Vitamin B 12 deficiency

Vitamin B 12 deficiency make the red blood cell enlarged.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency has many effects on human body. Vitamin B 12 is needed for making of DNA and red blood cells . Vitamin B 12 support our nervous system. In case of deficiency of vitamin B 12,  healthy red blood cells will not be produced. These  red blood cells deliver oxygen to our organs in our body. Vitamin B 12 also play an important role to support brain and nerves to work properly. Vitamin B 12 deficiency  will develop nerve condition problems or nerve damage. Another important role  that vitamin B 12 plays  is that it produce  a substance known as ” Myelin ” Myelin provide a shield around nerves  and help them to transmit sensations . In the absence of myelin, nerves can be  damaged easily. These problems are more common in the nerves of hands and feet. These nerves are called Peripheral  nerves. Damaged peripheral nerves  are cause of tingling in hands and feet. You would definitely like to read our article ” Metformin-Side effects ” for further information.


  • Cause of vitamin B 12 deficiency.
  • Symptoms of vitamin B 12 deficiency.
  • Treatment.


Cause of Vitamin B 12 deficiency.

According to the latest International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the global prevalence of Type 2, diabetes  in adults was 536.6 million people (10.5%) in 2021, and that there would be 783.2 million people (12.2%) living with diabetes worldwide by 2045.  Almost every patient of diabetes type 2 start the medication with a medicine called “Metformin “.  This medicine has some side effects. Its normal side effects are common and treatable. Metformin has a  serious side effect . It reduce Vitamin B 12  levels in human body.  The  less quantity  of vitamin B 12 can lead to nerve, brain damage and anemia. A common patient may not know about this side effect of metformin  . We have chosen this topic  for the knowledge of patients of diabetes type 2..

Beside that there are  some other factors which can lead to vitamin B 12 shortage.. They are:

  • Digestive conditions. ,,,,, Such as ulcerative colitis.
  • Genetic conditions. ,,,,,,, Such as inherited intrinsic factor deficiency and inherited transcobalamin deficiency.
  • Autoimmune conditions.  ,,,,,, such as diabetes type 1 and Celiac  disease.
  • Pernicious anemia.
  • Chronic pancreatic disease.
  • Vitiligo.
  • Some other factor can lead to  reduce the  vitamin B 12  levels. Such factors  are consuming excessive amount of alcohol  and use of certain drugs. Heartburn medicines are one of them.
  • Old persons can not absorb vitamin B 12 as they should.
  • Anti-acid medication are taken for extended time.
  • Eating vegetarian  diet .
  • Stomach surgery and weight loss surgery which effect how the digestive system absorb vitamin B 12.

Symptoms of vitamin B 12 deficiency:

Like other diseases, It   has also some symptoms. Check these symptom if you have vitamin B 12 deficiency !

  • Tingling  hands and feet.
  • Pale skin.
  • Fatigue.
  • Trouble walking.
  • Short breath.
  • Fast heart beat.
  • Mouth pain.
  • Mental health.
  • Appetite problems, and  weight loss.
  • Vomiting, Nausea and Diarrhea.
  • Thinking problems.

Now we will discuss above items one by one.

Tingling hands and feet.

Vitamin B 12 deficiency is the  cause of above symptom, called “pins and needles “. The victim feels as if pin or needle is  inserted in hands or feet. This feeling occurs at once and go away very soon. It happen when , due to vitamin B 12 deficiency, the protective layer of myelin do not shield the  nerves and nerves are damaged.  The nerves in hands and feet are called  “Peripheral Nerves ” ( The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord. These nerves form the communication network between the CNS and the body parts. The peripheral nervous system is further subdivided into the somatic nervous system and the autonomic nervous system ).Damaged peripheral nerves will cause tingling in hands and feet.

Pale skin.

Vitamin B 12 plays an important role in production of red blood cells. These red blood cells give a tone to our skin. The  deficiency of vitamin B 12 in the body will cause lack of red blood cells . This condition is called  “Megaloblastic anemia “. It has an association with Jaundice. This type of anemia will weaken red blood cells . and  our body breaks such red blood cells more quickly. When  our liver breaks down these weaken red blood cells,  ” Bilirubin ” is released. Bilirubin is a brownish substance which give our skin a yellowish tone. This is known as Jaundice.


Vitamin B 12 shortage lead to weaken red blood cells . Red blood cells become large in size. They die earlier than 120 days , their expected life.    In the absence of enough red blood cells,   our body do not receive enough  oxygen and we feel  extremely tired.

Trouble walking,

If the shortage of  vitamin B 12  is not treated for some time, it is quite possible that peripheral nerves damage will make it quite difficult for a person  to walk/move around. Feet numbness and limbs make a person hard to walk without a support. Body muscles become weak . Muscle cramps can occur.

Short breath.

Having  low quantity of vitamin B 12 causes  Anemia. This anemia will make a person to feel difficulty in breathing ( Short breath ). Such condition points  to a lack of red blood cells.

Fast heart beat.

The lack of red blood cells leads to less supply of oxygen.  In such condition, our  heart bests fast to make sure that our body organ receive enough oxygen. This is a natural way of supplying oxygen to all body organs.

Mouth pain.

When due to lack of red blood cells, less oxygen is reaching our tongue, the following mouth problems appear :

  • A burning sensation in the mouth.
  • Bad taste in the mouth.
  • Swollen , smooth and red tongue.

Mental health.

A 2020 review noted a link between depression and low levels of vitamin B 12 . According to the above review, , the low levels of vitamin B 12 is increasing the risk of developing depression. Low levels of vitamin  B 12 affects a person’s mood and can cause the mental  health problems.

Appetite problems.

Less vitamin B 12 in our body will lead to lose appetite, which will result to weight loss.

Vomiting, Nausea and  Diarrhea.

Digestive tract will be affected by low levels of  vitamin B 12 . Due to lack of red blood cells,  the gut  ( It is a group of organs which includes oesophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum) will not  receive sufficient  oxygen. It will cause diarrhea. The person will have feelings of being sick.

Thinking problems.

A person having  low levels of  vitamin B 12  feels difficulty to explain what he think. This condition is called ” ” Cognitive Impairment ” . ( Cognitive impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe ). This health condition is the result of  low levels of vitamin B 12. Researchers have found  a link between low levels of vitamin B 12 and some diseases . They believe that Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and Parkinson’s disease  have a link to vitamin B 12 shortage.


Vitamin B 12 is not found in our daily diet. We have to get it from other sources. These sources include:

  • Animal meat, specially liver and kidney.
  • Beef.
  • Fish, Sardine, Tuna and Trout.
  • Eggs.
  • Fortified Cereal.
  • Fortified yeast.
  • Fortified nondairy milk.
  • Vitamin B12 supplements.

It is better to consult  a doctor . A doctor can advise better what to take or eat to get vitamin B 12.

In case you have trouble in absorbing vitamin B 12, your doctor can advise you  to take injection of vitamin B 12.

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Last words:

I always pray to All-Mighty Allah to bless every person in the world  with success and good health.




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