Vitamin B12 is a crucial ingredient for the healthy running of the body, as it’s needed to make red blood cells. But, you could be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you develop any of these nine warning signs.
Signs of a B12 deficiency can develop very slowly, so it may be difficult to diagnose the condition.
That’s because our body stores B12 for a long time, meaning that we can sustain ourselves for a number of years.
People with undiagnosed symptoms should consider that they may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
There are nine key warning signs to look out for, including fatigue and shortness of breath.
One of the most common signs is neuropathy, which affects the body’s nervous system.
Neuropathy can lead to a strange tingling sensation, or a burning pain on the skin.
It can also cause poor balance, and even walking difficulties.
As the condition progresses, a deficiency may even lead to some signs that could be confused for dementia, including memory loss and irritability.
Vitamin B12 deficiency – the subtle pain in your thighs [SYMPTOMS]
Vitamin B12 deficiency: Three signs felt on face [SYMPTOMS]
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Three painful warning signs [SIGNS]
“If someone has a mild deficiency, this needs to be addressed because otherwise it will almost certainly become worse with time,” said hormone specialist Dr Sophie Shotter.
She told Express Health: “Symptoms of B12 deficiency often take many years to develop, and may be insidious in onset. Because our body can store plenty of Vitamin B12 and only needs a tiny amount per day, we can sustain ourselves for many years on our body’s stores.
“The symptoms of B12 deficiency can include fatigue and shortness of breath due to
anaemia, neuropathy, and cognitive impairment. “These sort of signs are often just put down to ‘old age’ and people don’t realise that there is something pathological happening which may need addressing.”
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Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for the body, she added, and everyone should be aiming to eat around 2.4mcg of B12 every day.
Our usual diet consists of at least 5mcg of B12 each day, so most people should be able to get enough of the vitamin without taking supplements.
B12 is most commonly found in fish, meat and dairy products.
People that follow a vegan diet are most at risk of a B12 deficiency.
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Other, more common warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include jaundice, and feeling dizzy.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Left untreated, the condition can lead to severe anaemia, which subsequently raises the risk of heart failure.
Anaemia may also lead to stomach cancer, as well as infertility.
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