Vitamin B12 can be sourced naturally from a number of foods, however, there are a number of reasons why someone might become deficient in this essential nutrient. Although a blood test is the most certain way to find out if you have a deficiency, there are also a number of symptoms that may serve as a warning sign.
What other symptoms are there of a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to “deficiency anaemia” which carries many of the same symptoms as traditional anaemia.
If you have anaemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, however, you may experience some additional side effects.
The NHS lists these as:
- A pale yellow tinge to your skin
- A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
- Mouth ulcers
- Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- Disturbed vision
- Changes in the way you think, feel and behave
- A decline in your mental abilities, such as memory, understanding and judgement
This is an autoimmune condition that affects the stomach and stops your body from absorbing vitamin B12.
The exact cause of pernicious anaemia is unknown, but it is most common in women around 60 years of age, people with a family history of the condition and those with another autoimmune condition, such as Addison’s disease or vitiligo.
Some other stomach conditions, or people who have had previous stomach operations, may also find they are not able to absorb enough of the vitamin.
In some cases, conditions impacting the intestines, such as Crohn’s disease, may also play a role in a vitamin B12 deficiency.