In this article we take a look at the different signs and symptoms that your body presents when you don’t have enough active Vitamin B12. (Show some symptoms) Although most people get enough Vitamin B12 by eating meat and fish, you may still become deficient, Because it may become unavailable for use in your body.
For example if you suffer from problems with stomach acid or ulcers this may prevent you from absorbing Vitamin B12. Antacids/ Medications Taking antacids or diabetes medications like metformin can block B12 absorption. Genetic Variations (TCN2, FUT2, CUBN, MTHFR, TCN1, MTRR Genes) You may have a faulty gene that can cause a deficiency. Other Deficiencies Or you may not be able to digest and absorb Vitamin B12 because you are lacking in something else, like zinc, folate or magnesium.
If you’d like to find out if you have Vitamin B12 deficiency, read this article through until the end, As I’ll be sharing how to get this diagnosed, and some natural ways to boost Vitamin B12 and make it more active in your body.
1. Pins & Needles (Parasthesia)
If you begin noticing a tingling, prickling, pins and needles sensation in your feet or toes, this may be a sign of Vitamin b12 deficiency. Without enough Vitamin B12 or B1, the coating around your nerves (myelin) can begin thinning out, causing nerve damage and unusual sensations, Especially in the nerves furthest away from the heart i.e. Feet/hands
2. Tired Every Day (Megaloblastic Anemia)
Vitamin B12 works with iron to form healthy red blood cells, to carry oxygen to the tissues throughout your body. If you become deficient in B12, this can lead to megaloblastic anemia, where your red blood cells become enlarged, and less efficient at delivering oxygen. This can cause you to feel tired every day, no matter how much sleep you get.
3. Vertical Nail Ridges (Onychorrhexis)
Your fingernails usually have very fine lines from the top of the nail to the base (normal). However when you are lacking in Vitamin B12, oxygen stops reaching the nail matrix properly through your blood, Causing your fingernails to develop larger, deeper vertical ridges, especially with age.
Sometimes the nails also begin to split and break easily (Onychoschizia), because the keratin within them becomes weaker as they grow. And the skin beneath the nail can become very pale, with the appearance of a pink strip across the top if you are anemic.
4. Smooth & Red Tongue (Glossitis)
Your tongue is constantly growing and renewing its cells with the help of Vitamin B12. A deficiency can cause the tongue to become swollen, enlarged, inflamed and the surface appears smoother and shinier. You may also suffer from mouth ulcers (stomatitis) This is a common problem for vegans or vegetarians, as most Vitamin B12 in the diet comes from animal based foods.
5. Ringing Ears (Tinnitus)
If you notice an unusual ringing sensation in your ears, this is caused by a hypersensitivity of the nerves in your brain. There are many causes for this problem, such as eating msg or auditory damage from loud music. Vitamin b12 however is important to help regulate these nerves, so if you are deficient you may begin hearing high pitched sounds.
6. Fast Heart Rate (Tachycardia)
If you have a fast heart rate when you are resting (above 100bpm), this may also indicate that there isn’t enough Vitamin B12. Because your body is not making enough red blood cells, your heart has to increase its beats to compensate by pushing blood through the body faster.
7. Balance Problems (Neurological Dysfunction)
People with a chronic Vitamin B12 deficiency may also begin to develop balance problems, and their walking pattern (gait) may change. This is caused by damage nerve damage in the spinal chord, causing your perception and senses to become a little off, because of the lack of Vitamin B12. In this case, a supplement called benfotiamine (fat soluble B1), can help to repair damaged nerves in addition Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin).
8. Pale Skin (Palor)
People with a Vitamin B12 or Iron deficiency also often suffer from pale skin, especially around the face, inner eyelids and gums. Your red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a bright red protein which carries the oxygen through your body. When you have reduced red blood cells, not enough reach the surface of the skin causing paleness and dullness in your appearance.
9. Weird Cravings (Pica)
If you begin developing weird cravings to eat ice, clay, dirt, paper, chalk or other non-food items, this is usually a sign of a deficiency. This can be a lack of Vitamin B12, zinc, iron or B-vitamins and usually occurs when you do not consume animal protein as a regular food source.
10. Double Vision (Diplopia)
Vitamin B12 is important for protecting the coating around the nerves that are connected to your eyes (optic nerve). Without enough, these nerves can become damaged causing vision changes such as blurred, disturbed or double vision. People also often become more sensitive to light (photophobia).
11. Unexplained Mood Changes
If there have not been any recent traumatic events but you begin to feel down, depressed, paranoid, delusional or anxious. This may be because you do not have enough B12 to help build neurotransmitters like GABA, or serotonin. Your brain and nervous system stops working properly and becomes off balance when it does not get enough oxygen from healthy red blood cells.
Diagnosing B12 Deficiency
So if you have a mixture of these signs and symptoms, it’s important to start taking steps to increase your Vitamin B12 You may go to your doctor and request a complete blood count (CBC), to test your B12 levels, however these tests are not always the most helpful. Although your B12 levels may be in the normal or even high range, it still may not be being taken into your cells properly, causing some of the symptoms in this article.