Are you feeling more tired than usual and not as hungry? Maybe you have a vitamin b12 deficiency. Many of us go through it, but vitamin deficiency often gets overlooked due to a lack of proper knowledge about the symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency. So, if you want to learn how to identify and fight this, keep reading.
Though we find vitamin b12 in many fruits and vegetables, its deficiency is common. However, it's important to recognize and work towards combating the deficiency. This is because we need the vitamin to perform various body processes. The deficiency is also more prevalent in adults because our ability to absorb the vitamin decreases with age.
Since vitamin b12 deficiency is sneaky, not identifying it at the right time can lead to further complications. We all prefer early diagnosis of any deficiencies. So let's learn more about identifying and fighting symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that can be identified in a variety of foods and is also available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin B12 aids in the proper functioning of the central nervous system as well as the creation of red blood cells. You can find vitamin B12 in foods such as clams, beef livers, salmon, yogurt, milk, and more.
You can also intake vitamin b12 in the form of supplements or prescription medications. The deficiency of this vitamin could be because of various reasons like avoiding animal products, ongoing medications, digestive disorders ,etc.
What are the Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
If we're not intaking enough of the vitamin, it can lead to a deficiency. As a result, you may start showing symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency. Here are some reasons that can cause vitamin b12 deficiency:
- Lack of Food: Certain foods help us build vitamin B12 in the body. However, sometimes we may not be eating enough foods that can produce the vitamin in our body.
- Digestive Diseases: Certain disorders could lead to us not having enough of the vitamin in our body. These digestive diseases include celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and more.
- Pernicious Anaemia: A rare medical condition known as pernicious anemia, results in your body not producing enough vitamin b12. The intrinsic factor makes this vitamin; however, people with the disease can't make this intrinsic factor.
- Gastritis: Sometimes, the inner lining of our stomach has inflammation which can cause a lack of the vitamin in our body. This is because there is a lack of hydrochloric acid in our body which is required for absorption of vitamin b12
- Surgery: People who have gastrointestinal surgery or bypass surgery might be unable to absorb vitamin b12, which can lead to a deficiency in the body.
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Faulty lab testing results in misdiagnosis of vitamin b12 deficiency. Here are some of the symptoms of low vitamin b12 symptoms:
People with a deficiency of vitamin b12 get yellow or pale skin because. This is because there is a lack of healthy red blood cells which are properly matured. It can also lead to a condition popularly known as jaundice, where your skin and eyes become yellow because of high bilirubin levels.
When we have low levels of vitamin b12 in our body, it results in higher chances of depression. There is a sulfur-containing amino acid that increases and leads to us feeling depressed. This results from DNA damage, cell death, or oxidative stress.
Nausea or diarrhea are two signs of vitamin B12 insufficiency.The deficiency can also lead to bloating, constipation, or other gastritis issues. These issues are prevalent among people of all ages.
Low levels of vitamin B12 have been noticed in the bodies of people who get frequent headaches. People with migraine also have low levels of the vitamin in their bodies. Therefore, doctors recommend migraine patients have their vitamin B12 levels checked.
Low levels of vitamin B12 in our bodies harm our central nervous system. Having trouble concentrating and feeling foggy-headed are both signs of vitamin B12 insufficiency. Intaking supplements can help fight this issue. Other symptoms include memory decline or forgetfulness too.
Our body cells need vitamin b12 to function, so a lack of it may give us fatigue. It can decrease normal red blood cell production and also impair oxygen delivery. It can also lead to the formation of immature red blood cells in our bodies.
Some vitamin b12 deficiency skin problems are vitiligo, hair change, or even angular stomatitis. Vitamin deficiency can cause hyperpigmentation as well, though this could also happen due to other reasons.
A sign of vitamin B12 insufficiency is a burning sensation in the hands and feet. This symptom overlaps with the ones related to nerve damage caused by high blood sugar. Also, people with diabetes take medications that can lower their levels of vitamin b12.
Inflammation in the Mouth and Tongue
People experience an inflamed red tongue due to a deficiency of vitamin b12. Moreover, you might also experience sores in the mouth and inflammation, which is an early sign of the deficiency.
What is the Treatment for Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Vitamin b12 deficiency treatments can be done with vitamin b12. Doctors treat people till the levels of vitamin b12 come back to normal. There are different options that people with low vitamin b12 can opt for, such as oral medications, nasal spray, intramuscular injection, or nasal gel.
How Long to Recover from Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
The amount of time taken to recover from the deficiency of vitamin b12 can depend upon how severe the symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency are. Normally mild symptoms go away soon enough. In extreme circumstances, it could take a couple of months to get rid of the deficiency; however, it does go away eventually.
Also Read: 8 Signs That You Have Sensitive Skin And Precautions To Be Taken
As discussed above, there are several signs and symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency. Since many of these symptoms could look minor, the deficiency often goes undetected. But we must care for our health at all times, and if you feel like you could have any of the above symptoms, consult a medical professional today! Let's cure vitamin b12 deficiency!
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