Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms || Vegan Nutrition Q&A


One nutrient that vegans in particular need to supplement is B12, although vegetarians and meat eaters may need to supplement as well.



Can you get B12 from dirt:

Your body stores an extra supply of it, so it can take up to 2 years for any vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms to creep up on you.

You risk permanent damage to your nervous system and brain if you let this one get too far though, so be on the lookout for those symptoms.

Early Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms:
Unusual fatigue
Faulty digestion
No appetite
Loss of menstruation
Tingling hands and feet (start of serious deficiency)

If you don’t get levels back up from there, it can result in permanent nerve damage and get very serious, causing blindness or deafness. Also, homocysteine levels will be high (risk factor for heart disease, stroke and complications during pregnancy) long before any of the early vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms show up.

If children don’t get enough B12 during childhood, their levels can be corrected but the period where they didn’t have enough can have permanent effects on their brain and nerve functions. Maintaining your own B12 levels while breastfeeding is crucial.

You can be tested for B12 deficiency by your doctor, and the most accurate method of testing is a urine or blood test called a Methylmalonic Acid test (MMA). It can detect deficiency much earlier and much more accurately than the standard blood test most doctors use to test for serum cobalamin levels and pernicious anemia.

If you’re seeing vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms, or show low levels in a blood test, the obvious solution is to raise B12 levels. Depending on how low your levels are, go for any or all of the following:
– supplements (my recommendations here:
– fortified foods (nut/grain milks, cereals, certain nutritional yeasts)
– B12 injections (done by a doctor, for severe deficiency or people who aren’t absorbing B12 through digestion)

Have you ever noticed any of these symptoms in yourself? Have you seen or heard a friend complaining about them?

FREE vegan taster plan + quick-start guide:
NEW book, The Plant-Based Diet Meal Plan:
Ⓥ Recipes:
Ⓥ Meals+ Club:
Ⓥ Meal Plans:
Helpful links
⭢ Nutrition & Wellness Blog:
⭢ My daily vegan supplements:
⭢ Shop my Amazon list:

Stay connected
✔ Subscribe on YouTube:
✔ Instagram: (@heathernicholds)
✔ Facebook: (@heathernicholds)
✔ Subscribe to my weekly emails:

This video is NOT sponsored. All opinions are 100% my own.
This video description contains affiliate links, meaning a tiny portion of your purchase goes to supporting this channel; for a full affiliate discretion notice, please visit

♥ Thank you so much for watching, and for your support!! I truly appreciate it. xo h ♥


  1. I have a vitamin b12 deficiency and had it for 4 years just like Heather had said that it can be dangerous. I had let it slide until my legs and arms started to feel like they needed to be stretched all of the time, and also had the extreme fatigue and feeling sick to my stomach and very little appetite. Believe me it is very dreadful, when your muscles start cramping up at night it keeps a person up all night as that had happened to me. I had to simply get up and walk around my apartment until the cramping went away and this happened every 15 minutes, as for the fatigue, i was sleeping up to almost 14 hours a day, so it is very dread ful. I am getting the B12 injections monthly now

  2. Hi Heather. Thank you for a clear and concise video. I am 54 but have been tested for celiac several times and it was always "inconclusive." I have always, even as a child had trouble with vitamin pills (they made me nauseous.) So, here's the real deal….I got mono in 10th grade and have never been the same since. Had a terrible relapse in college. Then they started saying I was having a neuromuscular disease (my grandmother died of MS) so I was scared. What I had was debilitating and called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and then Fibromyalgia. I have a great Rheumatologist and he has helped especially with the neuropathy and insomnia with Neurontin and Prozac and Sonata and Flexeril and Xanax. We have called this monster I live with Fibro forever!!!! Interesting point, my Grandmother had MS. Her son (my uncle) has Myasthenia Gravis, My Mother has Sjogrens and terrible IBS, and their sister (my anunt) has Grave's Disease. I took b12 injections once a week in college and improved. Then I got married and life took over and it wore me out. ….so we adjusted for Fibromyalgia. This past July I went to a hospital that offers complete comprehensive care. I was a bit wacky after my ankle surgery (really, very wacky) and depressed….apparently Nitrous Oxide is a no-no. They studied my head, my mind, my blood, my behavior, my tingling hands and feet, and my depression. I was seriously dangerously low on the B12 front. There I was told I have Pernicious Anemia. I took b12 shots every day for a week, down to a few times a week, then once a week. Upon my discharge we went to once a month. I can actually tell by the headache, tingling fingers, depression, lack of energy, lack of appetite, nausea when it is time for my shot. The depression is the hardest part…..and then I do the shot and I'm back on top of the world. I know this is long, I am sorry. It too 54 years for someone to find it, even though my anemia was so bad it measured a 4 once (11 is normal?) I can't underestimate the difficulty of the journey. If only I had known so many years ago.

  3. QUESTION: I see others here who have 'Fibromyalgia' too. I understand current thinking is that it is a problem in the brain stem regulating pain images (at the wrong 'volume'.) Could Pernicious Anemia be a 'CAUSE' of this neurotic system failure?

  4. I felt extremly tired and draind the last few month and I even lost my period but I never thought about a lack of vitamin B12. since I get my blood tested every few month since I transitiond to veganism (my blood stats where always perfect) And now after a few days of taking a drugstore B12 supplement I feel so energetic and have my period back. It feels so great not beeing tired all the time anymore!

    I wonder are their huge quality differeces between drugstore brand supplements and expensive ones?

    love, Julie
    p.s.: ohh, and please excuse my english, it is not my mother language.

  5. Any people can take sublingual b12? I read in an article, that in some cases, people with mercury in the body, can convert the mercury in methyl-mercury, causing serious damages to the brain…its true?
    Thanks for reply(ies) 🙂

  6. I'm 15 and I have fatigue, memory loss, numbness/tingling, and uncontrollable shaking. I don't know if it's b12 deficiency but it's getting worse; sometimes I can't feel textures or write with a pen. I also have scoliosis, do you think that may be causing nerve problems? I've had blood tests and MRIs and so far I've been told I am fine

  7. I have been tested for calcium and vitamin d which i'm low in, and just today had a blood test for my iron levels and B12, it wasn't the test you recommended though I don't think. But I have mainly just been feeling run down and tired all the time none of the other symptoms yet, I think the tests are just for my general immune system to see what's going on thank you for the video

  8. If a person can be vitamin B 12 deficient due to diet. Then that person takes supplements to counter act their diet. Is it possible for this person to over dose on vitamin B supplements. Since the body can store vitamin B for a long period of time ???

  9. Yes, I have noticed some of these symptoms, especially fatigue and tingling feet. Haven't had a blood test – I am going to just go ahead with supplementation, the question being how much B12? I am ovo-Vegan.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

six + twelve =