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Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency


Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Ragiinii Sharma

Written By Komal Daryani
on May 9, 2022

Last Edit Made By Komal Daryani
on Mar 16, 2024

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency is a serious condition that causes problems like anemia. It is also known as cobalamin and is the essential water-soluble vitamin. When a body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells then it leads to causing vitamin b12 deficiency. This vitamin plays an important role when it comes to the appropriate functioning of the nervous system. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t have the efficiency of producing it.

Vitamin B12 is present in some food items which are fish, chicken, dairy, eggs, and meats. Although, it can also be found in the items having B12 such as bread or plant-based milk.

The problem of Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common these days especially among adults but children can also face this condition. According to the statistics, it is found out that Vitamin B12 is the usual form of deficiency all over the world and around 15% of the population is deficient when it comes to assessing Vitamin B12 levels. It is also found out that more than 40% of people are at the borderline. There is a lot of information every individual must have so that maintaining Vitamin B12 is effortless.

Key Points To Remember About Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anemia

  • If you are suffering from this condition, then your body doesn’t have sufficient red blood cells that are healthy. It is mainly because of a deficiency of vitamin B.
  • The condition is a kind of megaloblastic anemia.
  • Treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency involves supplements with a balanced and healthy diet.
  • The most noticeable symptoms are increased heart rate, weight loss, trouble walking, numbness, weak muscles, nausea, etc.
  • If there aren’t sufficient red blood cells, then it would be difficult for the oxygen and tissues to get oxygen.

Role Of Vitamin B12

Here is the role of Vitamin B12 in the life of humans:

  • It benefits red blood cell production.
  • B12 has the efficiency of enhancing energy levels and athletic performance.
  • The right amount of Vitamin B12 ensures increasing the cognitive capacity which prevents any probability of risk damage.
  • These days’ depression has become the major problem but the appropriate Vitamin B12 amount helps in decreasing the problem.
  • It also has the efficiency of improving heart health by eliminating the levels of homocysteine.
  • Vitamin B12 also benefits in preventing birth defects and also supports the healthy growth of hair, nails, and healthy skin.

What Are The Causes Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

It is important to know for every individual that eating a vegan diet without consuming B12 supplements causes the deficiency. Here are other causes:

  • The first main cause is atrophic gastritis. It is related to the stomach thinning and lining.
  • Another reason for the increase of this health problem is pernicious anemia.
  • If an individual has gone through the surgery which involved removing the stomach part or small intestines.
  • There are conditions and diseases which cause small intestine damage like celiac, Crohn’s disease, parasites, bacterial growth, etc.
  • Alcoholism is also the reason for the Vitamin B12 problem.
  • There are some immune problems such as lupus, and Grave’s diseases.
  • Using medications like heartburn or antacids.

Signs Or Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The early signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency which are very common with other signs like low energy, or stress are here:

  • The most indicative symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency is tongue texture change. When the levels of B12 are low, you would notice losing out on papillae. There is the indication of tiny taste bud bumps on the tongue surface. It eventually leads to a sore tongue and a change in the tasting sense. Inflammation and swelling are also noticeable including other signs like sensitive sensations, mouth ulcers, burnt feelings because of B12 deficiency.
  • Another major sign to be noticed for Vitamin B12 deficiency is painful sensations such as pins or needles in the legs, body extremities, and the hands because of weakening of the nerve cells. The lack of B12 in the body leads to increased issues such as experiencing dizziness, fatigue, unsteadiness, losing the sense of balance and coordination.
  • Unusual loss of memory is the third and important symptom to be observed when there is a lack of B12 levels. There is unusual forgetfulness and patchy memory issue because the body is unable to control the nerve functionalities. It mainly causes the issue to brain health which at times can lead to loss of memory, disorientation, confusion, etc. People who suffer from this problem also experience the problem or symptoms such as mimic dementia.
  • When Vitamin B12 levels are low, other noticeable signs are anxiety and low mood problems. The low levels can cause problems such as anxiety, depression, disturbing mental balance, etc. B12 is accountable for the formation of chemicals such as neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin and dopamine.
  • Vitamin B12 also causes the problem of increased heart rate and difficulty in breathing.

Diagnosing The B12 Tests

A doctor will usually first consider the medical history of a person and initiate performing the physical examination. If there is any observation of B12 deficiency, then usually your doctor will recommend a Vitamin B12 deficiency test to be done. It helps in measuring the levels and folic acid also the size and hemoglobin concentration within the individual’s red blood cells.

If the deficiency is confirmed, then there will be the requirement of more tests for identifying the reason. It will help in determining the suggested treatment course. The investigations involve blood tests further for other conditions and pernicious anemia. Doctors may refer special cases to specialists for further treatment and tests. It may involve gastroenterologists, hematologists, and digestive system specialists.

How To Treat Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

A lot of things are there which can lead to increasing the levels of Vitamin B12:


There are foods which one must include in their daily diets to increase B12 levels and they are:

  • There are organ meats such as kidney and liver as they are known for being rich in Vitamin B12 sources.
  • Fishes are also a good source of B12 so one can involve salmon, tuna, clams, sardines, and tuna.
  • Doctors also suggest people to include dairy and milk products as it also benefits you with good levels of Vitamin B12.
  • You can also include eggs in your regular diet to fight the issue of Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Fortified plant-based sources

Vitamin B12 is not only found in dairy, eggs, meat, or fish but you can also get a sufficient amount of B12 from fortified plant-based sources. It includes:

  • Fortified cereals
  • Fortified nutritional yeast
  • Fortified milk substitutes


Vitamin B12 also can be taken through supplements which are generally available as cyanocobalamin. The body can effortlessly initiate converting and using the cyanocobalamin. Sometimes, doctors also suggest getting a B12 injection but it is mainly preferable and useful when the deficiency is because of an absorption problem in the stomach. There is another medication hydroxocobalamin which is given after every three months.

Steps You Should Be Aware Of Before Visiting The Doctor

Here are some tips which will assist you to attain the most after visiting your healthcare provider:

  • Firstly, you must know the cause of your visit and what you are expecting.
  • You can begin by writing down all your queries related to the B12 condition so that the doctor can answer them.
  • It is also advisable that you must consider taking someone along with you as it helps you with asking questions to your doctor.
  • After your visit, make sure to note everything down so that you can obtain the right information about the Vitamin B12 deficiency. You can also include all the instructions given by your doctor.
  • You should also be aware of the fact that your doctor is recommending the treatment or any medicine and how it is going to help you with the treatment.
  • You can also ask for ways for treatment if you don’t feel right with the recommended one.

Last Words

The human body requires Vitamin B-12 as it benefits in managing the comprehensive range of body functions and one of them is to make red blood cells. It is essential to understand when an individual is experiencing a Vitamin B12 deficiency then it causes signs related to physical and psychological. This also includes problems such as fatigue, weight loss, nerve issues, and problems in thinking. The symptoms of Vitamin B12 are caused because of lack of red blood cells. It means that the body is unable to get sufficient oxygen.

Getting tested on time is the best way to identify the deficiency of Vitamin B12 and Redcliffe Labs is one such name that fits perfectly well when it comes to diagnostic services. You will get the reports on time and with precision. The business has integrated the professionals having years of experience and state-of-the-art technologies with equipment to offer the best of its services. The quality and precision in the reports are maintained by following the strict guidelines of ISO and NABL.

Disclaimer:The blog content has been posted as a piece of information and awareness only. The content provided in this blog, or in any linked materials, are not proposed and should not be taken as medical advice. Redcliffe Labs strongly recommends users to consult with their health care providers to make any medical or health-related decision.

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