Oksana Mikhaleva, endocrinologist, dietitian at the SM-Clinic, Candidate of Medical Sciences, told Izvestia what signs indicate a deficiency of B vitamins.
According to the expert, there are eight B vitamins in total: thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), folic acid (vitamin B9), cobalamin (vitamin B12), biotin ( vitamin B8) and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). B vitamins mainly regulate metabolism and energy, as well as oxygen transport in the body, which is important primarily for the functioning of the cells of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems, as well as for hematopoiesis and skin condition.
Clinical manifestations of deficiency of B vitamins can be divided into several groups, Mikhaleva emphasized.
Firstly, symptoms from the nervous system indicate a lack of vitamins of this group. They can manifest themselves in the form of asthenization or the so-called chronic fatigue syndrome: increased fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, physical fatigue, dizziness.
“Another group of neurological symptoms – the so-called neuropathic: numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, gait disturbance, muscle weakness, muscle pain, especially after exercise, and even depression. In old age, a deficiency of B vitamins can be accompanied by cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, ”said Mikhaleva.
In addition, a violation of hematopoiesis should be alerted. Anemia that is resistant to conventional treatment may not be due to iron deficiency, but to a deficiency of various B vitamins, the endocrinologist noted. Symptoms include increased bleeding of the gums, a tendency to bruise with minor trauma, and a tendency to thrombosis.
Symptoms from the gastrointestinal tract can also be a manifestation of a deficiency of B vitamins. Among them are nausea, diarrhea, poor appetite, a tendency to form ulcers in the mouth and on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, constipation, and abdominal pain.
Symptoms from the cardiovascular system – palpitations, pain in the region of the heart, shortness of breath on exertion, edema.
“Symptoms from the skin and mucous membranes – lesions of the mucous membrane of the lips with vertical cracks and desquamation of the epithelium (cheilosis), angular stomatitis (seizures in the corners of the mouth), glossitis (the tongue is swollen,” geographical “, with dental prints, hypertrophy or atrophy of the papillae of the tongue (lacquered tongue)). There may be a bright red color of the tongue, seborrheic dermatitis. Redness and thickening of the skin with peeling on the back of the hands and feet, on the neck, chest is possible, ”the doctor added.
Mikhaleva emphasized that B vitamins are found in many products of animal and plant origin, therefore, with a varied diet, the risk of vitamin deficiency is low. However, an unhealthy diet, a preference for fast food, industrial products that are depleted in vitamins and rich in calories, fat, salt and sugar, can lead to vitamin deficiencies. A monotonous diet, vegetarianism, alcohol abuse, pregnancy, malabsorption of vitamins due to diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, surgery on the stomach or intestines and even taking certain medications can also lead to deficiencies, she concluded.
Earlier, a study was published by scientists, according to which a deficiency of vitamin D in the body can cause problems with the cardiovascular system. Lack of this vitamin can lead to hypertension or heart attack.