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What Are The Signs Of Vitamin B 12 Deficiency? (Causes And Treatments)

What Are The Signs Of Vitamin B 12 Deficiency? (Causes And Treatments)

Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect all age groups. Learn about Vitamin B 12 deficiency symptoms, causes, how to treat it, and how to prevent it. Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is essential for the body, and due to a deficiency in this vitamin could cause irreversible damage to the body. Since humans are unable to synthesize this vitamin, we therefore need to introduce foods that contain it into our diet. Indeed, it helps to make DNA and red blood cells, among other functions. Healthline sheds light on the various symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Signs Of Vitamin B 12 Deficiency

For those who are in doubt about their intake of this vitamin, it is possible to perform blood tests to find out their vitamin B12 level. However, there are people at risk for deficiency, such as:

- The elderly: because with age, the body has difficulty absorbing this vitamin. A food supplement may be necessary.

- Those who have undergone surgery to remove part of the intestine that absorbs B12

- Vegans who do not consume animal products

- Taking long-term anti-acid drugs.

- Too much alcohol. The latter irritates the lining of the stomach and intestines and hinders the absorption of nutrients.

However, sometimes a vitamin B12 deficiency is confused with a folate deficiency. Therefore, correcting the folate level could mask or exacerbate the effects of this vitamin deficiency.

Nevertheless, there are symptoms of this deficiency to know and which are not misleading:

Pallor of the skin
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a lack of production of red blood cells in the body. This then results in a pale complexion, turning towards yellow, also noticeable on the whites of the eyes. Anemia then occurs, explained by the fact that the red blood cells are large or fragile and do not circulate in the body.

Constant fatigue
Because of this deficiency, the organism, by not producing enough red blood cells allowing the transport of oxygen throughout the body, is therefore found weakened and tired. In the elderly, this problem is all the more complicated, since this type of anemia is caused by an autoimmune disease called pernicious anemia and which results in a lack of production of a protein which would prevent deficiency. in vitamin B12.

Tingling sensation
It is a nerve injury that results from a B12 deficiency. This vitamin contributes to the production of myelin which helps isolate the nerves and ensure the proper functioning of the nervous system. Due to vitamin B12 deficiency, myelin is unable to function properly.

Difficulty of movement
Untreated vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to a change in physical mobility. This phenomenon could be observed in both young and old people.

Language injuries
A swollen, red tongue can be a warning sign of vitamin B12 deficiency. This disease is better known as glossitis.

Dizziness or shortness of breath
When the body lacks red blood cells, it does not carry enough oxygen to all of its cells. As a result, this causes dizziness and shortness of breath.

Vision disturbance
One of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can be vision impairment. The latter could in rare cases cause damage to the optic nerve.

Change in mood
People with vitamin B12 deficiency may experience mood changes. In a meta-analysis, this deficiency was associated with a risk of depressed mood and treatment with vitamin B12 could only be useful in the long term.

Rise in body temperature
In rare cases, the body may experience a rise in temperature if B12 is deficient.

Treatment and prevention of this deficiency
Vitamin B12 can be obtained through a healthy and balanced diet by incorporating animal products, among other foods. Other foods contain high concentrations of B12, and there are a few:

- Clams
- Sardines
- Liver
- Enriched cereals
- Tuna
- Trout
- Salmon
- Eggs

Another measure is possible with B12 supplements, either in the form of oral tablets or injections. If your deficiency is proven, only your specialist doctor will be able to prescribe the dose that is right for you.

However, the best way is to prevent this deficiency in order to avoid a negative impact on your health. For vegetarians and vegans, consumption of cereals enriched with vitamin B12 is necessary. And for people over 50, it is advised that they consume supplements of this vitamin because the body cannot get only the food consumed.