Vitamin B12 Deficiency Signs, Symptoms, And Risk Factors


Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, symptoms and risk factors

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are diverse, including physical and mental symptoms. Physical symptoms include palpitations, incurable fatigue, loss of balance, numbness, tingling, pale skin and pain and red tongue. Mental symptoms include memory loss, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Vitamin B12 is essential for your nerves and genes
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is one of the 8 essential B vitamins. Because it is soluble in water, your body can not store it; therefore, it must be obtained constantly through food. All B vitamins help produce energy in the body by converting carbohydrates from food into fuel (glucose) and using fats and proteins optimally

Signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

As an adult, you only need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 daily through your diet. For babies under 1 year, the daily requirement ranges between 0.4 and 0.5 mcg. Pregnant and lactating mothers require 2.6 and 2.8 mcg, respectively.

The only source of vitamin B12 are foods, mostly of animal origin, and supplements. While vegetarians can get it from dairy products, they still run the risk of not getting enough. However, vegans are at high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency if they do not eat foods and supplements fortified with B12. Deficiency occurs when you do not get enough through your diet or when your body can not absorb it effectively. Poor absorption is caused by aging, low stomach acid, chronic digestive disorders such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease, stomach surgeries and pernicious anemia.

1. Memory loss, depression, OCD and psychosis
The first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, which could take years to develop, have to do with nerves and mental health. The list includes depression, memory loss, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder and dementia. The reason behind this is that vitamin B12 helps build the protective myelin sheath around nerve cells.

2. Anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath
There are certain signs related to blood that the deficiency could manifest itself. But it is very unlikely that you have hematological symptoms if you already have nervous and mental symptoms. The probability that it will decrease even more with the severity of the neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Anemia is a classic symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. Severe anemia can cause shortness of breath in effort, fatigue, as well as symptoms related to congestive heart failure, such as ankle edema, difficulty breathing, frequent urination at night, etc.

3. Nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and swelling
Some symptoms of deficiency include the digestive tract, such as nausea, vomiting, heartburn, bloating and gas, constipation or diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. An enlarged liver is another symptom.

4. Cutaneous lesions, vitiligo and sore tongue
Any change in the content of cobalamin in the body can appear on the skin as vitiligo, dermatitis, hyperpigmentation or acne. Skin lesions, especially those that do not respond to any other treatment, are more likely than cobalamin deficiency. Your hair and nails could also change.

Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal sources
Since vitamin B12 can not be produced in the body, it is essential to include the foods that provide it in our diet. Plants do not and the only living beings that produce vitamin B12 are certain bacteria present in the digestive tract of animals.

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Video credits to Everyday Simple Health Tips YouTube channel





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    Vitamin B12 Deficiency Signs, Symptoms, And Risk Factors

    Comments 5

    1. B12 is made in soil, the reason animals have it in their digestive systems is because when they eat plants they also eat some of the soil.

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