If your body is not correctly absorbing vitamin B12 or you are not getting enough of it in your diet, you may develop a curable vitamin B12 deficiency. Symptoms of a vitamin B12 shortage can include neurological, psychological, and physical. Medication containing vitamin B12 is an option to treat it.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
A deficit of vitamin B12 occurs when the body is unable to absorb enough of the vitamin from food or does not obtain enough of it to function normally. Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells and DNA, the genetic material that makes up every cell in your body. If left untreated, a vitamin B12 shortage can result in neurological, psychiatric, and physical issues.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 shortage can include neurological, psychological, and physical. A vitamin B12 insufficient can cause symptoms that appear gradually and progressively worsen over time.
Even when they have low blood levels of vitamin B12, some persons may not exhibit any symptoms. Individuals who are deficient in vitamin B12 may experience neurological impairment and/or symptoms without having anemia (low red blood cell count).
The following are some common physical signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Being extremely weak or lethargic.
- Feeling uncomfortable vomiting up, or having diarrhea.
- Not feeling really hungry.
- Reduced weight.
- Also, enduring oral or tongue pain.
- Having skin that is yellow in color.
Among the neurological signs of a vitamin B12 deficit are:
- Your hands and feet may feel numb.
- Issues with vision.
- Being easily confused or struggling to remember things.
- Also, have difficulty speaking or moving as you normally do.
It might not be possible to reverse neurological issues that arise from a vitamin B12 shortage.
The following are examples of psychological signs of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Experiencing depression.
- Becoming restless.
- Also, seeing a change in your emotions and actions.
The symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency may not always be evident or may resemble those of other nutritional deficiencies, making a diagnosis challenging. In patients who are at a high risk of acquiring vitamin B12 insufficiency, regular blood tests are typically performed by healthcare practitioners to check for the deficit.
Moreover, to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency, a full blood count (CBC) and a vitamin B12 blood test level occur. If a person’s blood vitamin B12 level is less than 150 micrograms per milliliter, they are having vitamin B12 deficiency.
Treatment For Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 is a treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency. A synthetic version of vitamin B12 called cyanocobalamin is frequently used to treat it. The individual may just require treatment until their vitamin B12 levels return to normal. Or they may require vitamin B12 therapy for the rest of their lives, depending on the underlying reason for the shortage. Treatment options for vitamin B12 include:
- Oral pharmaceuticals.
- Injections are given intramuscularly (a shot that goes into the muscle).
- Nasal spray.
- Also, nasal gel.
The Bottom Line
Many symptoms, such as weariness, headaches, sadness, pale or yellow complexion, mental impairment, and discomfort and inflammation in the mouth and tongue, can be a sign of a B12 deficiency. As so many symptoms of low B12 levels are not unique to B12 insufficiency, the problem may go undiagnosed. It’s critical to see a healthcare provider if you’re exhibiting any of the symptoms mentioned above. Thus, you can receive the proper diagnosis and treatment.