Vitamin B12 is used by the body to make red blood cells, according to the NHS. It’s also used to produce DNA, and to keep the nervous system healthy, it said. You could have a vitamin B12 deficiency if you’re constantly having headaches, lose your appetite, or if you’re always feeling tired. But, one of the most common warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency is a persistent feeling of weakness, it’s been revealed.
An overall feeling of lethargy or weakness could be an early warning sign of the condition, revealed medical website WebMD.
Some patients may also develop lightheadedness, or even a loss of appetite, it warned.
Other common symptoms include heart palpitations, and having a numbness or tingling sensation across the entire body.
“Do you get enough vitamin B12? You’ll want to make sure that you do, in order to stay healthy,” it said.
“If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anaemic. A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms.
“But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as weakness, tiredness, heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
“Since your body doesn’t make vitamin B12, you have to get it from animal-based foods or from supplements.
“And you should do that on a regular basis, because your body doesn’t store vitamin B12 for a long time.”
You could also be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you notice small white spots developing on your skin, according to charity Patient Thyroid Advocacy.
They’re most likely to be found on the forearm, and could be caused by an absence of melatonin in the area.
Left untreated, these spots can become very dry and flaky, and they could even expose raw patches of skin.
You could lower the chances of the condition by eating more vitamin B12-rich foods.
The best sources of the vitamin include beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, or salmon. Alternatively, you could try taking vitamin B12 supplements.
All adults need around 2.4mcg of vitamin B12 every day, said WebMD.
A vitamin B12 deficiency could be caused by pernicious anaemia – a condition that’s caused by the body’s immune system attacking healthy stomach cells.
Diagnosing the condition early is crucial, as it can lead to heart conditions and temporary infertility on rare occasions.