Five Signs That You’re Not Getting Enough B12Lisanne Wellness Center
When you think of nutritional deficiencies, you may not immediately think of B12. Don’t feel too bad; most people don’t think about B12 much at all, but they should. B12 deficiency can be a significant health risk that should be taken seriously.
What Does B12 Do For Your Body?
B12 is one of the most important nutrients you can consume since it’s responsible for red blood cell production and DNA production. Unfortunately, your body can’t make B12, so you need to get it from your diet. And your body can’t store it for long, so you need to eat B12 on a regular basis throughout the day.
Signs of a B12 Deficiency
Weakness/Fatigue: Weakness and fatigue are the most common symptoms of a B12 deficiency, and they’re likely the first you’ll notice. Unfortunately, these are such generic symptoms that they are often misdiagnosed. Since B12 is used in the creation of red blood cells, a B12 deficiency often results in fewer red blood cells, and therefore less oxygen being circulated throughout the body, which causes fatigue.
Tingly skin/pins and needles: Nerve damage is a serious concern for people who let a B12 deficiency go too long without treatment. When your nerves begin to break down with a decrease in myelin (the substance that surrounds nerves), you’ll start to feel a tingling sensation like pins and needles.
Dizziness: After enough time, B12 deficiency can cause anemia, which lends itself to dizziness. This is, like weakness and fatigue, tied to a lack of red blood cells to adequately transport oxygen to your body.
Disturbed Vision: If your vision is blurred, and your contacts are not beyond their expiration date, you may want to check your B12 levels. Lower than healthy levels of B12 can cause nervous system damage, ultimately harming your optic nerves. This condition, optic neuropathy, is often reversible with B12 supplementation.
Mood Swings: If you’re not usually moody, but lately your emotions have been hot and cold, it could be a sign of a B12 deficiency. Low levels of B12 are even linked to depression. According to the homocysteine hypothesis of depression, this happens when low levels of B12 trigger an increased production of homocysteine, which interferes with brain signals and causes depression. In some studies, mood changes have been reversed through the use of B12 supplements.
B12 Foods to Keep You Healthy
Since B12 is not naturally produced in our bodies, it’s imperative that we get it from our diet. The best sources of dietary B12 come from animal products like eggs, meat, poultry, and seafood. Some meat replacements like soy burgers are fortified with B12. You can also get B12 from almond, oat, or rice beverages, nutritional yeast, and dietary supplements like Activ B12. Vegetarians and vegans should take a daily supplement since it’s unlikely they’ll be able to reach the recommended levels of B12 from their diets alone. Supplements are also a good idea in general, since 10-30% of adults can’t properly absorb B12 from food.
Do you think you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency? If so, don’t wait or try to manage it yourself. Take action immediately, as a B12 deficiency can cause serious health concerns. Schedule an appointment with our functional medicine expert at Lisanne Wellness Center
 “Vitamin B12: What to Know.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms-causes#2.
 Chavala, S H, et al. “Optic neuropathy in vitamin B12 deficiency.” European journal of internal medicine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2005, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16198909.
 West, Helen. “9 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 7 Oct. 2017, www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-deficiency-symptoms.