Vitamin B12 that known as cobalamin is a very important vitamin for producing red blood cells and improve nervous system function. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, especially in the elderly. So, what are the common vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms?
13 Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are usually not immediately apparent and take years to appear. The following are the vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms that might arise if someone lacks of vitamin B12.
People who experience vitamin B12 deficiency often look pale on the skin and eyes. Because the body lacks vitamin B12, DNA production is inhibited. So, the body’s cells do not form or divide perfectly. As a result, megaloblastic anemia occurs (when the red blood cells produced by your bone marrow tend to be large and fragile).
This results in blood cells can’t get out of the spinal cord and unable to enter the blood circulation. Therefore, the body does not have red blood cells and makes the skin look pale.
One of the most common vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms is your body easily get tired even if you have slept enough all night. This is because the body does not have enough raw materials to make red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. As a result, oxygen cannot be circulated to the entire body and make your body feel tired.
Paresthesia or Needling Sensations
One of the more serious vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms in the long run is nerve damage. This happens because vitamin B12 plays an important role in maintaining the body’s metabolism by producing myelin fat. Myelin function is to surround and protect nerves.
Without vitamin B12, myelin is produced differently and the nervous system cannot function properly. The common symptoms are paresthesia or needling sensations, especially in the hands and feet.
If vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated immediately, the damage in the nervous system can cause interference when you walk and move. This condition can affect balance and coordination of limbs, so make you easier to fall.
This symptom is most often seen in the elderly who are vulnerable to vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this may also occur in young people who experience severe and untreated vitamin B12 deficiency.
Glossitis and Canker Sores
One study showed that the swollen tongue and inflammation with long lesions on it can be an early sign of vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. This condition is called glossitis. Your tongue will change color and shape, so it feels painful, red, and swollen. This condition can even make you difficult to eat and talk.
Moreover, some people may experience other symptoms of oral diseases such as canker sores, a sensation of needling in the tongue, or burning and itching in the mouth.
Shortness of Breathe and Dizziness
Symptoms of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency can cause some people feeling short of breath and dizzy. This happens when the body is unable to carry enough oxygen to all body cells.
Another symptom is blurred vision. This occurs due to damage to the optic nervous system as the result of vitamin b12 deficiency. This condition is rare but needs to be aware of.
In fact, a number of studies have found that a low level of vitamin b12 can be associated with mood and brain disorders, for example, depression and dementia.
The high homocysteine levels due to low vitamin B12 can cause damage to brain tissue and disrupt signals to and from the brain. As a result, sufferers experience unstable mood changes.
Body Temperature Rises
The rising body temperature due to vitamin B12 deficiency is including very rare. The process is not known for certain, but some doctors have reported a decrease in fever cases after patients were given drugs with low doses of vitamin B12.
Numbness and Tingling
Vitamin B12 is important for helping the health of your nervous system. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency usually causes neurological problems such as numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. Vitamin B12 helps the process of nerve formation and important n delivering oxygen throughout the body. Lack of oxygen is a major cause of numbness and tingling.
Low Blood Pressure
Lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid can cause anemia that will cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Vitamin B12 helps your body produce red blood cells. So, the oxygen can reach all parts of the body including the heart.
Low levels of vitamin B12 can also cause skin disorders and hair changes. If you have a wound that has no known cause, this can be a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. So, check with your doctor immediately. Moreover, vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause hyperpigmentation of the skin, which will cause uneven skin tone.
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Vitamin B12 deficiency apparently can also cause fertility disorders, both in men and women. The increase of homocysteine levels due to vitamin B12 deficiency can cause blood coagulation. As a result, it can cause fetal death or miscarriage.
Vitamin B12 deficiency that lasts longer can also cause changes in the process of ovulation or imperfect fetal attachment that can lead to fertility problems.