Your body doesn’t make vitamin B12, but it requires it to perform crucial functions, such as making DNA, performing neurological functions, and generating red blood cells. You get it through animal foods, such as eggs, dairy, seafood, poultry, and beef. If you’re like most average adults, you need 2.4 micrograms daily, an estimated 26% of the population is deficient in this essential vitamin. If your B12 levels are low, it’s probable that you aren’t getting enough through your diet or your body has trouble absorbing it.
At Starkey Medical Esthetics in Salem, Virginia, our family nurse practitioner, Michele Meinhart, FNP, understands the problems that can develop if you are chronically low in B12 and offers injections to help you boost your levels and overcome problems that develop when you have a deficiency. She outlines some of the warning signs that may mean you could benefit from B12 injections.
Sign # 1: Nerve problems
Tingling and numbness in your feet and hands are indicative of nerve problems that stem from a deficiency of B12. A breakdown in nerve conduction causes you to feel like your fingers, toes, hands, and feet are pressing into pins or needles.
Sign # 2: Heart palpitations
A rapid or irregular heartbeat may mean you’re anemic, which is closely linked to low levels of B12. Your heart may feel like it’s fluttering and pounding several times an hour or day and can come and go over the course of several weeks or months.
Sign # 3: Infertility
A temporary inability to conceive is related to chronic B12 deficiency. Fortunately, this can be reversed with careful B12 treatments.
Sign # 4: Loss of vision
Neurological concerns such as vision disturbances are common with B12 deficiency. You may also suffer from memory loss and difficulty conversing.
Sign # 5: Swollen tongue
B12 deficiency can cause your tongue to swell, inflame, appear smooth, and become very red in color.
How do you know if you have a B12 deficiency?
You may be at an elevated risk for a B12 deficiency if you follow a vegan diet, if you’ve had weight loss surgery, have diabetes, HIV, or Crohn’s disease, or if you have a family history of the problem.
We’ll test your B12 so you know where you stand and develop a plan for routine injections to boost your levels. Call our Salem, Virginia, office to learn more, or book an appointment online at your convenience.