Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is one of the vitamins responsible for production of red blood cells, as well as the metabolic function of the body and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
It is naturally found in animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy. And also to some products such as bread and milk fortified with B12.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is common among elderly people. People who don't get enough B12 from their diet are also at higher risk.
Here are the warning signs that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency that most often people ignore.
Lack of B12 causes problems in your body's production of red blood cells causing anemia. People with B12 deficiency often look pale or have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and white of the eyes.
2. Extreme Weakness and Fatigue
Weakness after doing a strenuous physical activity is normal, however, extreme weakness that does not go away with rest might be a sign that you are deficient in vitamin B12.
3. Pins and Needles Tingling Sensation
B12 is needed for the nervous system to function properly. If you had vitamin B12 deficiency for a long time, it may cause nerve damage. People most often experience numbness or pins and needles sensation, like that of being pricked.
4. Shortness of Breath and Palpitations
Anemia caused by the lack of B12 can cause some people to feel breathless. This happens because the body is unable to transport enough oxygen to all its cells.
If vitamin B12 deficiency is left untreated, it can cause damage in the long run. People might experience dizziness or lightheadedness due to anemia. And it can affect your balance and coordination.
6. Smooth, Inflamed Tongue
If your tongue is red and swollen, this an early sign of B12 deficiency. This condition is also known as "glossitis," where the tongue becomes inflamed making it look smooth, as all the tiny bumps of your taste buds stretch out and disappear.
7. Mood Disorders
People who lack B12 may show signs of a depressed mood, anxiety, stress, and decline in brain function such as dementia.
8. Blurred Vision
Disturbed or blurred vision can occur when B12 deficiency is left untreated resulting in nervous system damage to the optic nerve that leads to your eyes.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is hard to diagnose since its symptoms may also be present in many other conditions. However, of you ever experience these common signs, it is best to consult your doctor immediately.