5 Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Oct 02, 2023

5 Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in overall wellness, but it’s particularly crucial for your metabolism — and that means it’s good for weight management. Here’s how to tell if you’re deficient in this vitamin.

Sometimes thought of as the “energy vitamin,” vitamin B12 (or cobalamin) plays a role in energy metabolism, helping your body produce energy from what you eat.

Some data show that people with low levels of B12 are more likely to be overweight or obese, so if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s critical you get enough of this essential vitamin.

One way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12 is to schedule an office visit so we can conduct an evaluation and run lab tests. But it’s also important to recognize potential symptoms of a B12 deficiency.

At Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness in Las Vegas, Henderson, and Reno, Nevada, Dana Trippi, DO, and the team offer comprehensive nutrition services, including lab testing and dietary guidance, to help our patients stay healthy.

Here, the team reviews five signs of vitamin B12 deficiency you should know about.

1. Fatigue

Fatigue or daytime drowsiness is one of the most common symptoms associated with low levels of vitamin B12. That’s because this vitamin plays a critical role in developing new, healthy red blood cells — the cells responsible for delivering oxygen to your organs and tissues.

Without ample vitamin B12, your body makes fewer healthy red blood cells, limiting oxygen delivery and resulting in feelings of tiredness, regardless of how much sleep you get.

2. ‘Brain fog’ or moodiness

Low oxygen delivery to your brain can make it harder to focus, and it interferes with your memory too.

Vitamin B12 has an impact on the function of your central nervous system, which includes your brain. Low levels of this vitamin can also lead to mood changes, including irritability and depression, along with feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness.

3. Tingling or numbness

Vitamin B12 plays a big role in nerve development and function. With low B12 levels, you can experience pins-and-needles sensations, numbness, or tingling, especially in your feet and hands. Without prompt diagnosis and management, you could suffer permanent nerve damage.

4. Pale skin

Unusually pale skin could indicate vitamin B12 deficiency. This symptom relates directly to B12’s role in red blood cell production and function. When a vitamin B12 deficiency causes a decline in red blood cells, you can develop anemia alongside pale skin — its telltale sign. 

5. Mouth or tongue sores

Some people with vitamin B12 deficiency develop mouth sores or ulcers. In some instances, low levels of the vitamin can lead to inflammation or swelling of your tongue, a condition called glossitis. It also might be painful or sore.

Make your nutrition a priority

The symptoms of vitamin deficiencies can be subtle or easily mistaken for other issues. A nutritional evaluation helps identify deficiencies early so they can be managed before serious problems occur. 

To learn how we can help you optimize your nutrition through comprehensive, personalized nutrition services, request an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Physicians Weight Loss & Wellness today.