10 Most Common Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

Those at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Older adults
  • People with gastrointestinal disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
  • Those who have had gastrointestinal surgeries, such as bariatric surgery or bowel resection surgery
  • People on a strict vegan diet
  • People who are highly active

1. No energy

There is a minor misconception that vitamin B12 “adds” energy to your body, but this is not true. Vitamin B12 merely helps to speed up the energy building process in your body, which may have you feeling as if you got a fresh dose of energy in your body. When you are deficient in Vitamin B12, there is a good chance that you may feel lethargic or tired quite often.

2. Mental Fog

This tends to go with fatigue, but mental fog is something that typically accompanies vitamin B12 deficiency. For some older adults with this issue, it could mask the effects of early onset of dementia, but further health tests should be able to identify that you may be experiencing low vitamin B12 levels in your body.

2. Depression

Depression is a growing issue among a number of adults and children, but often times a vitamin B12 deficiency can mask the effects of depression. Depression is prevalent for a number of reasons, but many adults get depressed during the winter and colder months of the year due to a decrease in natural sunlight.

3. Old Age

While this is hardly a symptom, older age can decrease your body’s ability to absorb this valuable vitamin and you can merely become deficient just because your body stops functioning the way it used to in years prior.

4. Lightheaded

While there are many different health conditions that cause a person to get lightheaded, B12 Deficiency is one of them. Lightheadedness is a concern that you should bring up with your doctor.

5. Eyesight Problems

Vision problems can be another potentially dangerous symptom depending on when the symptom starts. Vision loss typically gives no warning and it can certainly leave a lasting impression on your health. In addition, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to vision loss, especially if it goes unnoticed with no treatment attempted.

6. Vegan Diets

Newly vegans tend to run into issues from time to time with nutrient balance, but one of the more concerning issues is when the issue lasts for prolonged periods of time.

The lack of animal protein in your diet could be a cause of a vitamin B12 deficiency and it could lead to other health issues as well if not careful planned out.

7. Long Term Nerve Damage + Pins and Needles in hands and feet

Your body is laced with small vessels that run everywhere in your body and these are called your nerves. They play a role in sensations on the skin as well as for conductions to your brain, but often times these small vessels are forgotten in health. Nerve damage is a common issue among individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency and when your nerves are damaged, it could lead to additional health issues. One of the signs of this is when you start feeling pins and needles in your extremities.

8. Shortness of Breath

This is a very common symptom for a number of health issues and it can be a major symptom in heart disease issues as well. However, feeling short of breath can be a cause of vitamin B12, since this vitamin is used to help generate red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your working muscles. Without adequate oxygen, chances are you will be breathing harder and faster, as if you were exercising.

9. Fevers

This is another common symptom for a number of health issues, but if you are noticing that you have a slight fever, even though you are not feeling ill, it could be an issue with your vitamin levels. While it is not common, a vitamin B12 deficiency has been reported in conjunction with a fever, meaning there is an association to some degree.     

10. Mood Changes

People with B12 deficiency often report changes in mood.

In fact, low levels of B12 have been linked to mood and brain disorders like depression and dementia.