Vitamin B12 is one of the most important vitamins in our body. It has many functions and is involved in several processes that keep us healthy. But it is hard to get enough vitamin B12 from diet alone, especially if you have issues with absorption, so most people have to supplement or consume foods fortified with this nutrient.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is especially common in vegetarians and vegans: One study found that roughly 80 percent of vegans aged 26 to 83 years old were deficient. The problem is that B12 is found primarily in animal products like meat, fish, poultry, eggs and milk, which is why it’s so important for those on meat-free diets to make sure they’re getting enough.
- Fatigue: One of the first symptoms that happens because of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue and tiredness. This happens because your red blood cells don’t get enough oxygen when there is a deficit in this vitamin. If you feel like you want to sleep all the time or feel very tired, it could be because of vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Mouth problems: A dry mouth, sore tongue and cracking lips can all be signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Since this particular vitamin helps with the development and maintenance of the cells inside your body, it will also affect those on the outer layer as well.
- Feeling out of breath: Feeling out of breath while doing simple tasks such as climbing the stairs or walking short distances could be caused by anemia, which occurs when there are too few red blood cells in the body to carry oxygen around the body efficiently.
- Lack of balance: If you’re having trouble keeping balance or feel like you keep losing your balance often, then this could be another warning sign that your body needs more vitamin B12.