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Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiencies

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Signs and Symptoms

The initial signs and symptoms associated with B12 and folate deficiencies may be subtle and nonspecific. They may be related to the resulting megaloblastic anemia, nerve damage, and/or gastrointestinal changes. People with an early deficiency may be diagnosed before they experience any noticeable symptoms. Other affected people may experience a variety of mild to severe signs and symptoms that can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heart rate, irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore tongue and mouth
  • Tingling, numbness, and/or burning in the feet, hands, arms, and legs (with B12 deficiency)
  • Confusion or forgetfulness
  • Paranoia

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