VITAMIN B12 deficiency can occur when a person lacks vitamin B12. The vitamin is best gained through diet so not eating enough of the right foods can trigger symptoms. Here are five signs which could indicate you have the condition.
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that can’t function properly, which can then lead to complications such as vision problems and damage to parts of the nervous system. Some people can develop vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet. But how can you tell if you’re not getting enough?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms which can develop gradually or get worse as the condition goes untreated. Five symptoms experts at Healthline note are fatigue, pins and needles, mouth ulcers, jaundice and blurry vision.
Fatigue can occur if your body lacks vitamin B12 and doesn’t have enough red blood cells to transport oxygen through the body.
Healthline adds: “As a result of this, the body is unable to transport oxygen to your body’s cells, which makes you feel tired and weak.”
Pins and needles
One of the long-term effects of vitamin B12 deficiency is nerve damage.
It explains: “Vitamin B12 is an important contributor to the metabolic pathway that produces the fatty substance myelin. Myelin surrounds your nerves as a form of protection and insulation.
“Without B12, myelin is produced differently, and your nervous system isn’t able to function properly.
“One common sign of this happening is paresthesia, or the sensation of pins and needles, which is similar to a prickling sensation in your hands and feet.”
Some people with vitamin B12 deficiency may experience oral symptoms such as mouth ulcers.
The health site cites a study which demonstrates this – ‘Glossitis with linear lesions: an early sign of vitamin b12 deficiency’.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can often cause pale skin or a sight yellow tinge to the skin and white of the eyes – a condition known as jaundice.
It says: “This happens when a lack of B12 causes problems with your body’s red blood cell production.”
Blurry vision can occur when untreated B12 deficiency causes nervous system damage to the optic nerve that leads to your eyes.
This was the finding of a study titled ‘B12 deficiency with neurological manifestations in the absence of anaemia’.
The damage can play havoc on the nervous signal that travels from the eye to the brain, therefore impairing vision.
Optic neuropathy is the medical term for this condition.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be avoided by making sure you get your daily recommended intake of vitamin B12.