Vitamin B12 plays a key role in maintaining the nervous system, so symptoms associated with low levels can be extensive.
B12 is essential for red blood cell formation and nerve function, making it one of the most important nutrients for health. Suboptimal levels of B12 can lead to a series of complications, including irreversible nerve damage. At this point, the condition can be life-altering, so the warning signs should never be ignored. One warning sign might include lightheadedness or dizziness when walking up or down.
Some of the neurological symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency include feeling weak, tired or disoriented.
And according to Balance Woman Health, feeling dizzy may be an indication of low levels.
The health website explains: “Recurring episodes of dizziness and lightheadedness can indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. Symptoms of chronic dizziness should be reported to your doctor, so that you can obtain the required treatment for this deficiency.”
Everyday Health explains that feeling out of balance is one of the many neurological complications associated with low B12 levels.
It can also lead to low blood pressure and reduced blood flow to the brain, according to Gregory Whitman, an ear and brain specialist at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital in Massachusetts.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is particularly prevalent among people over the age of 80, affecting nearly 10% of people in this age group.
In the elderly, deficiency usually results from malabsorption of nutrients. This is because older adults are more likely to have an imbalance with stomach acids and enzymes, such as intrinsic factor.
Individuals who are unable to absorb nutrients normally may need to receive injections at regular intervals to increase their levels.
Food sources of vitamin B12 include: fish, shellfish, red meat, eggs, poultry, milk cheese, yogurt, and fortified nutritional yeast.
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