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Three red flag signs at the dinner table you could be deficient in key vitamin

Our bodies rely on a number of vitamins and minerals to ensure they can function to the best of their ability. While most of what we need we should be able to get through eating a healthy, balanced diet, this isn’t always the case.

If someone isn’t able to eat enough of the right foods or their body doesn’t properly absorb these nutrients it can lead to deficiencies.

Over time these deficiencies can result in several frustrating and sometimes painful or even debilitating symptoms.

Therefore, it is key to look out for any warning signs of a deficiency.

Becoming low on vitamin B12 is one such deficiency that can be dangerous if ignored.

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient found in many animal products such as meat, cheese and eggs.

It is needed by the human body to help create healthy red blood cells.

Without functioning red blood cells it is not possible for oxygen to be carried around the body. This can cause a whole range of health problems.

Luckily, a B12 deficiency is usually easily treatable. But until you spot the symptoms and seek help they can make everyday life extremely difficult and in severe cases it has been linked to heart failure, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer.

According to the NHS, three signs of a B12 deficiency can become apparent at the dinner table.

These are:

  • A loss of appetite
  • A sore tongue or mouth ulcers
  • Indigestion.

WebMD adds that these mouth ulcers can appear on the gums or tongue.

If you spot any signs of a B12 deficiency the NHS states you should see your GP.

They might request you undergo a blood test to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a deficiency.

The health body warns: “Although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible if left untreated.

“The longer the condition goes untreated, the higher the chance of permanent damage.”

Other potential symptoms of a B12 deficiency include:

  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Palpitations
  • Problems with your vision
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Diarrhoea
  • Problems with memory, understanding and judgement (cognitive changes).

A B12 deficiency can also go on to cause problems with your brain and nervous system, leading to:

  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Psychological problems, which can range from mild depression or anxiety, to confusion and dementia
  • Problems with balance and coordination
  • Pins and needles
  • Incontinence.

Foods rich in B12 include meat, fish, cheese, eggs, milk, yeast extract (like Marmite) and some fortified foods.

If dietary changes or daily supplements are not enough to get your levels high enough your doctor may prescribe B12 injections.


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