Vitamin b12 deficiency is on the rise now as per studies. Wondering why is it so important? This nutrient is a powerhouse as it helps in making DNA, keeps nerve and blood cells healthy, and delivers fresh oxygen to organs. When your body lacks sufficient oxygen, you feel wiped out even if you have slept for hours.

So who is at risk? there are two groups of people who are more prone to this deficiency. 

1. Vegetarian; a natural source of B12 includes meat, fish, eggs, and dairy which vegans don’t consume so they have a vitamin deficiency.

2. People with gut problems; if one suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, or celiac disease, then the body's ability to absorb the nutrient decreases leading to a deficiency. 

B12 deficiency can undiagnosed for months or years. A blood test can be done to find out. But first, you need to know the symptoms.

Here are some points mentioned below to help you identify a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Your tongue becomes shiny and smooth:

Most people with b12 deficiency lose papillae, the tiny, taste bud-containing bumps on the tongue. As a result, your tongue feels sore, and your tasting sense may wilt, making even spicy food seem bland.

You start feeling prickles:

Lack of B12 can deteriorate nerve cells, leading to a pin-and-needle sensation in your hands and feet. If you ignore it, then the tingly feeling can become permanent.

You face trouble in remembering:

Nerve damage in your brain can leave you confused and forgetful. If you frequently forget the name of your favorite restaurant or misplace your keys more often than usual, then take it seriously and get your blood tested. If left untreated the condition can become irreversible.

You can’t keep your balance:

B12 deficiency can wither the nerve in the spinal cord, leaving you dizzy and wobbly. If you stumble regularly then it isn’t normal. Report this to your doctor if the instance keeps happening.

You stressed out all the time:

A lack of B12 can lead to depression or anxiety. It affects the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. If you feel low and there is no obvious stressor that’s tanking your mood, then you must talk to your doctor.

If you are pregnant keep this in mind:

Large doses of folic acid prevent neural tube defects in babies which can mask a b12 deficiency. This means that if you’re taking folic acid, your doctor might miss the signs of low b12 until serious neurological symptoms like difficulty in walking or memory issues pop up. So if you’re expecting ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels along with other blood tests.

Now how to boost your vitamin b12 levels?

Eat foods that are rich in vitamin b12. Consume eggs, meat, non –fat milk, fatty fish, and soya milk to delete the deficit symptoms. 

If you are a vegetarian, then take B12 supplements. But its always better to consult a doctor before you start.·

If you face stomach issues then absorbing nutrients becomes tough for you, then you need medication according to the cause.