A vitamin B12 deficiency is way more common than you think. It can impact people in just about any age range but is most common in women between 40 and 60 years old. But just because you don’t fall into that category doesn’t mean you don’t need more B12 in your life, being a vegan or vegetarian can also put you at risk for a deficiency.
First, let’s look at why B12 is so important. It’s actually one of the key components in your body’s ability to make red blood cells. It also plays a role in nerve development and can impact DNA. So, a lack of B12 in your body can come with symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Light Headedness
If you find yourself feeling lightheaded on a regular basis, then it might be a cause for concern. Being a bit dizzy from time to time is easy to dismiss, but if you think you are suffering from being off balance almost day to day, then that’s a red flag for a B12 deficiency.
It’s OK and natural to have a hand or leg “fall asleep” on occasion, especially if say you’ve been sitting on your foot. But if you fill that pins and needles sensation without the compression of that body part, that a sign you may need more B12. Some people have also described the feeling of an electric jolt that comes in waves. Those sensations are actually the result of nerve damage brought on by a lack of B12.
3. Pale Skin
Since B12 helps produce red blood cells, the less of those you have in your body, the paler you may become. Alabaster skin is OK if that’s been your natural tone since birth but a sudden onset of paleness could be due to the lack of red blood cells in your body.
Ever walk into a room and forget why you were heading in there? Or text a friend only to discover you forgot why? Little bouts of forgetfulness are common, but if it’s starting to impact your life, it might be time to talk to your doctor. Being a constant scatter-brain is a possible indication of a B12 deficiency.
5. Being Overly Tired
If you’re keeping a normal sleep schedule but still can’t get through the day without feeling completely run down, it might be time to take a closer look at your B12 levels. Chronic fatigue is a symptom of a lack of vitamin B12. The less red blood cells you have in circulation means less oxygen and less O2 can leave you feeling exhausted on a regular basis.
6. Overall Weakness
Have you noticed that you are having a harder time doing simple tasks, like loading the dishes in the dish washer? Or struggling with carrying your bike up the stairs? When everyday tasks become too taxing, it’s time to ask your doctor about B12.
7. Eye Changes
Frequent changes in your vision could be an indication of a lack of B12. Look out for blurry vision, spots or double vision. But don’t let the symptoms linger for too long, in some cases a B12 deficiency can lead to permanent eye damage.
If you notice these symptoms, it’s time to get checked out. A lack of B12 is treatable; there’s no reason why you should live with these annoying and, in some cases, dangerous symptoms.
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