As we age, vitamin B12 becomes even more important — our mood, memory, nerve cells, and blood cells depend on it. A B12 deficiency can cause lightheadedness, fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion, and more.
Vitamin B12 is needed for healthy blood cells, nerve cells, and DNA.
Vitamin B12 is found naturally in meat, eggs, and dairy. If you are vegetarian/vegan, you have a high likelihood of developing a deficiency.
You can be deficient in vitamin B12 if you don’t get enough in your diet or your gut has difficulty absorbing it.
Low B12 levels can cause a type of anemia. Sometimes the blood cells become large, before a person becomes anemic.
Symptoms of anemia might include:
Feeling tired or having low energy
Feeling short of breath, especially with movement
Having less of an appetite or losing weight without trying
Feeling dizzy or like you might faint
Some people with B12 deficiency may also have mouth sores or a swollen, painful tongue.
Symptoms of nerve damage from B12 deficiency can include:
Tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation
Depression, irritability, or confusion
Changes in vision
Problems with balance