Beware! Vitamin B12 Deficiency May Cause Vision Loss!
16-04-2018 | Posted By: Chhavi | 2161 View(s)
We see the beauty of this world through our eyes. It is important to eat a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals, to keep our eyes healthy. One of the vitamins that keep our vision strong is vitamin B12. But how to know if we are getting enough vitamin B12 or not? Well, there are many signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that we probably ignore. Vitamin B12 deficiency does not only cause eye problems, but also leads to heart, memory, and skin problems. Here are some signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that goes unnoticed.
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency you Probably Ignore
1. Weakness and Fatigue
Do you feel tired all the time? You will be surprised to know that weakness is one of the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 assists in the formation of RBCs, i.e. red blood cells.
When your body does not have enough vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, you are not able to transport oxygen to your body’s cells, which makes you feel tired and weak. So, if you feel weak and tired all the time, get a health checkup done to measure levels of B12 in your body.
2. Strange Sensations
Many people with vitamin B12 deficiency report numbness and a “pins and needles” sensation. These strange pains are all a result of nerve damage, which is triggered by low oxygen levels in cells. One of the severe side effects of vitamin B12 deficiency is nerve damage. Vitamin B12 helps produce the fatty substance myelin.
This fatty substance myelin surrounds the nerves as a form of protection and insulation. When there is lack of vitamin B12 in the body, myelin is not produced appropriately, and your nervous system is not able to function properly. One common sign of this condition is the sensations of pins and needles in your hands and feet.
3. Mouth Ulcers
Many people with a severe vitamin B12 deficiency lose the papillae- little bumps on the tongues, especially around the edges. It is not uncommon for people with B12 deficiency to get glossitis. Glossitis is a term used to describe an inflamed tongue. This condition changes the colour and shape of the tongue, making it red, swollen, and painful.
This condition can also change the way you eat and speak. People with a severe B12 deficiency complain of burning and soreness, especially on the back of their tongue. Many people lose taste buds due to vitamin B12 deficiency which makes them lose weight because they cannot enjoy the food.
Additionally, some people with a B12 deficiency may even experience other oral symptoms, such as a burning sensation in the mouth, mouth ulcers, and itching sensation in the mouth.
4. Blurry Vision
One of the major symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is a disturbed or blurred vision. Vision problems occur when the B12 deficiency is not treated for a long time, and it results in nervous system damage to an optic nerve that leads to the eyes.
The damage can easily disrupt the nervous signal that travels from the eyes to the brain, impairing your vision. This condition is termed as optic neuropathy. In extreme cases, lack of vitamin B12 can also cause vision loss.
One of the leading symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency is mood swings. Lack of B12 affects your mood, causing depression and anxiety. In extreme cases, low levels of B12 can also cause dementia. According to a theory, high levels of homocysteine caused by lack of B12 can cause damage to your brain tissue and interfere with signals to and from your brain, causing mood changes.
Medical doctors still do not know the exact reason why lack of vitamin B12 increases your risk for depression. Medical experts claim that this has something to do with the fact that vitamin B12 is involved in the synthesis of the brain chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin, that help in regulating mood. Low levels of vitamin B12 can alter the levels of dopamine and serotonin, which can cause mood swings.
6. Pale Skin
If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, there is a high chance that you will have a slight yellow tinge to your skin and whites of the eyes. Most people with a B12 deficiency have pale skin. Lack of vitamin B12 causes problems with the production of red blood cells. Vitamin helps in the DNA production needed to make RBCs, i.e. red blood cells.
Without vitamin B12, the instructions for building the cells are incomplete, and cells are not able to divide. This causes a type of anaemia, in which the red blood cells produced in bone marrow are large and fragile. These RBCs are too large to pass out of your bone marrow and into your circulation. The fragility of these cells leads to release of bilirubin pigment that gives skin a yellow hue.
You must eat foods rich in vitamin B12 to stay healthy and fit. Some of the foods high in vitamin B12 are eggs, milk, cheese, soy, and meat. Do not shy away from consulting a doctor if you experience any symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.