The Need for Vitamin B-12
Strict vegetarians or vegans who avoid all animal products to need to rely on foods fortified with B-12, and in many cases Vitamin B-12 supplements. Having an optimal Vitamin B-12 level can help you regain your energy, increase your metabolism, regulate your immune system and support your nervous system.It is not just Vegans who may have issues with Vitamin B-12. With age, it can become harder to absorb this vitamin. It can also happen if you have had weight loss surgery or another operation that removed part of your stomach, if you drink heavily, or if you’ve taken acid-reducing medications for a long time. You may also be more likely to develop vitamin B12 deficiency if you have Atrophic gastritis, in which your stomach lining has thinned, Pernicious anemia, which makes it hard for your body to absorb vitamin B12, Conditions that affect your small intestines, such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, bacterial growth, or a parasite, Immune system disorders, such as Graves' disease or lupus.
Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency
If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to some of the following symptoms: Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness. Heart palpitations and shortness of breath, pale skin, A smooth tongue, Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas, Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking, Vision loss, Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes.
If you are concerned about your B-12 levels or are unsure it is recommended to speak with your Doctor or have your levels tested.