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Doctor reveals seven serious health risks of vitamin B12 deficiency that may be irreversible

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Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps maintain the health of your body’s blood and nerve cells and helps make DNA. Naturally, the vitamin’s impact is underestimated if sufficient amounts are consumed.

Low B12 levels, on the other hand, can trigger a number of disorders, some of which may be irreversible.

“B12 deficiency leads to anaemia and along with this come the symptoms of fatigue, pale skin, breathlessness, palpitations and feeling faint,” said Dr Rachel Ward of the Woodlands Medical Centre to Express.co.uk.

According to Dr Ward, these symptoms will normally improve after the B12 deficiency is corrected and the anaemia is eliminated.

Anaemia is a shortage of red blood cells, either in quantity or quality, in your body.

According to doctor Ward, “the same applies to glossitis – painful, swelling and inflammation of the tongue”.

However, she warned, persistent B12 symptoms might arise when the nerve system is significantly compromised.

The nervous system is the network of connections between the brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

According to doctor Ward, when the nervous system is harmed by B12 deficiency, it might result in unsteadiness, balance problems, numbness, and gradual weakness.

“Mentally the effects include confusion, memory issues, depression, irritability and in severe cases, psychosis.”

As she stated, the impacts on the nervous system are significantly more difficult to manage.

“In cases of severe and prolonged B12 deficiency, the symptoms may not fully resolve which represents permanent brain and nerve damage.”

Given the risks, it is necessary to consult your physician if you notice any of the warning symptoms of B12 deficiency.

What causes B12 deficiency?

Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition whereby your immune system attacks the cells in your stomach that produce the intrinsic factor, a protein your body uses to absorb vitamin B12.

Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet.

While a diet rich in meat, fish, and dairy products provides adequate vitamin B12, those who do not consume these things on a regular basis may become deficient.

Individuals who follow a vegan diet and do not take vitamin B12 supplements or consume vitamin B12-fortified foods are also at risk.

Image Credit: Getty

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