Do you face difficulty in remembering daily chores? Are tingling fingers a regular problem for you? Well, these could be signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B deficiency symptoms can affect you in many ways; B12 deficiency, particularly, can be more harmful. Though most complaints are common, B12 deficiency neurological symptoms are far more dangerous.
Some people, certain conditions and women may be at greater risk of B12 deficiency. Increasing age, medications, certain illnesses and many other factors affect vitamin B12 levels in your body. People who take long-term antacids to treat acid reflux or peptic ulcers, may experience B12 deficiency, due to improper absorption of nutrients. It is believed that vegetarians often lack vitamin B12, as most of its sources are found in animal food. But vegetarians can opt for milk, milk products and fortified soy or rice milk, bread and cereals.
However, it is important to check vitamin B12 levels and plan proper treatment and diet. Discover these signs of B12 deficiency and protect your health.
You feel tired and sleepy during the day
Vitamin B12 deficiency can make you feel less energetic. Lack of this vitamin reduces oxygen supply to your body cells. This may make you feel tired and lethargic. Even after having a good night’s sleep, if you feel dull, lethargic and sleepy in the afternoon, you must watch out.
You have weird sensations
Many vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are a result of nerve damage. Improper blood circulation and inadequate oxygenation can affect the nerves, causing burning, numbness or tingling sensations in the body. If you feel a weird sensation like pins and needles in your head, hands or feet, get it evaluated at once.
You are more forgetful
If you often open your cupboard and stand wondering what the purpose was, you need to check. Lack of concentration, confusion and memory weakness, all can be a result of impairment of nerves, due to vitamin B12 deficiency. You can forget your things, daily chores and even known names. If this sounds familiar, you know the possible reason.
You often feel dizzy
Yet another common complaint possibly due to impaired nerves or affected oxygen supply. If you are not getting enough vitamin B12, you may feel wobbly and dizzy. Some may also hear sounds or have tinnitus. Low blood pressure is also common in people with inadequate vitamin B12 levels.
You are worn-out with the slightest exertion
One of the typical vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms is weak muscles that easily wear out. If you often see yourself exhausted after a short walk or after lifting your shopping bag, you need to pay attention.
You are moodier
As vitamin B12 deficiency affects brain signals, it can also have an impact on your emotions. If you become moody, easily get anxious or depressed, it could be one of those vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Something is bothering your eyes
Inadequate vitamin B12 can affect the nerves or blood vessels of the eyes too. People having low B12 levels commonly experience vision disturbances, blurry vision, irritation as if something is present in the eye and oversensitivity to light.
Your skin is more sensitive than ever
Vitamin B12 deficiency can make your skin look dull, dry and make those dark spots appear more prominent. If your skin becomes more sensitive, with redness and inflammation, vitamin B12 supplement can help you.
You look pale
If your skin appears pale as against the healthy pink colour, blame low B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia, which gives you the pale appearance.
You may gain weight
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms like dizziness and fatigue make you inactive. Lack of energy fuels weight gain in vitamin B12 deficiency. Due to lack of energy, your ability to be active reduces and your demand for food increases. This causes you to consume more calories and burn less, thus leading to weight gain.
You have a red tongue
In some people, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause smooth and red tongue. This occurs when the papillae on the tongue, which have taste buds, are lost. Loss of taste may cause loss of appetite and lose some weight, while some may not feel any taste; thus end up eating more and gain weight.
While B12 deficiency is more common in women, it can be seen in men too. Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms in men include lack of energy, memory problems, confusion, poor reflexes, anaemia and numbness or tingling in hands and feet. It can also increase their risk of heart diseases. Sometimes erectile dysfunction due to impaired nerves of the penis in B12 deficiency can also cause impotence in men.
Now, that you are aware of the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, you can take timely action. The signs of inadequate B12 can get worse, if ignored. Get to know your vitamin B 12 levels by simple laboratory blood test. Depending on the levels, your doctor may prescribe vitamin B12 supplements. These are available in oral and injectable forms. The best option is decided by the treating doctor, depending on the severity of vitamin B12 deficiency and your health condition.