Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays important roles in the body, from helping the brain and nervous system function properly to creating red blood cells. Unfortunately, a deficiency in this important nutrient can have adverse effects on your health, causing symptoms such as fatigue, trouble concentrating, depression, and nerve damage.
While some people are more likely than others to experience Vitamin B12 deficiency due to age or dietary restrictions like vegetarianism, anyone can be affected by it. Well, This article explains the six most common signs of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. Let’s explore them:
On This Page
1. Fatigue and Weakness
One of the most common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a feeling of general fatigue and weakness. B12 plays an important role in maintaining the body’s energy level by helping to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
Without enough B12, red blood cell production is inhibited, leading to a decrease in energy and a feeling of weakness or fatigue.
This can often be accompanied by muscle soreness, cramps, and an overall decrease in energy levels. Moreover, this can have an impact on daily activities such as work or exercise, resulting in low productivity and reduced performance.
In some cases, even the simplest tasks can become difficult to complete due to the overwhelming level of exhaustion associated with a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
2. A Sore Mouth and Tongue
Also known as glossitis, people with low vitamin B12 levels often suffer from mouth ulcers or sores along with reddening or swelling of the tongue, which makes eating uncomfortable. As the tongue becomes more inflamed due to a lack of B12, it can become painful to talk and chew food properly.
3. Paresthesia (Numbness and Tingling)
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause abnormal sensations such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, which is known as paresthesia. This occurs because vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps maintain healthy nerve cells, so not having enough of it can affect how well these cells communicate with each other.
4. Digestive Issues
A lack of Vitamin B12 can result in digestive problems such as stomach pain, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and loss of appetite. This can ultimately lead to weight loss if left unchecked.
5. Mood Changes
Another symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency is mood changes. Low levels of B12 are associated with an increased risk for depression, psychological distress, anxiety, irritability, and confusion.
Since this nutrient plays an important role in neurological health, experts believe that people struggling with a severe B12 deficiency may also experience delusions or hallucinations due to the effect that this condition has on their brain function.
6. Pale Skin
Vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, and eyesight. When there is a lack of this important nutrient in the body, skin discoloration may occur.
The most common sign is the paleness of the skin or a yellowish hue. The individual may even experience changes in the pigmentation of their face and lighter patches on other parts of their body due to low levels of B12 in their system.
All in all, Vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining overall health.
Foods such as fish, eggs, dairy products, and some fortified cereals are high in B12. There are also supplements available for those who may have difficulty getting enough of this nutrient from their diet. If you think you might be suffering from a Vitamin B12 deficiency, it is important to speak with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment.