As you age, your body starts resisting the absorption of vitamin B12 from food. That’s not the only reason though. Cutting down on meat or becoming a pure vegan, taking certain drugs prescribed for diabetes, PCOD or even heartburn medications, and even having a weight loss surgery raise the chances. The signs you need to watch out for could range from intense fatigue to blurry vision. Read on for a few common symptoms and if they sound familiar, get a blood test done so supplement or injections will come to the rescue, if and as needed.
You can barely keep your eyes open even after a good sleep: Fatigue is one of the first signs of being deficient in B12. Your body depends on this vitamin to create red blood cells and in case of deficiency, your cells don’t get enough oxygen and you feel tired irrespective of how many hours you slept for.
Strange sensations become common: You start experiencing weird aches and pains, even as many say “like electricity running through the body,” which are a result of nerve damage due to a low oxygen level in cells.
You start forgetting things more often: You may blame lack of sleep or you may get worried its early dementia. However, low B12 may be to blame.
What’s up with my eyes? In extreme cases, a low B12 level may damage the optic nerve or even plug the blood vessels in the retina, leading to blurry vision, sensitivity to light or even vision loss.
Off-balance? If you get dizzy just walking up the stairs or often feel blood rushing to your head when you get up after being seated for long, you may have B12 deficiency.
Cry baby: If you feel more anxious than ever, a lack of B12 may be to blame as it wrecks havoc on your mood. While doctors aren’t sure exactly why it increases your risk for depression, it may have something to do with the fact that the vitamin is involved in the synthesis of brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine, which regulate one’s mood.
If you are vitamin B12 deficient, then within certain levels you can easily bounce back by eating enough meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products and eggs. If you don’t eat animal products, you can take multivitamins and foods fortified with the vitamin. If you choose to take a supplement, keep your doctor in the know so as to ensure it’s not clashing with any medications you may already be on.