How to Tell If You Are B12 Deficient
Vitamin B12 deficiencies progress slowly over time, meaning symptoms usually appear gradually and can be hard to miss at first. However, some people can experience a rapid progression of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Common B12 deficiency symptoms include:
- Numbness or tingling in the extremities
- Tongue swelling
- Physical weakness
- Walking difficulties
- Cognitive problems
You are at risk of developing a vitamin B12 deficiency if you have certain conditions such as gastritis, or if you are taking medications that can affect the body’s absorption of the vitamin.
What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin the body needs but is not produced naturally. It supports the normal function of the nerve cells, can boost your energy levels and memory, and it’s also needed for red blood cell formation. People get vitamin B12 from their diet, through animal-based products. These foods can contain the vitamin naturally, or they can be fortified with it. Certain diets like the vegan diet may not provide the body with enough vitamin B12, therefore making them more prone to being deficient.
So, How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Actually Need?
The National Institute of Health recommends a daily intake of 2.4 mcg for both men and women over 14 years old, though in certain cases you might require more, such as if you’re a woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding. The NIH recommends a daily dose of 2.6 mcg during pregnancy, and 2.8 mcg during lactation.
How to Address Your Deficiency
Improving your diet is the first step in addressing vitamin B12 deficiencies. Focus on foods like:
- Dairy products
Additionally, vitamin B12 shots can provide your body with more of this essential vitamin. If you’re interested in a vitamin B12 shot. Book an appointment today!