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Vitamin B12 is needed to help blood form, and for the brain and nervous system to function properly.

Vitamin B12 is needed to help blood form, and for the brain and nervous system to function properly.
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B12 deficiencies

1-minute read

Vitamin B12 is vital for making red blood cells, cell and tissue repair and nerve health.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by not eating enough foods that contain Vitamin B12, especially meat and animal products. More often it is caused by the body not being able to absorb the Vitamin 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
  • sore tongue
  • pale skin
  • shortness of breath
  • memory loss
  • tingling in the hands or feet
  • changes in feeling the hands or feet
  • visual disturbances

If you have B12 deficiency, you may need to change your diet, or may need supplements by tablet or injection.

Follow the links below to find more information about B12 deficiency.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: August 2020


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