Vitamin B12 deficiency explained – and the symptoms to look out for

One of the vitamins which is most commonly associated with deficiency is vitamin B12.

That could be because it is mainly found in animal products, which means vegetarians and vegans can find it difficult to source.

Sometimes called cobalamin, vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins which has an important role in keeping our bodies happy.

It is essential in maintaining healthy blood and a healthy nervous system.

Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, which means it can’t be stored in the fat cells in the body.

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What is Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is a condition where the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells due to lack of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is needed in order to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a decreased intake of vitamin B12. It can also be caused if your body is not able to adsorb enough vitamin B12 from foods.

This can be the case someone has an autoimmune condition such as thyroid disease, or other medical conditions.

Older individuals are more likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency.

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What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Those who suffer from Vitamin B12 deficiency can suffer both physical and psychological problems.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can be hard to spot, and can take a long time to develop.

But they can include extreme tiredness, lack of energy, mouth ulcers, sore tongue, pins and needles or confusion.

Also look out for appetite loss, pale skin, heart palpitations, constipation, memory loss and depression.

If you suspect you might have vitamin B12 deficiency it is important to book an appointment with your GP.

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