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Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Fix It

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6. Cognitive Decline

cognitive decline

Low vitamin B12 levels may be the reason behind poor memory and cognitive decline.

Vitamin B12 allows brain cells to form new connections, a process that allows memory formation.


Plus, it is a vital component of myelin, the coating that protects many brain cells. This is why its deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage and deteriorating brain functioning.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology suggests that cobalamin deficiency may cause a reversible dementia in elderly patients.

This type of dementia is different than Alzheimer’s disease, hence it needs to be differentiated by a thorough neuropsychological evaluation.

Another 2011 study published in Neurology reports that people with low blood levels of vitamin B12 markers may be more likely to have lower brain volumes and have problems with thinking skills.


7. Hypothyroidism

thyroid problem

Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism.

The thyroid gland needs a variety of nutrients to produce hormones that regulate many of the body’s functions. Vitamin B12 is one of those nutrients.

A 2008 study published in the Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association reports that vitamin B12 deficiency is common in primary hypothyroidism. Supplementation leads to improvement in symptoms.

The study emphasized screening for vitamin B12 levels in all hypothyroid patients, irrespective of their thyroid antibody status.

8. Infertility


Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect both male and female fertility.

A 2001 study published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine reports that vitamin B12 deficiency is linked to infertility and recurrent miscarriages.


The study explains that hypercoagulability due to raised homocysteine levels may lead to fetal loss during the initial stage of vitamin B12 deficiency.

More prolonged deficiency may cause changes in ovulation or development of the ovum, or changes leading to defective implantation and ultimately infertility.

This vitamin deficiency not only makes it difficult to conceive, it can even make it hard to carry the baby to full term.

If you wish to conceive, opt for a B12 test to improve your chance of getting pregnant naturally.

Tips to Fix Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you think you have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you can ask your doctor for a blood test. To correct a deficiency, you can:

  • Eat foods high in vitamin B12, such as fish, shellfish, meat (especially liver), eggs, milk and milk products.
  • Those who do not eat animal-based products can try foods fortified with B12, such as breakfast cereals, soy products, energy bars and nutritional yeast. As the risk for a B12 deficiency is much higher if you eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, get a B12 test on a regular basis.
  • Those who take medications for diabetes or acid reflux must also opt for a B12 test, as some of these medications can interfere with healthy B12 levels.
  • You can opt to take supplements in pill or injection forms. Be sure to consult your doctor, as supplements can affect the effectiveness of certain medications.


Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Fix It was last modified: May 24th, 2016 by Top10HomeRemedies
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13 thoughts on “Signs of Vitamin B12 Deficiency and How to Fix It”

  1. I am vegetarian and am anaemic, I have heavy periods, suffer from anxiety and depression, and am on meds for under active thyroid, I am ALWAYS worn out! Maybe this is due to my low iron and/or b 12 deficiency. Can I take this with ferrous fumerate and other regular meds I am taking? I am 42,also asthmatic! thanks.

    1. My goodness Emmaline. Yu must a twin. I have exactly all the symptoms you do, u der active thyroid, on mess for depression and am vegetarian and on iron deficient and am 47 looking after 2 boys under 8 and working full time I am always tired and 8 hrs just don’t seem to be enough.

      Have you been diagnosed to have low B12. What did your doctor say. Thank you

  2. Ever considered wheatgrass? Great source of b vitamins amongst many other beneficial vits and minerals. Good book is the wheatgrass book by Ann Wigmore. Best drunk fresh far better than powdered variety. Easily grown from seed but takes commitment to have constant supply, although daily attention is required it is literally just a couple of minutes a day to grow your own endless supply. Seeds can be bought cheaply in bulk via eBay but shop wisely as prices vary pretty radically. I would definitely recommend it I can’t say i suffer with all your symptoms but I juice it then take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and within minutes I feel it’s effects and feel energised. Maybe worth reading up on? Green smoothies are another great way to consume a large number of vits and minerals in one go. I go through nearly a 1.5 kg of kale and spinach a week by adding them to smoothies which when you look at a kg of spinach would be otherwise a pretty gruelling challenge. I have suffered chronic depression at several points in my life and along with other lifestyle choices including regular exercise, which I know when you are feeling constantly worn out seems impossible but believe me it can help certainly in lifting your mood and once you start you might find it actually energising. I am neither vegetarian, suffer heavy periods or take meds for thyroid but i have now been 7 years without meds for depression and have found exercise and diet play a huge part in feeling good about life. It doesn’t happen overnight and there is no magic pill in my opinion, but believe in yourself and that you have a right to be happy, don’t punish yourself for feeling low and always remember that you have the right to be you. We are all broken in one way or another and remember it’s the cracks that let the light in. Good luck in looking after yourself.

  3. If intrinsic factor is diminished one cannot absorb B-12 from either food or tablets. Therefore it should be taken in sublingual form. Shots don’t provide a steady level of energy.

  4. absolutely correct sign & symptoms of B12 deficiency but the most dangerous & affecting life is CNS , brain functions affected by B12 deficiency , depression , confusion , loss of concentration due to low oxygen supply to neurons , inability to perform higher intellectual functions e.g learning & aqpplication of learned knowledge due to decreased oxygen supply to neurons , brain cells <

  5. My stomach has stopped aborbing B12, and I have to give myself shots,,,,I actually had less than 1% on my blood test,,,,,and it took weeks of shots, gradually spreading the number of days they were in between, before I got to once a week. I would literally fall asleep talking to people at work. Already had depression, and thryroid because of nodules,,,,,this just added to it all. The funny thing was when asked what my diet was, I should have had more than enough natural B12,,,,,and I didn’t, and the dissolving pills didn’t raise it either. So now I am in the position of having to give shots. Maybe if the Dr had found this sooner I would have been able to help it in another way.

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