When we think of vitamin B12 or other B vitamins, we often think of them as the ‘energy’ vitamins. It is common for a B12 deficiency to cause fatigue in individuals, however, there are many other symptoms that could signal that your body is not getting enough of this essential vitamin.
First, let’s start with sources of vitamin B12. This water-soluble vitamin is naturally found in foods of animal origin such as meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. If your diet is rich in these items, you are probably getting enough B12. However, there are reasons why someone could still be deficient even though these foods are present in their daily lives.
People with types of anemia and diseases of the small intestine (such as Celiac or Crohn’s) do not absorb the vitamin well. Vegans, who do not consume any foods of animal origin, may also be at risk for low levels.
Symptoms of a B12 Deficiency
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Pale skin
- Smooth tongue
These are just some of the symptoms associated with a B12 deficiency. It is a good idea to get an annual physical AND have your doctor run a complete blood test to check for all vitamin levels. If you follow a vegan diet you can take a supplement to ensure your levels don’t run low.