Belonging to the family of B vitamins, Cobalamin or vitamin B 12 is an indispensable micro nutrient that plays a key role in maintaining healthy nerve function. A deficiency of this notable vitamin causes damage to the myelin sheath, a protective covering on nerves that allows a healthy nerve-impulse transmission, and results in neurological problems. The primary cause of B 12 deficiency is insufficient intake of foods rich in B 12 vitamin which puts the vegetarians at a greater risk of being deficient in this vitamin as all animal products including meat, fish and eggs are the only best food sources of cobalamin. Some other factors that lead to B 12 deficiency are thinning of stomach lining, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease or presence of some parasites in the body. All these condition interfere with our body’s ability to absorb this crucial vitamin and if not controlled by B 12 supplements, leads to serious nerve damage which in turn results in death. Hence, it is vital to curb B 12 deficiency by including foods rich in this vitamin or by consuming a diet fortified with Vitamin B 12. To understand that your body is in dire need of vitamin B 12 one must identify the symptoms of B 12 deficiency.
Here Is A List Of Some Indicators That Characterize Vitamin B 12 Deficiency.
One of the foremost signs of Vitamin B 12 deficiency is energy slumps. When there is shortage of cobalamin in our body, it hampers the formation of red blood cells which are needed to carry oxygen to other parts of our body. This leads to a diminished supply of oxygen in the body and makes a person feel tired and exhausted.
2. Lack Of Coordination
Insufficient vitamin B 12 in the blood causes interruptions in transfer of nerve impulses to other body parts. This makes a person lose his sense of balance and coordination and has a negative impact on quality of life. In fact, a number of movement disorders like muscle spasms, tingling sensation in hands and feet, decreased motor control and frequent tripping are linked to an interrupted supply of nerve impulses in our body which are caused by depleted levels of vitamin B 12 in blood.
3. Pale Complexion
Another detector of B 12 vitamin deficiency is pale complexion. Vitamin B 12 is crucial for healthy production of red blood cells and any slump in this vitamin weakens the structure of red blood cells.The weak cells get broken easily and the hemoglobin contained in these cells turn into bilirubin which gives the skin a yellowish tinge.B 12 deficiency is also know to cause pernicious anemia which makes the skin look pale.
Lowered levels of cobalamin in blood results in anemia which causes heart palpitations. Another contributing factor is a diminished oxygen supply which is caused by cobalamin deficiency which in turn makes the heart beat faster to compensate for decrease in transfer of oxygen to the rest of our body.
5. Poor Appetite
If you encounter a decrease in appetite or find that the foods that once tempted you no longer taste delicious then it could be a sign of Vitamin B 12 deficiency. Vitamin B 12 is needed in metabolic functions of our body. It helps in breaking down food and distribute the nutrients throughout the body at a faster rate and makes you feel hungry. If there is a deficiency of this vitamin, our body faces difficulty in converting food into energy and accounts for a poor appetite.
6. Vanished Half Moons
Faint or completely vanished half moons on your finger nails signal vitamin B 12 deficiency. People with good levels of B 12 vitamin tend to have more pronounced half moons on their nails. In case you find other symptoms characterizing B 12 deficiency accompanied by diminished half moons then you must get your vitamin B 12 levels checked and take necessary actions to curb the deficiency.
7. Visual Disturbances
Inadequate vitamin B12 levels may also contribute to development of vision problems. Since, this vitamin is central to all the functions involving the nerves, lack of this vitamin has a negative impact on the optic nerve and leads to conditions such as blurry vision, double vision, shadows in visual field and in extreme cases, glaucoma.
8. Neurological Problems
Severe cases of B 12 deficiency may arise in the form of neurological conditions after a certain length of time. These include memory loss, depression, psychosis and psychiatric disorders that are cause due to the damage that is meted out on the outer coating of the nerves which makes it difficult for neuro-transmitters do their work effectively and causes changes in mood and behavior of an individual.