Unless you’ve had a doctor tell you that you’re deficient in vitamin B12, you probably have no idea what the different signs and symptoms are. Even if you do know the common signs of vitamin B deficiency symptoms, there are some uncommon ones you might not realize are connected to B12. Here are three of the most overlooked symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency that you should watch for. If you notice that you have several of them or that you have one in addition to the more common symptoms, talk to your doctor.
1. You’re Tired
Most of us brush off feeling fatigued, even if it’s chronic fatigue. We put it down to being overworked, having kids to take care of, or having a lot of events. We also often say that it will get better after a certain event is over or when something happens, but there’s always something else that we find to blame being exhausted on.
There is a chance that this chronic fatigue isn’t due to work, family, or anything else that you’re actively doing. Instead, it’s due to a B12 deficiency. This can make you feel exhausted and weak even if you haven’t done anything to make you feel so tired. Chronic fatigue is often one of the vitamin B deficiency symptoms that aren’t immediately noticed or seen as something to go to the doctor over, but it is.
2. Getting Out of Breath
Do you find yourself short of breath after walking across the room? If you get labored breathing often, the issue may not have anything to do with your lungs—it could be a vitamin B12 deficiency. Your body isn’t able to make new blood cells, generate nerve cells, or keep your metabolism functioning as it should. This means your body just doesn’t have the ability to exert itself.
3. You’re Depressed
Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s actually an alteration of your mental state, and that can easily occur if your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs to function. If you’ve gone for months or years without getting the vitamin B12 your body needs, you may fall into depression without realizing what’s causing it. Since you’re also likely to be suffering from other vitamin B deficiency symptoms, you may not even notice depression. It can easily sneak up on you, especially if you find yourself already feeling down because you can’t enjoy your hobbies due to lack of breath or always feel tired.
These symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are often overlooked because of how subtle they can be. You may not notice that you’re feeling fatigued because of other things going on in your life, or you may not realize just how depressed you’ve become. None of the three are immediately linked to vitamin B12, either. In fact, you may initially suspect you have some other issue when you see your doctor. Fortunately, there are supplements to help you deal with a lack of B12 in your diet. Find out more.