9 Ways to Know You Need More B12

9 Ways to Know You Need More B12

Are you one of the estimated 47 million Americans who need more vitamin B12? If so – you may not even realize it. 

Your body doesn’t produce vitamin B12 on its own – you have to get it through your diet or vitamin supplements. This is why so many people are lacking sufficient levels of the vitamin.

If you suffer from occassional nerve discomfort or loss of feeling – knowing you are B12 deficient and taking steps to get your levels up to normal is critical.


As it happens, vitamin B12 is perhaps the most important vitamin for your nerves. It helps boost and protect your nerves by repairing your myelin sheath – a thin layer that protects your nerves and helps them send signals. 

If you go too long without getting sufficient vitamin B12, it can be devastating for your nerves – eventually leading to more discomfort.

So, how can you tell if you are deficient in vitamin B12? You need to know what signs to look for. Here are 9 of the most recognizable signs that you may be vitamin B12 deficient:


#1 | You feel weak, tired or lightheaded

In most cases the first sign you’ll notice fatigue. Your body may feel weaker than normal, you’ll lack energy and perhaps feel like you’re dragging. You may also experience lightheadedness. Since B12 is a key player in helping the body convert food into fuel for energizing your body, a sure way of recognizing a potential deficiency is when you begin to feel constantly drained or tired.


#2 | You constantly feel winded or short of breath

Do you find yourself short of breath after even the most simple of physical tasks? If so, this could be a sign that you’re not getting enough vitamin B12. If your breathing feels labored, talk to your doctor about getting a blood test to check your B12 levels.


#3 | Your skin is pale

Does your skin look paler than normal? It might not be just a lack of sunlight – it could be a sign of B12 deficiency. B12 is needed to make red blood cells. If there is a consistent lack of B12 in your system, you may develop anemia as a result of there not being enough red blood cells in your blood.


#4 | Your tongue is sore, smooth and/or beefy red

B12 deficiency can also cause problems in your mouth. If your tongue is sore, smooth or beefy red in color – it may be a sign that you’re B12 deficient.


#5 | Your hands and feet are numb or tingly

Are you experiencing occassional tingling sensations in your hands or feet? Or perhaps they sporadically go numb? These could be signs of a B12 deficiency. As mentioned earlier, a lack of B12 inhibits your body’s ability to build and repair the protective coating around your nerves – leaving them more vulnerable.


#6 | You have difficulty walking, gripping small objects (i.e. door handles), etc.

Another aspect of unhealthy nerves related to B12 deficiency is muscle weakness or loss of muscle control. If any of your motor nerves are affected as a result of a B12 deficiency, you may have difficulty walking, gripping things with your hands, etc.


#7 | You feel depressed or have changed in behavior

B12 also plays a key role in the synthesis of the brain chemicals that regulate your mood. So, if you’ve noticed a change in mood or you’re experiencing an increase in anxiety or depression – it could be a sign of B12 deficiency.


#8 | You have difficulty remembering things

Low levels of B12 can also affect your memory. If you’re having more difficulty remembering things or thinking clearly, it may be a sign of B12 deficiency.


#9 | Your eyes are playing tricks on you

While not as common as the other signs I’ve mentioned, eye problems can also be a sign of B12 deficiency. It’s possible that the optic nerve can become affected as a result of low B12 levels. Some signs to watch for include light sensitivity, blurred vision, double vision and vision loss.


I hope this was helpful to you! Take care now.

Dr. Don Kennedy

Chief Medical Advisor, Nerve Renew

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