How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

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Vitamin B12 deficiency damages the nervous system, causing chronic pain, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet.  Did you know that many psychological problems like depression and anxiety also point to pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency?  Understanding the many roles that vitamin B12 (cobalamin) plays in your body, as a whole, is crucial in recognizing the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 2: Mental Health

This segment focuses on mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.

Megaloblastic madness

Vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis.  Without enough vitamin B12, your body cannot manufacture a good healthy supply of red blood cells to distribute oxygen.

Instead, vitamin B12 deficiency causes you to produce engorged, misshapen red blood cells that fail to function well, that cannot perform their duty.  This type of anemia is known as megaloblastic anemia, or pernicious anemia.

Pernicious Anemia- Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Nerve Rattling- Peripheral Neuropathy

As a result of your brain not getting enough oxygen, vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms usually include extreme, overwhelming fatigue, irritability, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating.


Mental problems caused by vitamin B12 deficiency

Because not all doctors screen regularly for vitamin B12 deficiency, many common symptoms are often misdiagnosed.  Especially with psychological problems, doctors may be quick to prescribe antidepressants or anti-psychotic medication, where a weekly vitamin B12 shot would have been of great benefit, possibly greater.

Psychological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent forgetfulness
  • Impaired concentration, low attention span
  • Confusion, or “brain fog”
  • Irritability
  • Acute psychosis
  • Hallucinations, both auditory and visual
  • Paranoia
  • Hypomania
  • Aggressive, violent behavior
  • Reversible manic and schizophreniform states
  • Increased risk for stroke

Also read How Vitamin B12 Deficiency affects your Nervous System, Part 1: Physical Pain

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or other demyelinating diseases?  Did your doctor also screen for pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency?

What vitamin B12 treatments do you currently take, and are you completely satisfied?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Read more about vitamin B12 and the brain:

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

When Vitamin B12 Deficiency has you under its Spell…of Depression

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?


Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Neurological Manifestations Of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency


David Castillo Dominici