The nutrients used to grow, maintain and repair our body come from the food we eat. But without enough of the right nutrients, such as in vitamin B12 deficiency, our health can be affected.
Vitamin B12 is needed to help blood form, and for the brain and nervous system to function properly. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by not eating enough of the right foods, especially meat and animal products. More often it is caused by the body not being able to absorb the B12 properly.
Your doctor will need to do blood tests to work out the cause. The symptoms of B12 deficiency include tiredness, light-headedness, rapid heart rate, easy bruising and bleeding, weight loss, bowel upset and sore tongue. If you have B12 deficiency, you may need to change your diet, or may need supplements by tablet or injection.
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Last reviewed: March 2018