Important: These are the warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency!

vitamin b12

It can have so many consequences for your physical and mental health!

Are you feeling a little low on energy lately? You might not immediately think of a vitamin deficiency. But an untreated vitamin deficiency, like vitamin B12, can have a lot of consequences for your health!

Vitamin B12 is essential for your nerve system’s health, your immune system and the formation of your DNA.

Vitamin B12
Normally, your body has enough B12 to last you three to ten years. But if this stockpile of B12 gets exhausted, the B12 level in your blood will go down and you’ll develop a deficiency. Since this deficiency doesn’t arise all of a sudden, you won’t be able to fix it in one day either. It’s difficult to diagnose a vitamin B12 deficiency; the vague symptoms often correspond to other conditions as well. But what exactly do these symptoms consist of anyway?

Because vitamin B12 is essential on a couple of different levels, the symptoms can vary a lot per patient. The symptoms can be roughly divided into three categories: neurological, psychological, and ‘other symptoms’.


  • Tingling feeling, numbness, burning feeling in arms, legs, hands or feet, nerve pain
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Aphasia: not being able to think of the right words; using the wrong words
  • Ataxia: falling down for no reason, walking into things, having trouble walking, overturning objects
  • Reduced pain perception, fine motor skills, and sense of smell and taste


  • Depression, nervousness, irritability, mood swings, changes in behaviour, apathy
  • Dementia, confusion
  • Psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations

Other symptoms

  • Muscle pain and weakness
  • A sore and red tongue
  • Fatigue, lethargy, feeling faint
  • Feeling nauseated, loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Problems with menstruation: absence of menstruation, heavy menstruation, menstruation lasting too long, increased pain
  • Joint problems
  • Breathlessness, heart palpitations
  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Pale skin
  • Feeling cold
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Hair loss
  • Disturbed vision
  • Digestion problems
  • Incontinence or having to pee often
  • Headaches
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Muscle twitching and cramps
  • Tinnitus

Do you recognize a lot of these problems? Call your GP to ask for a blood test!

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Source: Stichting B12-tekort | Image: Kelly Brogan MD