Many people erroneously assume that vitamin B12 deficiencies are only suffered by vegans and vegetarians–however those who eat any kind of diet can be at the risk of not receiving enough, which can have a devastating impact on your body.
One of the most important symptoms to watch out for in vitamin B12 deficiency is extreme tiredness.
Those who are not receiving enough of the vitamin through their diet may find it difficult to get through they day without a nap, and it can interrupt their work or social schedule.
According to the NHS, or National Health Service, in the United Kingdom, the following is a list of symptoms to look out for if you suspect you may be deficient in vitamin B12:
- extreme tiredness
- a lack of energy
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- a sore and red tongue
- mouth ulcers
- muscle weakness
- disturbed vision
- psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion
- problems with memory, understanding and judgement
Low levels of B12 is known as folate anemia, which causes your body to develop larger red blood cells than normal, which makes it more difficult for them to move around the body–specifically doing their duty of carrying oxygen.
This is similar to the more classic kind of anemia that comes from low levels of iron in the blood.
So what does B12 do besides prevent these symptoms from occurring?
First and foremost, the vitamin supports your nervous system.
Additionally, the vitamin helps your body make DNA, nerve cells and blood cells and also supports your brain and immune system.
You are more likely to be deficient in this vitamin if you are a vegan or vegetarian, suffer from Celiac’s disease, avoid gluten or are over 50, but that doesn’t mean that anyone can’t suffer from it.
One reason why many people don’t get enough of the vitamin is because it is only present in animal products (meat, shellfish, fish, eggs, dairy, etc.).
Those who avoid or cut down on them for health or ethnical reasons may find themselves without enough vitamin B12.
In order to ensure you get enough of this crucial vitamin, it is generally recommended that you take a supplement, especially if you are over the age of 50.
This way, you can be sure your body is getting everything it needs to function in a healthy manner.
If you feel your deficiency is severe enough, contact your doctor and he or she may provide you with an injection to raise your B12 more quickly.