Are you getting enough vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper functioning of your nervous system. It is naturally found in animal foods, including meats, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy. And it can be found in products fortified with B12, such as some varieties of bread and plant-based milk.

Unfortunately, B12 deficiency is quite common. You’re at risk of deficiency if you don’t get enough from your diet or aren’t able to absorb enough from the food you eat.

Those most at risk of a B12 deficiency are:

  • The elderly
  • Those who’ve had surgery that removes the part of the bowel that absorbs B12
  • People on the drug metformin for diabetes
  • People following a strict vegan diet
  • Those taking long-term antacid drugs for heartburn

But symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up, and diagnosing it can be complex. Here are 9 signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:

1. Pale or Jaundiced Skin

People with a B12 deficiency often look pale or have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and whites of the eyes, a condition known as jaundice.

2. Weakness and Fatigue

Weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

This is because your body doesn’t have enough vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout your body. So you can’t efficiently transport oxygen to your body’s cells, making you feel tired and weak.

3. Sensations of Pins and Needles

Nerve damage is one of the more serious side effects of a long-term B12 deficiency. Your nerves are surrounded by a substance called myelin. This protects and insulates them.

Without B12, myelin is produced differently, and your nervous system isn’t able to function properly. Pins and needles in your hands and feet is one common sign of this.

4. Changes to Mobility

If untreated, the damage to your nervous system caused by a B12 deficiency could cause changes to the way you walk and move and affect your balance.

5. Glossitis and Mouth Ulcers

Glossitis is a term used to describe an inflamed tongue. If you have glossitis, your tongue changes color and shape, making it painful, red and swollen. You can also get mouth ulcers and pins and needles in the mouth.

6. Breathlessness and Dizziness

If you become anemic due to a B12 deficiency, you may feel short of breath and a bit dizzy, especially when you exert yourself. This is because your body lacks the red blood cells it needs to get enough oxygen to your body’s cells.

7. Disturbed Vision

One symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is blurred or disturbed vision. This is caused by damage to the optic nerve.

8. Mood Changes

People with B12 deficiency often report changes in mood.

9. High Temperature

A very rare but occasional symptom of B12 deficiency is a very high temperature or fever.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is quite common and can show up in various ways, making it hard to identify.

So if you’re at risk and have any of the symptoms above, speak to your doctor.

Still, for many people, a B12 deficiency should be easy to prevent simply by making sure you are getting enough B12 in your diet. But some, especially at risk groups, will find B12 supplements really valuable.

Forever Living has an ideal B12 supplement which is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. And it also contains folic acid which is especially important during pregnancy.

See how much it can help your health and wellbeing:

Feel better faster! Five more simple wellbeing tips

Look after your mental wellbeing too with these simple ideas.

Get out in nature

If you have a garden, spend more time in the garden. Go to the nearest park. Even better, get out into the country if you can, go to rivers, lakes, woods, forests, mountains. The air is better, the scenery will be beautiful if you’re lucky, and you will feel grounded, more relaxed and happier. This isn’t just woo, there’s plenty of evidence.

Smile and laugh more

There’s plenty of evidence for this too. Find something that makes you laugh – a film, comedy show, podcast – anything that makes you laugh, especially if you feel a bit down. And smile too. That will make you feel better, and everyone around you. Just do whatever makes you smile and brings you joy.

Relax, meditate

Again, whatever works for you and whatever you can do easily, at home or in classes. Yoga, Tai Chi, Mindfulness, whatever helps you switch off. And if you can’t switch off, well, that’s really common. Just practice.


Call a friend, meet for a walk, coffee, drinks, whatever. They may be feeling a bit down too. You can lift each other’s mood. (Unless they’re a bit of a moaner, then don’t).

Tackle problems

List your problems, money, relationship, business, work, family, whatever they are. And they may seem less scary as soon as you admit what they are. Or they may still be awful. If so, you haven’t lost anything and you can start to deal with them, bit by bit. Don’t ignore them, they won’t go away, but they’ll eat away at you in the background.

You can’t pour from an empty cup – we’ve all heard that one, haven’t we? So, if you have lots of people relying on you, it’s even more important to take care of yourself. Make sure you look after your physical needs too – see here:

(and drink lots of aloe), but look after your mind and spirit as well.

We also have products which can help naturally with your mental wellbeing, such as Royal Jelly.

So take care of yourself … aaaaand breathe!

Five simple tips to improve your wellbeing (plus one bonus!)

Spoiler alert – I don’t think any of these will be a shock!

Get enough sleep

It’s sad but true that many adults don’t get the 7-8 hours that almost all humans need. Yes, even the macho 4-5 hours ones. Low-level sleep deprivation is really common and can lead to all kinds of health problems. Feeling tired all the time is only one. Mood swings, weight gain, immune problems and many more. Are you ready to sleep more now? Here are some tips:

Eat well

Simple isn’t it? Fewer processed foods, saturated fats, sugars. More fresh fruits and veg, especially green leafy veg, complex carbs, whole grains, oily fish. Smaller portion sizes. We all know this. It doesn’t have to be an overnight change, just start cutting down a bit on the junk. Eat on smaller plates. Take your time and enjoy your food, eat slowly, chew properly. Make your meals look good.

Less alcohol and caffeine

Again, everything in moderation. Some caffeine can help with certain tasks and many of us love tea and coffee (partly because it’s addictive!). And a drink from time to time is enjoyable, which adds to a feeling of wellbeing. But a bottle of wine or 20 cups of tea or coffee a day is not a good idea. And if you think it is, ask yourself how you feel when you get up in the morning. Or go without for a few days.

Drink more water

Please don’t tell me that you don’t like water. It’s water. Add a little squash or fruit syrup if you must but drink more water. The human body is 50-60% water. It needs topping up. Feel thirsty? Drink water. Feel hungry? You’re probably thirsty, drink water. Headache? Drink water. Bad stomach? Drink water. Your brain needs lots of water, for many of its functions, but also for cooling. Think of a car engine without a radiator. You don’t want that to happen to your brain, do you?

Move more

Humans were not designed to sit all day. We are basically still creatures that walk and run everywhere, often on all fours. So sitting down all day causes all kinds of health problems. We may have to sit or stand in one position for long periods but we definitely need to take breaks and move as much as possible. Little and often is better than a weekly marathon or even once a day exercise. So get up and move.

Here’s a bit more about this (and not just for those working from home):

Bonus tip. Drink Aloe Vera

Every day. This is why:

So what can you do to feel a bit better every day? If you want to try any of the products mentioned, go here and feeeeeel good: