Vitamin B Deficiency--Signs and Symptoms
Malabsorption of B vitamins is common in those with gluten
sensitivity and celiac disease. You may find vitamin b
deficiency symptoms in cracked lips, headaches, flaky skin,
indigestion, low energy, low stamina, nervousness, weakness,
panic attacks, weak muscles, and tired eyes.
While it is hard to imagine that people living in the abundance
of the United States or other western countries could have third
world diseases like pellagra, beriberi, rickets or scurvy, it is
actually not uncommon among those with gluten intolerance and
celiac disease. The problem is not availability of food, it is
malabsorption of food.
The B vitamins are a complex of organic compounds that act
as co-enzymes. That is, they assist enzymes in performing their
functions. These are essential vitamins that need to be
consumed and absorbed daily. Because they are water soluble,
the body will excrete any excess of most of them through the
If you aren't digesting well, then it is a good idea to take a
complete multivitamin that contains the entire B complex every
day. Rather than a tablet, use a vitamin in the form of a
capsule or gelcap as it is much easier to digest. Liquid
vitamins are also available. Make sure that they are gluten
free. I take the
gluten free vitamins
on this page, myself.
Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency
B1-Thiamine. Serious Thiamine deficiency will result in
beriberi, a nervous system disease that causes severe fatigue,
emotional disturbances, nervousness,irritablility, swelling of
body tissues (edema), confusion, poor coordination,and weak
B2-Riboflavin. Deficiency results in blurred vision,
cracks at corners of mouth, cracked lips, depression, hair
loss, seborrheic dermatitis, inflamed tongue, and light
B3-Niacin. A lack of niacin causes pellagra.(if also
tryptophan deficient). Pellagra causes redness and swelling of
the mouth and tongue, a skin rash, which over time will cause
skin to thicken and slough off, diarrhea, memory loss, and
hallucinations. A less serious deficiency will result in
canker sores, bad breath, confusion, memory impairment,
diarrhea, skin rash, and emotional instability.
B5-Pantothenic Acid. A deficiency of pantothenic acid can
result in acne, numbness, burning feet, abdominal pains, hair
loss, eczema, low blood pressure, muscle spasms, insomnia and
B6-Pyroxidine. Lack of pyroxidine can lead to anemia,
high blood pressure, eye inflammation, depression, water
retention, dermatitis, mouth lesions, hair loss.
B7-Biotin. In infants, impaired growth and neurological
disorders; in adults, eye inflammation, muscle weakness, and
B9-Folic Acid. Deficiency causes macrocytic anemia,
apathy, fatigue, diarrhea, headaches, shortness of breath. In
pregnant women a deficiency can cause birth defects in the
baby like neural tube defects. (spina bifida).
B12-Cobalamin. A lack of Cobalamin causes macrocytic
anemia, peripheral neuropathy (numbness or tingling of hands
and feet), depression, constipation, elevated homocystine,
gait disturbances, memory loss, dizziness, intestinal
disturbances, sore tongue, fatigue,low stomach acid, mouth
lesions, and irritability.
DNA synthesis, fatty acid synthesis, and energy production are
affected by a lack of B12. It can also lead to demylenization of
nerves and spinal cord which may be irreversible. It may be
implicated in the development of Alzheimer's and Cancer. It can
be the cause of gait ataxia.
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