Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly found in vegetarians, vegans and the elderly. While it can be easily treated, the key is to recognize the symptoms in the initial stages to prevent any health-related issues. I am writing about it because two months back, my blood test report suggested low Vitamin B12 levels in my body. And, I have just completed my treatment for this deficiency.
I always take good care of my family’s health and nutrition needs but when it comes to paying attention to my health, I fail most of the times. I forget to take my multivitamins and skip proper meals to eat whatever seems an easy option. Generally, it is my husband who keeps a track of my meals and supplements but he is also not around all the time.
After doing some research on Vitamin B12, I realized that it is not just important for our health but has an effect on our skin and hair too. In fact, my hair fall has reduced after completing my treatment. Of course, I also rely on natural agents like Olive oil, Coconut Oil, and Castor Oil to keep my hair healthy.
Want to know more about the symptoms and treatment of Vitamin B12 deficiency? Keep reading this post!
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the functioning of nervous system. Also known as Cobalamine, it is essential for cell metabolism, red blood cell formation, and DNA synthesis.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
In my case, I did not realize how it all started. All I remember is that I felt tired and exhausted all the time. I had no energy to do my daily chores and could not focus on work. What is worse is that I kept neglecting these signs! In fact, the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are very difficult to detect, so it becomes even more important to be aware of what this deficiency can do to your body.
Some common symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Tingling sensation
- Depression, behavioral issues or confusion
- Hair loss
Are vegetarians at risk of developing Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Yes. Vitamin B12 is not found in plants which puts vegetarians and vegans at a risk of developing this deficiency. It is important to be regular with your supplements to ensure that our body gets what it wants.
Women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding should also ensure a diet rich in Vitamin B12.
Why is Vitamin B12 Deficiency Serious?
While this may sound like a minor deficiency, it is something that needs immediate attention!
A vitamin deficiency can lead to major health issues and in this case, it can affect our nervous system. One of the very first signs of a B12 deficiency is numbness and tingling sensation in our hands and feet. A severe Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause confusion, difficulty in remembering things and depression.
Vitamin B12 for Hair
Now, this was a little surprising to me. My hair fall reduced after I completed my treatment and my hair looks better now.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in cell division and metabolism which explains its importance for hair growth. A common sign of B12 deficiency is hair fall, although it can be caused due to other reasons as well.
Dietary Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is found in animal sources like fish, meat, eggs, milk and other dairy products. Since there are no plant sources of B12, vegetarians should include milk and dairy products in their diet. Vegans can opt for nutritional yeast which is another source of Vitamin B12.
Since I am a vegetarian, my diet has almost no Vitamin B12. I am not very fond of dairy products but trying to increase my intake now.
Treating Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency is easily treatable. Once diagnosed, your doctor will prescribe pills or B12 shots. I am trying to be more regular with my pills after realizing how this simple condition can affect our daily life.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency can be difficult to identify. However, knowing a little about this deficiency can help in recognizing the signs in the initial stages. It is important to Immediately see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. Include Vitamin B12 in your diet and take your supplements daily.
Stay healthy, Stay Gorgeous!