Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in helping the body fulfill its vital functions. The body needs this nutrient to make healthy red blood cells and keep its nervous system functioning properly. Vitamin B12 occurs when a lack of vitamin affects the body's ability to produce fully functioning red blood cells. Insufficient levels of vitamin can manifest in many ways.
According to Harvard Health: "Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing the gradual onset of symptoms and the intensification of symptoms over time.
"It can also be relatively fast. Given the variety of symptoms that a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause, the disease may be overlooked or confused with something else. "
An unusual symptom of the disease is a swollen and inflamed tongue. This symptom occurs because a vitamin B-12 deficiency causes a reduction in red blood cell production, which results in a decrease in the oxygen content of the tongue. The disease is often known as glossitis.
One study followed a 61-year-old woman who had had a lingering burning sensation on her tongue for six months. The investigation revealed that she had low levels of vitamin B12. According to the study: "The patient was referred to her primary care physician for further management of the disease.
"She received a single injection (1,000 μg) of vitamin B12, which allowed for a complete resolution of her symptoms and a normal clinical appearance of her tongue after three days."
The study also noted that glossitis is present in up to 25% of vitamin B12 cases.
Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include:
- Extreme fatigue (tiredness)
- Lack of energy (lethargy)
- Feelings of weakness
- Pale skin
- Noticeable heartbeats (palpitations)
- Hear sounds coming from the inside of the body rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
Pernicious anemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency, the NHS said.
Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that affects a person's stomach. An autoimmune disease means that a person's immune system, the body's natural defense system that protects against disease and infections, attacks healthy cells in one's body.
Another main cause of the disease is the lack of vitamin in a person's diet.
According to the NHS: "A diet consisting of meat, fish and dairy products usually provides enough vitamin B12, but people who do not consume these foods regularly, such as those who follow a vegan diet or who generally follow a diet very often. poor deficient.
"The reserves of vitamin B12 in the body can last about two to four years without being reconstituted, so it can take a long time for problems to develop after a dietary change."
Certain stomach conditions or some gastric operations may also prevent the absorption of a sufficient amount of vitamin B12.
"For example, a gastrectomy, a surgical procedure in which part of the stomach is removed, increases the risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency," said the body in good health.
The treatment of vitamin B12 or iron deficiency anemia depends on the cause of the disease.
Most people can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins, the NHS added.