Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the leading nutritional deficiencies in the world, with Central and South America, Africa, India, Mexico, and many parts of the developing world faring the worst. Even the U.S. has its share of B12-deficient people. Since most of the foods high in B12 are animal products, vegans are at especially high risk of being deficient.
If you’re concerned that you’re deficient in Vitamin B12, you should be consuming meats, eggs, fish, dairy, and poultry. You might also look into getting B12 shots, taking sublingual vitamins, or getting a B-complex bottle at your local health food store. B12 deficiency is more common in the elderly, and you’re at special risk if you aren’t eating a diet with any animal products in it. Other groups at risk include people who have had surgery that’s removed parts of the bowel responsible for absorbing B12, people who are taking the drug metformin, and those who are on antacid drugs for a long period of time because of heartburn. The symptoms may take years to show up, and it can be difficult to diagnose or confirm. Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms of B12 deficiency. This list might help you determine if you have it or not.
1. A general feeling of weakness
Since B12 aids in the production of red blood cells, if you are deficient in this vitamin, you might notice that you are feeling weaker than usual. Why? – Because your organs won’t be getting the oxygen that they need. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all of your organs, and if your low on B12, old blood won’t be replenished with fresh oxygen, which could make you feel like noticeably weak. As such, it could become difficult to do ordinary tasks, such as lifting and carrying everyday items, such as groceries or a laundry basket.