5 Scary Side Effects of a B-12 Deficiency
B vitamins support normal functions performed by the brain and nervous system, support adrenal function. Vitamin B-12 is also required for critical metabolic processes like DNA synthesis, production of neurotransmitters, energy production and is required for the development of red blood cells.
Vitamin B-12 is found in animal-derived foods such as dairy, eggs, meat, poultry and fish. Diets that limit these foods and/or poor absorption may lead to a Vitamin B-12 deficiency. Prolonged Vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to serious mental and physical symptoms, such as:
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Irregular heartbeats
- Personality and mood changes
- Memory Loss
Although deficiency can present differently for everyone, there are four basic stages:
This is the earliest stage, so there are no noticeable signs or symptoms of deficiency. However, low levels can be detected through a blood test.
Low blood levels of B-12 are detectable, and cellular dysfunction begins to set in. Some symptoms may start to be present.
Neurological, psychological and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as indigestion and discomfort, may be present in this phase. Also, without sufficient levels of Vitamin B-12, methylmalonic acid (MMA) and homocysteine (HCY) build up in the body. An elevated level of HCY in blood is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and should be monitored by a physician.
The final and most severe stage of B-12 deficiency can lead to lasting damage to the nervous system.
Getting Enough Vitamin B-12
You can prevent these devastating side effects by including B-rich foods in your diet, supplementing when necessary with high-quality Vitamin B-12 and having your Vitamin B-12 levels checked as part of your annual physical exam.
Posted by Jeffrey Sloe on Markethive