We might not be sure if we are consuming the right amounts of vitamins. Being awaring of the symptoms is a great way to prevent mishapps.
There are days you might feel exhausted and weak, even though you have been eating well and getting enough sleep, and then there could also be days when you have a racing heart for no apparent reason. Well, you may not realize it then, or simply brush it aside as nothing too serious, but these could actually be signs of a vitamin deficiency that can have a huge impact on your body.
Your body needs a host of different kinds of nutrients to function well, even if these are in small quantities. This is also quite important for neurological functions and the supply of oxygen to your body, especially as you grow older. Vitamin B12 is especially crucial for your body to produce red blood cells and to maintain your nerves and neural pathways healthy.
According to Healthline, the vitamin can be obtained from the consumption of meats, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Though most people in the US obtain their nutrients from the foods mentioned above, the deficiency is prominent in older people as the body finds it difficult to absorb this particular vitamin with age. If your body is lacking in the required amount of vitamin B12, it can then lead to both physical and psychological problems.
Here are a few symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency to watch out for:
A serious effect of vitamin B12 deficiency is nerve damage which is caused over a period of time. According to Healthline, the vitamin is responsible for the production of a fatty substance called myelin. The substance functions as a form of protection and insulation around the nerves. When the body suffers from the deficiency of vitamin B12, it makes it difficult for the nervous system to function properly. Therefore, people develop a pricking sensation on their feet and hands. It is best to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Blurred or disturbed vision is also one of the most common symptoms that occurs due to an untreated B12 deficiency. Leaving the problem untreated results in nerve damage to the optic nerve. It disrupts the nerve signals from the eye to the brain and damages eyesight. The condition is termed as neuropathy. However, it can be reversed by including more vitamin B12 rich foods.
According to Medical News Today, the deficiency of vitamin B12 affects oral health. Therefore it may cause mouth ulcers and glossitis. Glossitis refers to inflamed tongue. The tongue changes color, shape and becomes painful, red and swollen. The condition can even change the way you speak and eat.
People also experience other oral symptoms like the sensation of pins and needles in the tongue or even a burning and itching sensation in the mouth, according to Healthline. This occurs when your tongue does not get enough oxygen, and since vitamin B12 is required to produce more red blood cells, the lack of it affects the blood's ability to supply enough oxygen.
According to Medical News Today, the absence of vitamin B12 in the blood, the heart may have to beat faster to compensate for the low production of red blood cells in the body. The heart in this condition is pressurized to push high volumes of blood around the body at a faster pace. By doing this, the body ensures the supply of blood to all its organs and systems. Consult a doctor in case of a sudden increase in pulse.
People suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency have a pale, yellow tinge to their skin. It is caused due to the inadequate production of red blood cells. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the production of the DNA that is needed to make red blood cells. The absence of the vitamin makes it difficult for the cells to divide. This condition leads to a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia. Large and fragile red blood cells are then produced by the bone marrow. However, these blood cells find it difficult to pass out of the bone marrow and circulate. Therefore, the skin becomes pale. According to Healthline, the fragile cells also increase the production of bilirubin which contributes to the yellow tinge on the skin.
A person suffering from B12 deficiency may lead to the person feeling tired and weak, according to Medical News Today. This occurs due to the absence of red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. When your muscles do not get the food that keeps them going, it affects the overall function of your body, and that's when weakness sets in. According to Healthline, the anemia is often caused due to an autoimmune condition known as pernicious anemia in the elderly. People who suffer from this condition are unable to produce sufficient amounts of a particular protein which is vital as it allows the body to absorb the vitamin B12.