Vitamin B12 is required by the body to make red blood cells, according to the NHS. Red blood cells are used to deliver oxygen to various parts of the body, but the vitamin could also help to produce DNA. Common vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include developing sudden aches or pains, and even feeling tired all of the time. But you could also be at risk of the condition if your have a very fast heart rate, it’s been revealed.
A particularly quick heartbeat could be an early warning sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency, according to medical website Medical News Today.
That’s because the heart starts to beat faster to make up for the lower amount of red blood cells in the body.
The quick heart rate is the body’s way of making sure enough oxygen is delivered around the body.
Anything over 100 beats per minute at rest is generally considered to be a high heart rate, it added.
“Many of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency arise because it causes a lack of healthy blood cells,” said the medical website.
“The body needs plenty of these cells to get oxygen around the body and keep the organs in good health.
“A fast heart rate may be a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency. The heart may start to beat faster to make up for the reduced number of red blood cells in the body.
“Anaemia puts pressure on the heart to push a higher volume of blood around the body and to do it more quickly.
“This response is the body’s way of trying to ensure that enough oxygen circulates through all of the body’s systems and reaches all the organs.”
A fast heart rate, which is also known as tachycardia, could be very dangerous, and may be caused by congenital abnormalities in the heart, or high blood pressure.
Left untreated, it could also develop into some deadly complications, include heart failure, fainting, and even sudden death.
Other, more common warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include tiredness, jaundice, and feeling dizzy.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
But you can top up on the vitamin by eating certain foods. The best sources of vitamin B12 include beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, and salmon.
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.