BY TITHI MAYANI
Let’s face it, high school students often aren’t the best at eating healthy. Trying to balance extracurriculars, academics, social life, and jobs often leaves us too stressed and too short on time to worry about personal health and diet. However, it may be possible that a lack of vitamins in your diet may be adding to your stress. A common vitamin deficiency that many kids our age have is Vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, helps with the development of DNA and RBCs (red blood cells). It is commonly found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. It helps with the nervous system, skin and nails, maintaining high energy levels, and the digestion process. Lacking it can cause problems with these functions in the body which can have serious effects on the body.
Many people lack Vitamin B12 without even knowing it. Here are some signs and symptoms of a Vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Fatigue and Weakness – When the body lacks the proper amount of B12 to make Red Blood Cells, your blood can get less efficiency in delivering oxygen to your body, causing you to feel tired, weak, dizzy, and out of breath.
- Pale of Jaundiced (Yellow) Skin – When the lack of Vitamin B12 causes problems with red blood cell production, the red blood cells produced in the bone marrow turn out large and fragile. Lack of blood cells causes pale skin. Fragile blood cells also break down faster, causing a build-up of a substance called bilirubin in the blood, which turns the skin yellow before the liver is able to process it and flush it out.
- Sensations of Pins and needles – Vitamin B12 is also used in the production of myelin, which is an insulatory substance that coats the axon pathways in our nerve cells. Without enough B12 to make myelin, the nervous system struggles to function properly.
- Mouth Ulcers – open ulcers and sores, as well as a sensation of pins and needles in the mouth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please don’t diagnose yourself without seeing a medical professional first. To avoid these symptoms, make sure to pay attention to your health and body as well. Eating well goes hand in hand with improved performance in extracurriculars, academics, and daily life.
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