Could your tiredness be a B12 deficiency?

So, where does B-12 come from? Why are some of us lacking this vital vitamin and what does B-12 deficiency look like?

With our busy and stressful lives, it’s not surprising that we often feel tired. But could there be more to it than lifestyle?


It’s estimated that around 6% of the UK population is deficient in Vitamin B12. And, with more people turning to a plant-based diet, that number could well be on the rise.


How does this link to feeling tired? Vitamin B-12 is essential for your health. Playing a critical role in the production of red blood cells and in helping your nervous system to function properly, this water-soluble vitamin is extremely important for regulating much of how your body functions day-to-day. If you’re deficient in B-12, you can experience a whole host of symptoms, from tiredness to memory problems.


So, where does B-12 come from? Why are some of us lacking this vital vitamin and what does B-12 deficiency look like?

What is vitamin B-12 and why do we need it?


Vitamin B-12 is needed to maintain normal brain function. It’s also involved in the production of red blood cells and helps to create and regulate our DNA. Every single cell in your body relies on vitamin B-12 and its key role releasing energy by helping your body absorb folic acid.

Your body produces millions of red blood cells every minute, but they can’t multiply properly without vitamin B-12. If your levels are too low, the production of red blood cells reduces which, in turn, can result in anaemia.

What can happen if you’re deficient in B-12?


A deficiency in B-12, or folate, can cause a wide range of problems. One of the most prevalent symptoms is low energy and fatigue.

You can also experience:


  • Mouth ulcers

  • Muscle weakness

  • Pins and needles

  • Problems with memory

  • Psychological problems, which may include depression

  • Sore, red tongue

"So, where does B-12 come from? Why are some of us lacking this vital vitamin and what does B-12 deficiency look like?”

What causes low levels of B-12?


It’s possible to develop B-12 deficiency if your diet is lacking in foods which are rich in the vitamin, such as milk, eggs, and meat. This can be a concern for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.


However, you can also be at risk of B-12 deficiency simply if you are older, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if your body can’t properly absorb the vitamin from your diet.


Some medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb B-12.

Vitamin B12 private blood tests

Are you B-12 deficient?


If you recognise some of the common signs of B-12 deficiency, and want to understand how your body is functioning, if could be worth taking a closer look at your health and wellbeing through private blood testing.

Our advanced B-12 profile provides a snapshot of various key indicators of B-12 function, including:


  • Haemoglobin

  • Mean Cell Volume

  • Active B-12

  • Vitamin B-12

  • Serum Folate

Understanding the performance of each of these important indicators can give you a helpful window into your wellbeing, and what changes you might need to make in order to optimise your health.

Booking your private B12 profile blood test 


We make sure the experience of booking a private blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. By partnering with Spire Healthcare, we make the process simple and seamless by offering easy-to-book appointments at your local Spire Hospital.


After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team. Once your order is placed, you’ll receive all the information you need to arrange your convenient blood draw appointment at one of our Spire Hospital locations.

How your appointment works 


We partner with Spire Healthcare to offer a professional phlebotomy service. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals. Our confidential blood tests are available at over thirty private clinics around the UK.


Unlike home testing healthcare kits, where you take the sample yourself, our trained professionals reduce the likelihood of errors such as collecting an insufficient amount of blood or accidental contamination, which could delay your blood test results.


At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.

Clear, accurate results


The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.


You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.


With our advanced B-12 profile test, you will receive a personal report, detailing everything you need to know about the various health checks included in your test, your results, and what they mean for you and your health and wellbeing going forward.

 

Find out more about B-12 testing