Vitamin B12 deficiency develops when the body does not get enough vitamin B12. Vitamin plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps the nerves to stay healthy. A person who lacks vitamin B12 will usually lack red blood cells and the nerves can be damaged. Vitamin B12 is better eaten by the diet, which is why some people may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vegans and vegetarians may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because most foods rich in vitamin B12 are of animal origin.
And some medical conditions can also affect the absorption of B12 by foods, such as pernicious anemia.
If vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated, serious health problems can occur, which can affect a person's movement, vision and memory.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also increase the risk of infertility and stomach cancer.
To avoid these complications, it is important to recognize all the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
A symptom to be wary of can appear on the tongue.
According to advocacy with thyroid patients, an itchy or tingling tongue may be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Describing what is happening, he says, "The tongue suddenly bites from time to time without warning. This occurs on the edge of the tongue, on one side or the other or at the tip.
"There is an irresistible need to scratch the tongue on the teeth to stop the itching. Some people suffer from tingling, pain or tingling instead of itching.
Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
Bupa lists five other symptoms of the disease to watch for:
- Feeling very tired
- Shortness of breath even after a little exercise
- Heart palpitations
- Reduce appetite
- A painful mouth
Treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency
If a person does not consume enough vitamin B12, they may be advised by a general practitioner to eat more vitamin B12 fortified foods or to take supplements regularly.
Vitamin B12 injections may also be recommended, and for people suffering from pernicious anemia, injections may be needed for the rest of their lives.
Experts say that adults aged 19 to 64 need about 1.5 micrograms (mg) of vitamin B12 a day and that, except in case of pernicious anemia, you should be able to get some in your diet.
If vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by B12 deficiency in the diet, Harvard Health Publishing, part of Harvard Medical School, offers the "B12 Food List" on its website.