5 Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

You need vitamin B12 (cobalamin) to make red blood cells, which deliver oxygen through your body. With adequate levels of this micronutrient, your body can support the normal function of your heart, brain, blood, and nervous system to enable a high quality of life. 

While most people get more than enough vitamin B12 through food and supplements, you could still have a vitamin B12 deficiency if your digestive system fails to absorb it. You also may not get enough B12 if you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

Since B12 contributes to the function of so many systems, having an untreated B12 deficiency can impact your overall well-being. Our B12 specialists at NuvidaRx Weight Loss in Tallahassee, Florida, can help you find out whether you have a B12 deficiency and determine the best way to restore your levels to normal. 

B12 injections are one way to increase your B12 levels. Injecting the vitamin directly into your bloodstream allows you to get the full benefits of B12 immediately without losing its potency to the digestive process. If appropriate, our staff arranges for regular B12 injections to alleviate symptoms and improve your well-being.

A B12 deficiency can affect your body in many ways. Here are five common symptoms that may indicate that you have this treatable condition. 

Fatigue and weakness

Persistent weakness and fatigue, despite getting adequate rest, are some of the first signs of a B12 deficiency. 

With a B12 deficiency, your body has fewer red blood cells, which transport oxygen from your lungs to other parts of your body. Without enough oxygen, you’re likely to feel tired all the time no matter how long you sleep. 

B12 deficiency can also affect muscle strength. B12 helps you metabolize protein and fat, which help build muscle. The vitamin is also necessary for recovery after exertion. Without adequate amounts of B12, your muscles become weak.

Jaundice 

Jaundice, which causes yellowish skin and a yellowing of the whites of your eyes, is a common symptom of B12 deficiency. 

When your liver breaks down red blood cells, it produces bilirubin. If you have a B12 deficiency, your body doesn’t produce as many red blood cells, and those that you have can become extremely weak and break easily. 

With more red blood cells breaking down at a faster rate because of their fragility, your liver produces a higher than normal amount of bilirubin. This substance gives a yellow hue to your skin and eyes.

Tingling in your hands or feet

If you experience a sensation of tingling in your hands or feet when sitting, you may have a  B12 deficiency. 

Vitamin B12 contributes to nerve health by producing a fatty substance called myelin. This material insulates and protects your nerves. With a B12 deficiency, myelin production is inadequate, and this affects your nervous system. 

Inadequate levels of B12 can make you susceptible to nerve damage or problems with nerve conduction, which may cause tingling in your extremities. Without treatment, nerve damage can cause irreversible damage. 

Tingling associated with B12 deficiency can also result from the lack of oxygen in the red blood cells. You may develop peripheral neuropathy, or numbness and pain, in your hands and feet as a result of the condition. 

Having difficulty thinking, reasoning, or remembering

Vitamin B12 helps prevent brain atrophy, a condition that makes your brain lose neurons. It is often associated with memory loss or dementia. 

Inadequate oxygen supplies associated with a B12 deficiency can cause changes in your cognitive abilities. The effects of a B12 deficiency on your brain can make it hard to think, reason, or remember things. Other signs of the impact on your brain can include mood changes such as depression or irritability.

Vision problems

Vision problems such as blurred or distorted vision, fuzzy spots, light sensitivity, peripheral shadows, and double vision can develop as a result of B12 deficiency. These issues occur when the condition affects your optic nerve, damaging the signal that goes from your eye to your brain. 

B12 deficiency can affect nerve health, making your nerves brittle. Without treatment, a condition called optic neuropathy can develop. When this affects the optic nerve, you can lose your central vision.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of a B12 deficiency, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis. Many symptoms of B12 deficiency are common to a wide range of health issues, so it’s difficult to self-diagnose the problem. Request an appointment online or call our office today at 850-765-2549.

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