Up to 15% of people do not get enough B12, which is found in animal products such as eggs, meat, fish and dairy.
Nicknamed as the energy vitamin, B12 is a powerhouse and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system.
Your body can store B12 for up to 5 years, so early signs of a deficiency can be hard to spot.
The most common signs that you may have a B12 deficiency include:
Frequent bouts of dizziness can often be a sign that your B12 stores are low.
Lack of B12 can damage the optic nerve causing blurry vision, double vision, and sensitivity to light.
Your body relies of B12 to make red blood cells which carry oxygen to your organs. Without enough oxygen in your cells you will feel tired no matter what.
Often mistaken for Alzheimers in elderly patients, B12 can cause uncharacteristic forgetfulness.
Pins & Needles
You can experience strange sensations which are a result of nerve damage, triggered by low oxygen levels in cells.
With a B12 deficiency, your red blood cells are very fragile and easily broken, causing a release of bilirubin pigment that gives skin a yellow tint.
B12 is relied on for oxygenation of organs and muscles. If you can carry 4 bags of shopping down the street, but suddenly struggle to lift your purse because it is too heavy, it could be a sign of B12 deficiency.
As well as eating foods that contain B12, you can also take supplements to increase energy levels and prevent further symptoms. These can be in the form of tablets, or oral sprays.
Always consult your doctor if you choose to take supplements so they can ensure it won’t affect any medications you’re taking.