your body makes is subpar, hindering the function of your nervous system. The feeling of pins and needles in your hands
and feet – known as Paresthesia – is an indicator of this. Most people are known to experience Anemia
in tandem with the neurological effects of B12 deficiency. Yet this isn’t always the case; a certain
study even discovered around 28% of people who experienced neurological symptoms of B12
deficiency, didn’t show any indication of Anemia. It’s important to remember that ‘pins
and needles’ is a common symptom that people can experience for a number of reasons, and
is not a ‘guarantee’ of a B12 deficiency. Number 4 – Changes To Mobility If an ongoing lack of B12 is left unchecked,
your nervous system could be so ill-affected that the very way you move is compromised. Your coordination and equilibrium may even
be hampered, boosting your risk of falling. Those belonging to the over-60 age group often
display this symptom, as people in this age are heavily predisposed to having B12 deficiencies. It may still be possible to correct this with
treatment, strengthening mobility. The elderly isn’t the only group affected
though; younger people can have an acute shortage of B12 which affects them similarly. Number 5 – Glossitis And Mouth Ulcers Glossitis refers to an inflamed tongue, which
can arise due to a lack of B12. When affected by Glossitis, the color and
shape of your tongue are altered. Your tongue turns red, swells and becomes
sore. The taste buds on your tongue also change,
as the coverings elongate and disappear. This impacts how your tongue looks, giving
it a smooth appearance. Glossitis also heavily effects your way of
speech and eating habits – due to the pain it causes. Other oral discomfort can be experienced as
anything from mouth ulcers to an itchy feeling in the mouth. Number 6 – Breathlessness And Dizziness Since B12 deficiency can make you Anemic,
this in turn, may make you feel dizzy or experience shortness of breath, particularly when you
expend a lot of energy. This is due to your body’s lack of red blood
cells, meaning your other cells are getting an inadequate supply of oxygen. That being said, there are many reasons as
to why you might be feeling overtired or out of breath, so it’s best to consult a doctor. Number 7 – Muscle Weakness Have you been having a lot of off days at
the gym? Maybe the groceries seem heavier than before? This is another potential sign of a vitamin
B12 deficiency. B12 oxygenates your muscles and organs, helping
them perform more effectively. The less oxygen your muscles have access to,
the more likely they are to underperform. This leads to overall weakness – and even
going for a walk can feel like too much to face. If you notice a sudden uptake in your instances
of weakness without a definite cause, you may want to book an appointment with your
doctor, in order to look at your B12 levels. Number 8 – Disturbed Vision If you’re experiencing unusual problems
with your eyes, such as blurry vision, it may be due to vitamin B12 levels. As I mentioned, B12 deficiency can cause damage
to your nervous system – this can also affect the optic nerve that’s connected to your
eyes. The result is Optic Neuropathy, a condition
in which the nervous signal that makes its way from the eye to the brain is disrupted,
diminishing your eyesight. All this sounds very scary, but the treatment
is simple: administer B12 – which usually undoes the damage. Number 9 – Mood Changes Those who experience low B12 levels, usually
describe it as altering their frame of mind. It’s also not uncommon for issues, like
depression or dementia, to be connected with insufficient B12. One proposed explanation for this, is the
“HOMOCYSTEINE HYPOTHESIS OF DEPRESSION”. What this theory proposes, is that the rise
in your homocysteine levels – which is the result of inadequate B12 – may be harmful
to brain tissue, hindering the efficacy of signals sent to and from your brain, leading
to mood changes. A number of studies infer that in some cases,
where the patient is lacking in B12, giving the vitamin as treatment can overturn these
effects. Conditions like depression or dementia can
have varying reasons for affecting a person and as such, the effectiveness of supplementing
with B12 in these situations is unknown. Taking a B12 supplement if you have low levels
may improve your mood, but it can’t take priority over proven medical therapies used
to treat depression, dementia, or mood changes. Number 10 – Stomach Discomfort Or Infrequent
Bowel Movements If you’re find yourself dealing with constipation
or stomach pains, it may not be down to what you had for lunch. Vitamin B12 helps your red blood cells function
and it aids in the creation of hemoglobin – a protein used to transport oxygen in the
bloodstream. A B12 deficiency may result in Pernicious
Anemia – in which your blood can’t transport the necessary oxygen to your tissues, resulting
in anything from diarrhea to nausea, or even problematic bowel issues. Number 11 – Heart Palpitations Pernicious Anemia, like I just explained,
is one result of B12 deficiency. But this type of Anemia affects more than
your digestive system; it can lead to heart palpitations. Whenever your heart beats at a greater speed
than 100 beats per minute you may feel the palpitations coming into effect in your throat,
your neck or your chest. This can also happen when you have an early
beat. Anemia creates a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream,
as red blood cells and hemoglobin are under-produced. The result of this, is that the heart has
to try and make up the difference, pumping hard to get as much oxygen as possible around
the body – the fallout being the palpitations. Number 12 – Unexplained Fatigue Sometimes, even after a night of restful sleep,
you can spend the next day feeling like you want to jump right back into bed. Now, this is understandable once in a while,
but if this feeling last for days – despite a consistent sleep schedule – this tiredness
(mixed with other symptoms) could be signalling a vitamin B12 deficiency. Researchers say that if someone feels worn
out, even in the face of a full night’s sleep, the odds are they’re dealing with
low B12 levels. This is down to insufficient red blood cell
production, a process in which B12 is instrumental. Low red blood cells mean less oxygen transported
to your organs, leading to the organs underperforming and boosting your feeling of fatigue. Vitamin B12 deficiency is not uncommon, and
comes in many forms – making it hard to pin down – which is why you should ask your doctor
for help. Pernicious Anemia or the inability to absorb
vitamin B12, means that you will need to be treated with shots of B12. These shots may continue, or could change
to a high-strength oral supplement, or even take the vitamin nasally. Older adults with the deficiency will have
a higher need to stay on the vitamin, either taking it by itself or as part of a multivitamin. Treatment should be the solution for most. But unfortunately, if nerve damage has occurred
because of the deficiency, it may be permanent. The good news is, that a B12 deficiency is
easily preventable by eating enough meat, dairy, eggs, and poultry. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, the solution
can be to take a multivitamin or B12 itself; or to consume fortified foods or supplements
that use B12. Have you ever had a vitamin B12 deficiency? If so, how did you solve the problem? Were you able to bring up your levels with
supplements? Or did you have to get shots? Share your experiences below! Thanks for watching! If you thought this video offered some useful
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