Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: 'Sneaky' and 'harmful' signs explained – are you at risk?

3 mins read

Vitamin B12 is a very important ingredient for the healthy running of the body. But huge numbers of people aren’t getting enough B12 in their daily diet. It’s essential that you look out for the most common warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

The vitamin is used to help the body manufacture red blood cells, nerves, and DNA.

But, it’s not naturally made by the body, which means you’ll need to get your daily dose of B12 by eating certain foods.

Some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12, however, which subsequently results in a deficiency.

Left untreated, a B12 deficiency could lead to memory loss, a loss of co-ordination, and even damage to the nervous system.

READ MORE: Vitamin B12 deficiency: Warnings found on the face

“Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time,” it said. “It can also come on relatively quickly.

“Given the array of symptoms a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the condition can be overlooked or confused with something else.

“While an experienced physician may notice the symptoms and be able to detect a vitamin B12 deficiency with a good interview and physical exam, a blood test is needed to confirm the condition.

“It’s a good idea to ask your doctor about having your B12 level checked if you are a strict vegetarian or have had weight-loss surgery or have a condition that interferes with the absorption of food.”

If you’ve been diagnosed with a deficiency, your doctor might prescribe you some B12 supplements.

But you could prevent the condition from ever developing by adding more B12 to your diet.

It’s most commonly found in meat, fish, dairy foods, and eggs.

Anybody following a strict vegan or vegetarian diet are more at risk of a B12 deficiency, and it’s suggested you eat more breakfast cereals that have been fortified with the vitamin.

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