Are you feeling sluggish? Forgetful? Irritable? This may be directly related to a lack of Vitamin B12 in your body!
Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cell, cell metabolism, proper neurological and nervous function and even the production of DNA. This means that a deficiency in vitamin B12 can leave you feeling all wrong! The NHS recommended dose of vitamin B12 in adults (aged 19 to 64) is about 1.5 mcg daily. Are you managing to get this in?
Here are 6 possible warning signs that you could do with some more vitamin B12 in your diet:
1. Fatigue or weakness:If you lack B12, your body may not be producing enough red blood cells to transport adequate oxygen to all your cells, which may cause you to feel drained and exhausted.
It can also lead to diminished reflexes and muscle weakness, which is why you could be struggling to go upstairs or lift groceries.
2. Brain Fog:Low B12 levels may bring about cognitive impairment, such as irritability, memory loss or difficulty thinking or reasoning, due to possible reduced amounts of oxygen reaching the brain.
3. Pins and Needles:Over time, B12 deficiency can cause nerve damage, resulting in a tingling sensation and even numbness in the hands and feet.
4. Pale skin: Pale or yellow skin (known as jaundice) develops when the body is not able to produce enough red blood cells.
5. Anxiety or Depression: Because B12 aids in the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, a deficiency may potentially affect a person's mood, causing irritability, anxiety or depression.
6. Mouth pain: A B12 deficiency can cause you to lose the little bumps on your tongue (papillae), making it appear smooth, swollen, and red. It may also trigger a tingling feeling in the tongue or a burning and itching sensation in the mouth.
Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is actually quite common. While it is found naturally in some foods (mostly animal products), B12 is easily destroyed by alcohol, cooking and processed foods. And if that’s not enough, there are a number of factors which may make a person more likely to be B12 deficient, such as:
Vegan and vegetarian diets;
Immunity system disorders, such as lupus;
Intensive absorption disorders, such as Crohn's or celiac disease;
Weight loss surgery;
Certain heartburn and diabetes medications.
Thankfully, Vitamin B12 is easily available as a dietary supplement, and being a water-soluble vitamin, the body will get actively rid of any unnecessary or excess B12 through, well, your pee. So if you are feeling any of the above symptoms, it may be worth trying out a supplement.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common and shows up in different ways. While many can obtain the required B12 dose through a balanced diet, others may require supplements. such as the elderly, or those with certain dietary restrictions, or certain health disorders.