Are you Vitamin B12 Deficient
October 23, 2021 | By StayHappi Pharmacy
Updated On - January 10, 2022
Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin, is an important water-soluble vitamin. It plays a crucial role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper functioning of our nervous system.
Since our bodies do not produce vitamin B12, we must obtain it from animal-based diets or supplements. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods, including meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. We should do this on a regular basis because your body does not store vitamin B12 for very long. Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is common, especially in the elderly. You’re at risk of deficiency if you don’t get enough from your diet or aren’t able to absorb enough from the food you eat.
People who are at risk of deficiency
- The elderly
- Those who’ve had surgery that removes the part of the bowel that absorbs B12
- People on the drug metformin for diabetes
- People following a strict vegan diet
- Those taking long-term antacid drugs for heartburn
Here are some symptoms that show that you have Vitamin B12 deficiency and you should keep an eye out for
1. Pale or jaundiced skin:-
Jaundice is a disorder in which people with a B12 deficiency appear pale or have a faint yellow tinge to their skin and whites of their eyes. This occurs when the body’s red blood cell output is compromised by a lack of B12. Vitamin B12 is required for the development of DNA, which is required for the formation of red blood cells.
2. The sensation of Pins and needles:-
Nerve damage is one of the more severe side effects of a long-term B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is an essential contributor to the metabolic pathway that creates the fatty substance myelin, so this can happen over time. Myelin protects and insulates your nerves, but without B12, myelin is formed in a different way, and your nervous system can’t function properly.
3. Effects on Mobility:-
If untreated, the damage to your nervous system caused by a B12 deficiency could cause changes to the way you walk and move. It may even affect your balance and coordination, making you more prone to falling. This symptom is often seen in undiagnosed B12 deficiency in the elderly, as people over the age of 60 are more prone to a B12 deficiency.
4. Mouth Ulcers:-
Glossitis is the medical term for an inflamed tongue. Glossitis causes the tongue to change color and form, as well as become sore, red, and swollen. Since all of the tiny bumps on your tongue that comprise your taste buds stretch out and disappear as a result of the inflammation, your tongue can appear smooth. Glossitis can affect the way you eat and talk in addition to being painful.
5. Breathlessness and Dizziness:-
If you become anemic due to a B12 deficiency, you may feel short of breath and a bit dizzy, especially when you exert yourself. This is because your body lacks the red blood cells it needs to get enough oxygen to your body’s cells.
6. Distorted Vision:-
Blurred or distorted vision is one symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. If a B12 deficiency goes untreated, it can cause nerve damage to the optic nerve, which leads to your eyes. Damage to the nervous system may cause a disruption in the nervous signal that travels from your eye to your brain, causing vision loss. Optic neuropathy is the medical term for this disease.
Weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. They occur because your body doesn’t have enough vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. As a result, you are unable to efficiently transport oxygen to your body’s cells, making you feel tired and weak.
8. Mood Changes:-
People with B12 deficiency often report changes in mood. In fact, low levels of B12 have been linked to mood and brain disorders like depression and dementia
Now the question arises how much you should take?
The average recommended amounts, measured in micrograms (mcg), vary by age:
• Infants up to age 6 months: 0.4 mcg
• Babies age 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
• Children age 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
• Kids age 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
• Children age 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
• Teens age 14-18: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
• Adults: 2.4 mcg (2.6 mcg per day if pregnant and 2.8 mcg per day if breastfeeding)
If you see any of the signs mentioned above you should contact your doctor and get it checked. Vitamin B12 is quite important for our body and body needs on regular basis.