4 Warning Signs You’re Really Low on B Vitamins
B Vitamins are the construction workers of your body. They build a lot of the cells you depend on: healthy eye tissue, heart muscles, red blood cells, brain cells and nerves. How can you tell if you’re running low on these workhorses? Here are four warning signs you need more Bs in your life:
1. You Feel Exhausted All the Time
One of the most common symptoms of a B vitamin deficiency is fatigue, or exhaustion. This is usually caused by anemia, or low levels of red blood cells. Are you feeling tired for no good reason? Is it hard to push yourself to get out of bed in the morning or get any work done? This may be your body telling you you’re running low on vitamins B12, B9 or B6.
Constant fatigue is different from feeling a little sleepy because you haven’t gotten enough sleep for a few nights. When you have a vitamin B deficiency, you feel tired all day, every day. Your arms start to feel heavy and your fingers may even tingle because of weakness.
2. You Can’t Concentrate and You Forget a Lot of Things
B vitamins play an important role in mental focus, memory and overall brain health, especially vitamin B12. People who don’t get enough vitamin B12 feel like they’re stuck in a frustrating brain fog. They have great ideas that seem just on the tip of the tongue, but it takes a lot of effort to remember.
Do you have to walk into a room several times before you remember what you wanted? Does getting work done take twice as long as before because you struggle to concentrate? These are signs that your brain needs some tender, loving care: more vitamin B12.
3. You Get Irritable or Depressed Easily
Sometimes, mood changes are caused by stress or physical exhaustion. Not all irritability or depression are related to low B vitamins. If you notice a big change from how you normally feel, however, there’s a good chance your body is really asking for more vitamins B6, B9 and B12.
These vitamins have a major impact on your mood. Ordinarily, they help you stay calm and cool. When you have a deficiency, it makes you feel extra sensitive, sad, nervous or angry. Normally, most people get enough of these B vitamins from food, but really stressful circumstances (like a virus pandemic) can cause the body to run out.
4. You’re Always Out of Breath or Dizzy
Another sign you may be low in vitamins B12 or B9 is that you feel light-headed or have trouble breathing. This is related to anemia. Without enough B12, your body can’t produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen. Your heart and lungs work much harder, and you can end up having dizzy spells.
How To Prevent Vitamin B Deficiency
If you’re feeling exhausted, irritable, depressed or forgetful, add more B vitamins to your diet. These are the best foods for them:
- Lean meats
- Low-fat milk and cheese
- Kidney beans
- Dark green leafy veggies
All in all, you need to get eight different B vitamins every day. In the case of older adults, or people who are sensitive to gluten, taking a supplement with B vitamins and green superfoods is a great way to prevent deficiencies.