Vitamin B12 is a crucial ingredient for the healthy running of the body, as it’s needed to make red blood cells. Signs of a deficiency can develop very slowly, so it may be difficult to diagnose the condition.
People with undiagnosed symptoms should consider that they may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
While it’s unlikely that your symptoms are caused by the condition, there are still many people that have a lack of B12.
A quick blood test could reveal whether you should be adding more B12 to your diet.
You should consider speaking to a doctor about a B12 deficiency if you develop unexplained fatigue.
Tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of a B12 deficiency, warned dietitian Helen West.
Some patients may also feel very weak or fatigued, along with a persistent sleepiness.
It may be caused by a lack of oxygen being delivered around the body.
B12 is crucial to the production of red blood cells, which are used to deliver oxygen.
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“Unfortunately, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up, and diagnosing it can be complex,” she wrote for medical website Healthline.
“Weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
“When you are deficient in B12, your body isn’t able to produce enough red blood cells to effectively transport oxygen throughout your body. This can make you feel tired and weak.
“For most people, a B12 deficiency should be easy to prevent simply by ensuring you are getting enough B12 in your diet.”
But just because you’re feeling unusually tired, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Your fatigue may also be caused by simply staying up too late at night, or even excess stress.
You may even not be getting enough iron, magnesium or potassium in your diet.
If you develop extreme fatigue that won’t go away, you should consider speaking to a doctor.
Meanwhile, other B12 deficiency symptoms may include difficulty walking, vision disturbances, and mouth ulcers.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
But you can top up on the vitamin by eating certain foods.
The best sources of vitamin B12 include beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, and salmon.