B12 Deficiency Symptoms

What are B12 deficiency symptoms? Why should I be concerned? What are the causes of this deficiency? Are raw foodists more susceptible?

Benefits of Vitamin B12

Why are foods high in vitamin B12 important?

It is essential for red blood cell formation, nerve cells, and proteins in the body.  It helps to metabolize food and helps iron to work more efficiently.

Not getting enough vitamin B12 can affect your nerve functioning, as well as contribute to types of anemia. 

It also plays a role in making your genetic material in DNA and RNA, so it is important that pregnant women get adequate amounts of the vitamin.

Symptoms of B12 Deficiency

B12 Deficiency Symptoms:

Nerve Damage
loss of appetite
hair loss
weight loss
numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
memory loss
difficulty maintaining balance
drying and cracking at the corners of the mouth
dark or light patches of skin

Causes of B12 Deficiency

It is usually caused by a deficiency in the diet. Since B12 is primarily found in animal products those of us who avoid these foods need to be diligent in assuring that we get enough B12 in our diets or consider a quality supplement. 

Pernicious anemia can further aggravate and cause B12 deficiency.

B12 Anemia

Anemia is a common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. Because your body needs this vitamin to make red blood cells, a deficiency  reduces the number of red blood cells your body can make, resulting in a condition called anemia.

Some of the first symptoms of anemia can be profound fatigue, exhaustion, and bruising on the legs and arms.

B12 Nerve Damage

Prolonged deficiency can cause irreversible nerve damage. The first symptoms of nerve damage are often tingling sensations in the hands and feet. Over time, damage to nerves cause difficultly walking and coordinating movement.

Loss of vision and hallucinations may also occur. Nerve damage can also cause depression, memory problems or personality changes.

These overall symptoms are important to recognize for everyone and especially raw foodists and vegans.  Also the elderly and those with poor dietary habits need to be aware of the risk of developing a B12 deficiency.  Checking your levels of B12 is a good way to ensure that you do not become deficient in this important nutrient. 

Other Pages You May Enjoy:

Foods High in B12

Alkaline and Acidic Foods

Return to Raw Foods Diet page from B12 Deficiency Symptoms


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