Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that is necessary for energy production, , DNA synthesis and the central nervous system. Even though the vitamin is present in many foods but vitamin b12 insufficiency and deficiency are relatively common. This is often due to malabsorption, limited dietary intake, the use of Vitamin B12-depleting medications, and certain medical conditions.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency:
The ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food declines with age that’s why the deficiency of Vitamin B12 is more common in older adults. However, it is also common in pregnancy and can be seen in young adults and children.
Signs and symptoms of vitamin b12 deficiency:
- Fatigue & Tired
- Paresthesia in hands & feet
- Difficulty concentrating and mental impairment
- Muscle cramps and muscle weakness
- Impaired coordination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Vision disturbances
1. Fatigue & Tired:
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause weakness, lightheadedness, and tiredness. Our body's cells need Vitamin B12 to function properly. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 in the body causes megaloblastic anemia. This condition leads to the formation of large abnormal, impaired DNA synthesis and immature red blood cells in the blood. When a body doesn't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues than the person is likely to feel weak and tired. but remember this generalized symptoms can present due to many other reasons.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause an inflamed, painful, and red tongue. This condition is called Hunter's glossitis or molar glossitis so this disease is an early sign of Vitamin B12 deficiency. On oral examination, the doctor can find stomatitis, xerostomia or dry mouth, gelosis, and bleeding from gum. Glossitis can also be cause by deficiencies in other nutrients like Follett, riboflavin, and niacin.
3. Paresthesia in hands & feet:
Paresthesia is a medical term that refers to a burning or pins needle sensation in certain areas of the body like hands and feet. Many adults and kids who have beetle deficiency report experiencing paresthesia. Unfortunately, this symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency overlaps with symptoms related to diabetic neuropathy. In which there is nerve damage cause by high blood sugar that can cause pain and numbness in the extremities. People with diabetes taking metformin are at higher risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency. Because this medication can reduce Vitamin B12 absorption in the body. So, vitamin B12 deficiency could be misdiagnosed as peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. As a result, many experts recommend that people taking metformin regularly should get screened for Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is also associate with the risk of developing depression. Vitamin B12 is a necessary element for the central nervous system development. Having low levels of Vitamin B12 can cause elevated levels of sulfur-containing amino acids called homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine increases oxidative stress which is responsible for DNA damage and cell death in the body. Low or deficient Vitamin B12 levels may lead to other medical conditions including mood disorders and psychosis.
5. Difficulty concentrating and mental impairment:
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause concentration problem and it is more common in older people but the good news is Vitamin B12-related mental issues is treatable with an adequate amount of Vitamin B12 supplements, and gastrointestinal problems. Vitamin B12 deficiency may also cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating gas, constipation, and other digestive tract symptoms. Both adults and children are the victims of this issue.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is responsible for frequent headaches. In fact, headaches are among the most common report symptoms related to Vitamin B12 deficiency in both adults and kids.
7. Muscle cramps and muscle weakness:
According to a few studies, people with high Vitamin B12 levels are 80 less likely to have migraines, muscle cramps, and muscle weakness. Vitamin B12 deficiency has negative impacts on sensory and motor nerve function. This deficiency it causes muscle cramps and weakness.
8. Impaired coordination:
Impaired coordination, ataxia, or impaired balance and coordination is a neurological symptoms. That can be cause by Vitamin B12 deficiency as a person with Vitamin B12 deficiency may have difficulty walking and balancing.
9. Erectile dysfunction:
Vitamin B12 deficiency increases the level of homocysteine in the body. Due to this Men may experience erectile dysfunction.
10. Vision disturbances:
Vitamin B12 deficiency damages the optic nerve and it may cause visual disturbances.