Vitamin B12 plays a key role in the production of red blood cells and DNA in our bodies. Not just that, it regulates the proper functioning of the nervous system. Also known as cobalamin, Vitamin B12, a vital nutrient is one of the most common deficiencies across the world, according to statistics. Our bodies don’t produce Vitamin B12 naturally, and we usually get water-soluble nutrients by consuming certain foods. It is found in animal foods including meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. It can also be found in plant-based milk, bread, fruits, legumes. If you’re not eating enough of the above-mentioned foods, then you are at risk of B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is an extremely vital nutrient that is responsible for growth, cell reproduction, blood formation, and protein and tissue synthesis. It regulates the body’s base-level function and helps to treat anemia, fatigue, and numbness or tingling in the hands and feet. It is a core nutrient that keeps the blood and nerve cells healthy and facilitates the production of DNA. However, it also leads to one of the most common forms of deficiency across the world. Statistics suggest that over 15% of people face deficiency of Vitamin B12 levels, and a whopping 40% + are borderline. It’s not naturally produced and hence can be easily missed out in diet, making it easy for the deficiency to creep in. The benefits of these essential nutrients can be easily overlooked until the levels get too low and the body’s vital functioning go for a toss.
Another significant symptom is a pins-and-needles-like painful sensation in the hands, legs and extremities of the body due to deterioration in the nerve cells. Vitamin B12 plays an important role in controlling nerve function and facilitating the production of RBCs. The lack of Vitamin B12 levels can also make you experience dizziness, wobbly, fatigue-like sensations more frequently as the body’s sense of balance and coordination is at risk.
The third important symptom is patchy memory and forgetfulness as Vitamin B12 levels control nerve function. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 could directly cause problems to brain health and functioning leading to memory loss, confusion, disorientation or making it difficult for an individual to remember things well. People suffering from a severe deficiency can have symptoms like mimic dementia.
Here are signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency:
Pale skin: People with B12 deficiency will have a yellow tinge to skin and whites of the eyes, also known as jaundice. Vitamin B12 plays an important role as it helps in producing red blood cells, which makes the DNA. Without it, the cells are unable to divide, according to Healthline. It leads to the type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia.
Weakness and Fatigue: Since your body is not getting enough B12 to make red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body, it can make feel tired and weak.
The sensation of Pins and needles: The most peculiar sign and symptom of B12 deficiency is nerve damage. Healthline report says as vitamin B12 is an important contributor to the metabolic pathway that produces the fatty substance myelin. Myelin surrounds your nerves as a form of protection and insulation. Without B12, myelin is produced differently, and your nervous system can’t function properly. But sensations of pins and needles are a common symptom which can happen due to many reasons, it’s better to consult a doctor.
Memory Loss: Do you forget things easily? That can be a sign of B12 deficiency, patchy memory and forgetfulness can happen. According to the TOI report, B12 controls nerve function.
Change to the way you walk: As deficiency of B12 can directly impact the nervous system, it can also change the way you walk or move. It can affect your overall balance and coordination.
Dizziness: Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause dizziness and breathlessness as the body is unable to transport oxygen to all the cells.