As you grow older, your body has more difficulty absorbing Vitamin B12. In addition, changing diets that are designed to keep the excess weight off may also be low in B12 which only makes the situation worse. As part of the aging process, you may need to supplement your supply of B12 in order to stay healthy, alert, and energetic.
The good news is that having a deficiency in this particular vitamin does not cause major issues such as schizophrenia or affect your unborn child with autism, although getting enough vitamins and minerals should be your goal when pregnant. Still, this form of vitamin deficiency can be quite annoying and eventually debilitating if you do not change your diet or add a supplement.
Here are seven signs that you may not be getting enough B12 in your daily diet. If you suspect that something is wrong, be sure to check with your doctor who can run a blood test to determine your B12 levels. It is always good advice to check with your physician if you do not feel yourself over the course of time.
Common Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
1. Blurry Vision
A lack of the B vitamin will start to affect your vision in negative ways. This is because without sufficient oxygen your optic nerve may become affected along with a lack of proper blood flow. In extreme cases, you may experience blurry or double vision as a result. By not adding B12 to your diet may eventually lead to retinal damage which causes a greater sensitivity to light and even loss of your vision over time.
You should change your diet or add supplements immediately if you start to notice peculiar effects with your vision that last more than a few days. You can actually reverse the trend when you catch it quickly enough so that your vision is restored.
This is a fairly common symptom and one of the easiest to mistake for something else. You may experience dizziness after climbing the stairs or exerting yourself in another manner. Because of the low energy you have due to the lack oxygen in your cells, becoming dizzy is rather commonplace. Studies have repeatedly shown that this particular symptom is quite common among those who lack the vitamin in their diet.
You can correct this particular issue by taking supplements or changing your diet so that the dizziness starts to fade. If it persists, see your doctor as you might be suffering from something else.
Usually the first sign of not getting enough B12 in your body is unexplained fatigue. In the afternoons you may experience a feeling of being tired to the point where it is difficult to stay awake. Even if you sleep a good eight hours every night you are still feeling fatigued may be a sign of not having enough B12 in the body.
This is because the vitamin helps create red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body, feeding your organs so that you become more energetic. Without the input of oxygen, you will start to feel fatigued rather quickly. Keep in mind that there are many different conditions that may have you feeling tired. Plus, the lack of this vitamin will create more symptoms beyond being fatigued, so you will need to see your doctor if it continues.
4. Memory Issues
If you find your car keys in the refrigerator or perhaps forget to take the laundry out the dryer, you may be suffering from memory issues that are related to low amounts of the B12 vitamin. This is a rather easy symptom to overlook since many attribute it to the aging process. Plus, many people mistake it as a sign of something more serious like schizophrenia or dementia.
For the most part, the symptoms often have a less ominous source, so you should consider adding a vitamin supplement to your diet.
Those who experience a low level of B12 for an extended period of time may start to lose the papillae or bumps on their tongue. You may also feel soreness or even a burning sensation on the back of the tongue. Another symptom is that you start to lose the sensation of taste. This is because your taste buds are located inside the papillae which are disappearing due to the lack of oxygen in your red blood cells. Another side effect is that you start to lose weight because nothing tastes good anymore.
6. Unusual Sensations
This is a grab-bag of sensations that may affect people differently depending on a number of factors. This is a series of sensations that you feel when lacking the vitamin over a long period of time. While they vary from person to person, the most common sensations felt are the following;
- Electricity running through your body
- Pins and needles in the extremities
- Numbness in certain parts of the body
The sensations are all triggered by nerve damage as a result of not having enough oxygen delivered to the cells. While there may be other causes, the lack of B12 is a very common one.
7. Overall Weakness
Another symptom that is tied into fatigue is the feeling of weakness. You’ll notice this when carrying items that used to weigh nothing at all now seem like a ton of bricks. From carrying groceries to picking up items off the floor or perhaps tiring out quickly during exercise, the feeling of weakness is a sign that you may be experiencing a lack of B12 in your diet.
If you are experiencing any one or more of these symptoms over a period of time that lasts more than just a few days, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. You’ll want to have a blood test run to ensure that you are getting enough B12 in your diet. In addition, you may want to take a vitamin supplement to see if the symptoms start to reverse themselves. Keep in mind that too much of any vitamin also carries complications, so be careful when considering any new supplement.