Defiency Exposed, Vitamin B12 What you Need to Know
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that aids in red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Unfortunately, many people have a vitamin B12 deficiency without even knowing it. Up to 15% of people have a vitamin B12 deficiency which increases proportionally to age. This is because the symptoms of a deficiency can be subtle and hard to detect. If untreated vitamin B12 deficiency can cause problems for your health. It’s important to know what the signs and symptoms of deficiency are so that you can have the energy and mood boost that proper levels of B12 provide.
Common Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
The most common symptom of a vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue. If you are feeling tired all of the time and having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning it may be due to your body not having enough vitamin B12. Other common signs are nerve issues like numbness or tingling, loss of appetite, constipation or diarrhea, you may even experience depression or behavioral changes. Typically symptoms start mild, and progress to worse symptoms as the deficiency grows. You may notice a fair bit of these symptoms are also present in those who have anemia, which is a condition where you do not have enough red blood cells for your body to function properly.
A lack of vitamin B12 can also cause anemia so this in itself may be a sign of deficiency. Unfortunately many of the signs of B12 deficiency also overlap with other conditions that may not be related, so visiting your doctor for a proper diagnosis is a must. These symptoms may be subtle or severe, so it is also important to recognize the causes of B12 deficiency so that you can more easily identify whether or not the signs you may be experiencing are related to it.
Causes of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are many causes for a vitamin B12 deficiency including dietary deficiencies. It is especially common in those who follow a vegan diet as a large portion of B12 comes from animal sources such as eggs, fish and meat. Mal absorption from certain medications can interfere with B12 absorption, and even surgeries like a gastric bypass could cause issues with B12 intake.
Age also plays a role—as we age our bodies become less efficient at absorbing B-vitamins including B12. Medical conditions that affect your small intestine will also make it hard to absorb vitamins. It is important to note that some people might have genetic conditions that make them unable to absorb B12 properly. Another factor to consider which may inhibit B12 absorption is alcohol consumption.
A deficiency in this important nutrient can lead to serious health problems if not treated promptly. The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin b- 12 is by eating foods containing it such as fish, eggs, and dairy products regularly; supplementing with multivitamins or a vitamin B12 supplement, or speaking with your doctor about other ways to insure you get the vitamin B12 you need.. By being aware of the symptoms associated with a deficiency you will be able to catch any potential issues early on before they become more serious health problems down the line. Stay healthy!