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Who is at higher risk of B12 deficiency? Know symptoms about vitamin deficiency

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that our body needs, but cannot make on its own. So it has to be obtained from your diet. B12 is important to make DNA and plays a key role in the production of red blood cells. Hemoglobin transports oxygen around the body and a lack of B12 therefore results in anemia.

Who is at a higher risk of deficiency?​

People at higher risk of vitamin B12 include:

Elderly people

Those with alcohol issues

People following a vegetarian or vegan diet

Those having the autoimmune disease pernicious anemia or Sjogren’s syndrome

Those who have malabsorption issues
It is important to consult your doctor for any needed supplements if you are at risk of B12 deficiency. Getting your levels checked can help you get a clearer picture. B12 deficiency should not be ignored as long term deficiency can lead to complex health issues. Symptoms of early stages of deficiency Identifying signs of B12 deficiency can make you take the necessary steps to meet your body’s B12 requirements.. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. Still, here are the most common early symptoms to spot:

Weakness and fatigue

Loss of appetite

Unexplained weight loss

Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Sore mouth and tongue

Jaundice

Depression Impact of long term B12 deficiency​
These include numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, loss of vision (optic atrophy), impaired cognition and memory loss. It can also lead to confusion, ataxic gait (difficulty walking), and speech issues.

How should I check my B12 levels?​
If you suspect you have a B12 deficiency because you may be experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you can get a blood test to check your B12 levels and consult your doctor once you get your reports.

Foods rich in B12​
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and fortified dairy products are naturally rich sources of vitamin B12. There are no plant sources of B12, so those following a vegan or vegetarian diet need to eat foods fortified with vitamin B12. For those who are unable to meet their B12 requirements through diet, they are advised by health experts to take B12 supplements regularly.

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