B12 Deficiency Symptoms
B12 deficiency symptoms are often vague and typical of several other common health concerns. Levels of vitamin B12 can be checked with a complete health history and blood panel. Anemia may be an end result of a deficiency in this vitamin. Treatment for B12 deficiency is typically B12 shots that can be administered by a health care professional, or in some cases, self-injected.
- Fatigue. Excess tiredness is a common complaint to health care practitioners. It can be a result of many different problems and needs careful evaluation to determine what is at the root. B12 deficiency is frequently a cause of fatigue and checking levels should be part of the assessment process.
- Weakness. Along with fatigue, weakness may present or overlap other symptoms of B12 deficiency. Weakness of the muscles and inability to sustain activity for long periods of time are common.
- Pale skin tone. Pale skin may indicate low red blood cell counts. This is an important criteria for anemia in conjunction with other symptoms listed.
- Digestive complaints. Nausea, lack of appetite, diarrhea and constipation may all be part of the B12 deficiency complex. Again, because these are common complaints, it is important to consider the patient's entire health history and complaint list.
- More serious issues. Left untreated, B12 deficiency may lead to symptoms of tingling in the extremities, imbalance, depression and cognitive decline.
Because so many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency overlap with other health conditions, it is important to present a complete symptoms list to a qualified health care practitioner for a thorough evaluation.