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What is vitamin B12 deficiency anemia?

In vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, the body's red blood cells are larger than normal and lower in number, and they don't distribute oxygen throughout the body as efficiently as they should. As a result, people with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia may feel lightheaded, short of breath, weak and dizzy.

In addition, people with vitamin B12 deficiency -- with or without anemia -- may also experience tingling and numbness in their hands or feet, a problem known as neuropathy. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. A simple blood test can check your vitamin B12 levels and determine if you are deficient in this nutrient.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.