Vitamin B12 Deficiency
We all know that Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient that keeps the body functioning properly. Human body does not create vitamin B-12, so we must get this nutrient from our diet. Not only is it crucial for making DNA and red blood cells, but also helps support the nervous system. The body needs red blood cells to get oxygen around the body and keep the organs in good health.
Vitamin B12 Sources
Vitamin B12 is commonly present in animal based foods such as red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and fish but they are present in vegetarian diet too such as in fortified cereals, plant milk, breads etc.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Some symptoms showing deficiency of B12 are:
Tingling in hands or feet
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause “pins and needles” in the hands or feet. This symptom occurs because the vitamin plays a crucial role in human nervous system. It helps produce a substance called Myelin. Myelin is a protective coating that shields the nerves and helps them transmit sensations.
Trouble in walking
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to movement problems. Numbness in the feet and limbs may make it hard for a person to walk without support.
Jaundice may be a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. Jaundice develops when an individual’s body is not able to produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells circulating under the skin provide it with its normal color.
Due to vitamin B12 deficiency, a person may feel fatigued. Without enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around their body, a person can feel extremely tired.
Fast heart rate
The heart may beat faster to make up for the reduced number of red blood cells in the body. Anemia puts pressure on the heart to push a higher volume of blood quickly.
Shortness of breath
Anemia that results from vitamin B12 deficiency may cause a person to feel a little short of breath. This to a lack of red blood cells and a fast heartbeat.
Vitamin B12 affects oral health. As a result, being deficient in Vitamin B12 may cause the problems like glossitis, which causes a swollen, smooth, red tongue and mouth ulcers. These symptoms occur because its deficiency causes a reduction in red blood cell production, which results in less oxygen reaching the tongue.
Problem in thinking or reasoning
Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause problems with thinking, which is known as cognitive impairment. These issues include difficulty thinking or reasoning and memory loss. The reduced amount of oxygen reaching the brain can be pointed out as causing this.
Deficiency of vitamin B12 can affect a person’s mood, potentially causing irritability or depression.
Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Lack of red blood cells (caused by vitamin B12 deficiency) means that not enough oxygen reaches the gut. Insufficient oxygen may lead to a person feeling like vomiting. It may also cause diarrhea.
Decreased appetite and weight loss
As a result of digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, people may lose their appetite. A decreased appetite can lead to weight loss in the long term.
Some people with B12 may show signs of a depression or conditions such as dementia. All you need to do is pay keen attention to the symptoms of B12 deficiency.
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