- Energy. Even minor deficiencies of vitamin B-12 can cause anemia, fatigue, shortness of breath and weakness.
- The Nervous System. Deficiencies of B-12 can cause neurological changes including numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, balance problems, depression, confusion, poor memory and Alzheimer's-like symptoms. Long-term deficiencies of B-12 can result in permanent impairment of the nervous system.
- The Gastro-Intestinal System. B-12 deficiency can cause decreased appetite, constipation, diarrhea or alternating constipation/diarrhea (also called Irritable Bowel Syndrome), weight loss and abdominal pain.
- The Immune System. Vitamin B-12 is necessary for normal functioning of white blood cells. Studies show that B-12 helps regulate Natural-Killer T-cells and prevents chromosome damage.
- The Cardiovascular System. Vitamin B-12 participates in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Elevated homocysteine levels are a known independent risk factor for heart attack, stroke and thrombosis. Without adequate B-12 levels, homocysteine levels typically rise.
- Special Senses. Degenerative changes in the central nervous system caused by B-12 deficiency can also affect the optic nerve, resulting in blue-yellow color blindness.
- Other Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include sore mouth or tongue
- In Infants and Children, signs of vitamin B-12 deficiency include failure to thrive, movement disorders, delayed development, and megaloblastic anemia. (ProHealth)
Who suffers from B-12 deficiency and why?
Recent studies show that up to 78% of senior citizens are B-12 deficient. Though no specific percentage was reported for the general population as a whole, it is reported that the segment is much larger than previously thought.
78% of fibromyalgia patients, and 77% of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, suffer from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), which is a major cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency. Which came first? Are fibromyalgia patients B-12 deficient because of IBS, or is IBS a result of a cellular or neurological insult caused by a B-12 defiency?