Do You Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the production of DNA and red blood cells along with the proper functioning of the nervous system. This essential vitamin is naturally occurring in meats, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy and is also in products that are fortified with B12 like some breads and plant-based milk products.
Who is at risk for B12 deficiency?
B12 deficiency is a risk in many people but especially those who are middle-aged and beyond as well as those who have had surgery that removes the portion of the bowel that absorbs vitamin B12. Individuals who are taking metformin (a drug for diabetes) or long-term antacid drugs for heartburn may also be at risk for deficiency as well as those who follow a strict vegan diet.
What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency?
If you do not get enough B12 from your diet or are not able to absorb enough from your food, you are at risk for B12 deficiency which can manifest itself in a number of symptoms:
- Pale or Jaundiced Skin: People with B12 deficiency may have a yellow tinge to their skin and the whites of their eyes.
- Tingling Sensation: Also sometimes called pins and needles sensations.
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Mouth Ulcers
- Dizziness and Breathlessness: Often occurring with exertion and is due to anemia as a result of lack of red blood cells in your body.
- Mood Changes
- Double Vision
- Changes to Mobility: This can include balance and coordination troubles as well as a higher risk of falling.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can show up in a number of different ways and can be difficult to diagnose. Talk to us if you think you may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.