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Is A Vitamin B12 Deficiency So Bad?


Short answer: YES!

According to Harvard Health Publishing article "Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky and harmful" Some people don’t consume enough vitamin B12 to meet their needs, while others can’t absorb enough, no matter how much they take in. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people.


Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia can cause a wide range of symptoms. These usually develop gradually, but can worsen if the condition goes untreated.

Most symptoms are the same whether they are caused by either folate deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anemia include:

  • rapid breathing or shortness of breath

  • headaches

  • indigestion

  • loss of appetite

  • palpitations

  • problems with your vision

  • feeling weak or tired

  • diarrhea

  • a sore or red tongue, sometimes with mouth ulcers

  • problems with memory, understanding and judgment (cognitive changes)

Some of these symptoms can also happen in people who have a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency but have not developed anemia.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms that affect your brain and nervous system (neurological symptoms), including:

  • numbness

  • muscle weakness

  • psychological problems, which can range from mild depression or anxiety, to confusion and dementia

  • problems with balance and coordination

  • pins and needles

  • incontinence

When to speak with your Doctor:

See your doctor if you're experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia.

These conditions can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms and the results of a blood test.

It's important for this deficiency to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

Although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible if left untreated.

The longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.


Have questions? Call us, make an appointment here on our site, or shoot us an email!

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