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Vitamin B Deficiency Symptoms in Adults

Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency in Adults You Should Know About

Vitamin B refers to a group of eight water-soluble vitamins that are essential for the healthy functioning of the human body. This HealthHearty write-up lists out the functions of each of these B vitamins, along with the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency in adults.
Chandramita Bora
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Vitamin B is not a single vitamin, but a group of eight water-soluble vitamins, which are crucial for metabolism, cell growth, development, and reproduction. These vitamins play a very important role in maintaining the health of the nervous system, digestive system, and the immune system. The eight B vitamins are known as vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), and vitamin B12 (cobalamin). The deficiency of any of these vitamins can impair the normal functioning of the various life processes, which in turn could lead to a number of health problems. Deficiency of each B vitamin produces some specific signs and symptoms, which can help to detect the condition.
Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency

Deficiency of any of these vitamins can adversely affect one's health, and give rise to certain untoward effects.
Deficiency of Vitamin B1

Thiamine is a B vitamin that is crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is required for proper metabolism and energy production. Deficiency of this B vitamin can cause a medical condition called beriberi. The most common symptoms of the deficiency of thiamine include:
Loss of appetite
Digestive issues
Muscle weakness
Slow heartbeat
Nervous exhaustion
Deficiency of Vitamin B2

It is mainly required for energy production, healthy vision, health of the mucous membranes, and the proper growth of red blood cells. The deficiency of riboflavin usually manifests in problems related to the skin and eyes. The symptoms include:
Tearing, itching, or a burning sensation in the eyes
Bloodshot eyes
Increased sensitivity to light
Peeling of the skin, especially around the nose
Cracked skin around the mouth
Soreness around the lips and tongue
Dull hair
Oily skin
Appearance of wrinkles
Deficiency of Vitamin B3

Niacin facilitates the conversion of food into energy, and helps to maintain the health of the skin, nerves, and the digestive system. Its deficiency can cause:
Loss of appetite
Skin lesions
Digestive problems
Muscular weakness
Pellagra (a condition that causes skin lesions, gastrointestinal problems, dermatitis, and inflammation of the mucous membrane)
Deficiency of Vitamin B5

Pantothenic acid is involved with the production of energy from carbohydrates and fats, formation of fats, and hormones. Its deficiency can produce symptoms such as:
Muscle cramps
Numbness and tingling sensation in the extremities
Deficiency of Vitamin B6

Pyridoxine is involved in important processes such as protein and carbohydrate metabolism, and formation of red blood cells. It also helps maintain the health of the immune system and the nervous system. Its deficiency can cause the following symptoms:
Skin disorders
Convulsions and seizures (in severe cases)
Deficiency of Vitamin B7

Biotin is essential for the health and growth of hair, which is why its deficiency often leads to a deterioration in the condition of hair. It can give rise to the following symptoms:
Hair loss
Change in hair texture
Dry, coarse, and dull hair
Dry skin
Development of scaly patches on the skin
Deficiency of Vitamin B9

Folic acid is mainly known for its role in the formation of red blood cells and DNA. Its deficiency can cause:
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Sore tongue
The deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women could put them at a risk of the following problems:
Birth defects
Neural tube defects
Premature birth
Deficiency of Vitamin B12

Considered as one of the most important B vitamins, cobalamin is crucial for the formation of red blood cells. It ensures proper utilization of folic acid, and facilitates the formation of nerve cells. Deficiency of this vital vitamin can cause the following symptoms:
Excessive tiredness or fatigue
Poor concentration
Poor memory
Sleep disturbances
Numbness and tingling in the extremities
Loss of appetite
Many of the aforementioned symptoms could be caused by other conditions as well. Therefore, before coming to any conclusion, or taking any vitamin supplements, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider. Take the vitamin B complex supplements, only if prescribed by your healthcare provider. Include dietary sources of these eight vitamins to prevent the deficiency of vitamin B.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.