ISLAMABAD - Vitamin B-12 is an essential nutrient

that keeps the body functioning properly. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include fatigue, low mood, and

nerve problems.

The human body does not create

vitamin B-12, so people must get this

nutrient from their diet. It is crucial for

making DNA and red blood cells, and

it helps support the nervous system.

Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in the

production of blood cells.

Many of the symptoms of vitamin

B-12 deficiency arise because it causes

a lack of healthy blood cells. The body

needs plenty of these cells to get oxygen around the body and keep the organs in good health.

A vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead

to both physical and psychological

problems. In this article, we explore 11

symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency

and explain why they occur.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency may affect

between 1.5 and 15.0 per cent of people. This deficiency can cause a wide

range of symptoms that affect a person’s mental and physical health.

It is important to consume foods

that contain vitamin B-12 on a regular

basis. Adults need around 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 each day.

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is present in animal-based

foods, such as, red meat, poultry, eggs,

dairy, and fish.

If a person does not eat animal products, they will need to add vegetarian

and vegan sources of vitamin B-12 to

their diet. These include fortified cereals, plant milks, bread, and nutritional

yeast.

As vitamin B-12 deficiency shares

many symptoms with other nutritional

deficiencies and health conditions, it is

possible that people may neither notice it, nor get a diagnosis.

Being aware of all of the signs can

help people identify the deficiency and

seek treatment. Below, we look at the

symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency

and their causes.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause

“pins and needles” in the hands or feet.

This symptom occurs because the vitamin plays a crucial role in the nervous

system, and its absence can cause people to develop nerve conduction problems or nerve damage.

In the nervous system, vitamin B-12

helps produce a substance called myelin. Myelin is a protective coating that

shields the nerves and helps them

transmit sensations.

People who are vitamin B-12 deficient may not produce enough myelin

to coat their nerves. Without this coating, nerves can become damaged.

Problems are more common in the

nerves in the hands and feet, which are

called peripheral nerves. Peripheral

nerve damage may lead to tingling in

these parts of the body.

Over time, peripheral nerve damage

resulting from vitamin B-12 deficiency

can lead to movement problems.

Numbness in the feet and limbs may

make it hard for a person to walk without support. They may also experience

muscle weakness and diminished reflexes.