The Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency


A balanced diet is vital as it helps your body get all the nutrients that it needs to function properly. If you are not aware, there are vitamins that the body can’t produce. One of them is Vitamin B. It is a water-soluble vitamin responsible for maintaining cell health and provide more energy to your body every day.

B vitamins are divided into eight groups, and each of them has unique roles to keep your body healthy and strong.

  • Vitamin B1: Protects the immune system and prevents unnecessary cravings.
  • Vitamin B2: It produces red blood cells, and it’s used as an anti-aging ingredient in most beauty products. It is also responsible for preventing migraine and other health problems.
  • Vitamin B3: This specific vitamin increases good cholesterol levels and lowers bad cholesterol.
  • Vitamin B5: Produces sex hormones and helps you beat stress.
  • Vitamin B6: It improves your sleep quality and mood.
  • Vitamin B7: This vitamin is essential for hair, skin, and nail growth, and it helps with the development of babies in the womb.
  • Vitamin B9: It helps promote a healthy pregnancy and improves your memory.
  • Vitamin B12: This is a very important vitamin that helps produce oxygen. It is also the partner of protein hemoglobin and B9 in producing red blood cells.

The Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency

Since vitamin B has eight groups, we will look at the signs and symptoms based on the missing type of B vitamin in your body.

Vitamin B1 Deficiency

If your body lacks thiamin, you will experience some of the symptoms below:

  • No appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Heart problems
  • Poor reflexes
  • Numbness in your feet and hands
  • Confusion

To make sure that your body will have enough supply of thiamin, there are certain foods that you need to include in your diet. You should add whole grains, cereal, rice, and pasta. You should eat pork from time to time. If you are a vegan, you can try legumes like soybeans and black beans. Always include seeds and nuts in your diet.

Vitamin B2 Deficiency

It’s uncommon for a person to have vitamin B2 deficiency, but it’s possible. Here are some of the symptoms that you might experience if you lack Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin.

  • Sores at the corner of your mouth
  • Swollen lips
  • Hair loss
  • Red and itchy eyes
  • Skin disorders

For people with low vitamin B2, adding organ meats, oatmeal, yogurt, milk, and mushrooms would do the trick.

Vitamin B3 Deficiency

If your body lacks vitamin B3 or niacin, it may lead to pellagra. This condition can cause a few signs and symptoms that are very easy to spot:

  • Bright, red tongue
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Brown discoloration

If your body lacks vitamin B3, you should eat meat, poultry, and fish as they are high in niacin. If you’re a vegan, nuts, grains, and legumes contain a lot of vitamin B3.

Vitamin B5 Deficiency

Pantothenic acid deficiency is not common to most people unless they are severely malnourished. This type of vitamin is found in many types of food so if you’re eating well, there is a low chance of having vitamin B5 deficiency. It’s the reason why most of its symptoms are very common as well:

  • Headache
  • Lack of appetite
  • Irritability
  • Poor sleep
  • Numbness of hands and feet

If by chance, you are lacking vitamin B5 in your body, you should add a few foods to your diet. Beef liver, sunflower seeds, chicken, tuna, shiitake mushrooms, and avocados will help replenish this vitamin.

Vitamin B6 Deficiency

Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine deficiency are often linked to low vitamin B-12. Here are some of the known signs of pyridoxine deficiency.

  • Swollen tongue
  • Scaling lips
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Weak immune system
  • Cracks on your lips
  • Anemia

If you are experiencing these symptoms, add organ meats, chickpeas, tuna, poultry, salmon, and potatoes to your diet.

Vitamin B7 Deficiency

Here are some of the signs of Vitamin B7 or biotin deficiency:

  • Brittle nails
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Rash in your eyes, nose, and mouth

There are a lot of foods that contain biotin. It includes eggs, salmon, pork, beef, and organ meats. If you’re a vegan, you can try sunflower seeds as it contains a good amount of biotin.

Vitamin B9 Deficiency

Vitamin B9 is also called folate and it is present in some supplements and fortified foods as folic acid. This is a supplement usually given to pregnant women. The vegetable intake of most pregnant women is not enough for their babies so they are asked to take 400 mcg of folic acid a day along with proper intake of foods rich in folate.

If you are experiencing folate deficiency, there are a few symptoms that you might experience:

  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Sores on mouth or tongue

The folic acid supplement is a good way to increase your folate levels. But, if you want to do it through your diet, you should know the foods that you need to eat. For vegans, dark green and leafy vegetables would be a good source of vitamin B9. Beef liver, avocado, papaya, eggs, nuts, beans, and orange juice would be a great source of folate as well.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Insufficient vitamin B-12 in your body can lead to a medical condition known as megaloblastic anemia. It is a type of condition where the bone marrow produces large and abnormal red blood cells. Here are Weight loss

  • Numbness on your feet and hands.

These are some of the signs and symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Depression
  • Constipation

Vitamin B-12 usually occurs in animal products like salmon, beef, beef liver, clams, milk, and yogurt.

Final Thoughts

B Vitamins might be divided into different groups, but they all work together for better absorption of nutrients. B vitamin deficiencies are not a cause of worry because there are so many ways to make sure that your body will function properly.

You should ask a doctor before you take any supplements, especially if you’re drinking other medications.

A great way to see if you have a vitamin deficiency is a simple blood test.

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