When our bodies are fed all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to keep us fit and healthy, it's fair to say we feel pretty good! However, when it is lacking in something, it can lead us to feel poorly which is exactly what happens when our bodies do not absorb enough vitamin B12. Today, we're looking into what our bodies need B12 for, where it comes from and tell-tale symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
What do we need B12 for?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep our nerves and blood cells healthy. Not only that, it also helps produce our DNA - the genetic material that is in all cells that make us who we are! Pretty cool, hey? However, if we don’t have enough B12 in our body then it can lead to a type of anaemia which can make you feel very unwell.
What are the symptoms of a B12 deficiency?
If you do not ingest enough B12, then you may succumb to some of the many symptoms associated with a B12 deficiency, including:
- Fatigue (extreme tiredness)
- Lethargy (a complete lack of energy)
- Loss of appetite
- Nerve problems such as tingling in your hands and feet
- Problems with balance
- Poor memory
- Soreness in your tongue and mouth, including ulcers.
Where do we get B12 from?
B12 can be found in a wide range of foods, which is lucky as our bodies do not naturally create the vitamin. Tucking into foods such a meat (beef is an excellent source of B12) and fish, plus dairy products like milk and eggs will keep your levels topped up.
Also, keep an eye out for ‘fortified foods’ containing B12. This means the vitamin has been added to the produce, which is common in plant-based food.
Why do deficiencies occur?
There are a number of reasons as to why your body may not contain enough B12 such as if you don’t eat meat or dairy, your stomach isn’t able to absorb B12 from food (common in older people) or those with digestive disorder such as Crohn’s or celiac disease may be more susceptible.
What to do if you think your deficient
In most cases, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated with supplements to replace the missing vitamin. However, if you do have any concerns you can order a Vitamin B12 Blood Test from Superdrug Online Doctor to check your levels. Alternatively, make an appointment to see your doctor or a healthcare professional.