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Written by 6:52 am Health & Fitness

Vitamin B12 deficiency: What you need to know

Vitamin B12 deficiency: What you need to know

Vitamins, as we all know, are essential nutrients for the body’s metabolic processes. There are a group of eight vitamins that needs to be included in your daily diet to maintain good health. Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is mostly found in animal-based products. Unfortunately, Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in vegetarian and vegan populations. However, by incorporating healthy sources of Vitamin B12 vegetarian foods and vegan foods into your diet, it is possible to reverse the condition.


The following list includes the people at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Elderly citizens
  • People following a strict vegan/ vegetarian diet
  • Long-term drugs for heartburn or diabetes
  • People who’ve undergone surgery to remove a portion of the bowel that helps in absorbing B12


Unfortunately, Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can take several years to occur.  Hence, it is imperative to be cautious, and look out for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pale skin: Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in producing the DNA needed to prepare red blood cells. A lack of B12 in the body can have a detrimental effect on producing RBCs; thus, causing the skin to look pale yellow.
  • Excessive fatigue: RBCs aid in transporting oxygen throughout the body. Due to the lack of RBCs caused by B12 deficiency, this can cause severe weakness and tiredness.
  • Breathlessness and dizziness: Due to insufficient oxygen in the body, you may experience shortness of breath and dizziness. In some cases, anemia due to B12 deficiency can also cause some people to experience breathing difficulties.
  • Changes in mobility: If B12 deficiency is left untreated, it can affect ones’ balance and co-ordination; thus, making you more susceptible to falling.
  • Disturbed vision: Untreated B12 deficiency can hinder your nervous system. This can cause damage to your optic nerve; thus, causing vision impairment. While it may sound alarming, it is often reversible by treating B12 deficiency.
  • Inflammation of tongue and mouth ulcers: B12 deficiency may cause pain and swelling in the tongue. Several studies have indicated that tongue inflammation is an early sign of the deficiency, and must be treated immediately. In addition, mouth ulcers are also common oral symptoms. Ulcers can cause a burning/ itching sensation in the mouth.
  • Mood changes: Low levels of B12 have been associated with mood disorders. However, it is crucial to note that this may be due to other causes as well. Hence, it is advisable to get an accurate diagnosis to rule out other possibilities.
  • High body temperature: In rare cases, sudden and severe fever may be caused by a B12 deficiency. However, it is recommended that you discuss with your doctor as high body temperature is mostly caused by an illness.


To put it in a nutshell, it is vital to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to ensure that you are following a balanced diet. Consult doctors online on MFine to receive expert advice on Vitamin B12 foods to eat to curb deficiency.

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