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Do You Have a B12 Deficiency? – Quiz

There are many causes of Vitamin B12 deficiency – autoimmune conditions, inadequate dietary intake (common in vegans and vegetarians) and inability to absorb B12 from food sources.  B12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia (a lack of healthy red blood cells).

Vitamin B12 deficiency is easily treated with Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin or hydroxycobalamin) injections or vitamin supplements.  Diagnosing Vitamin B12 deficiency is done by a simple blood test and the following questions can help you decide if you should have your B12 levels tested.

If you answered “yes” to 6 or more of the questions above, you should have your B12 levels tested to determine if you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, and assess the severity of the deficiency.

The impact of a Vitamin B12 deficiency on health is significant.  Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to decreased production of red blood cells in the blood.  Healthy amounts of red blood cells are required for the delivery of oxygen to all the cells and tissues in the body.  Deficiency can affect normal growth and development, production and health of nerves, skin, hair, genes and normal metabolism.

Folate deficiency can also be associated with Vitamin B12 deficiency and can cause similar symptoms.  Folate deficiency is less common due to the fortification of many foods with folate.  However, folate deficiency is associated with neural tube defects and all women of childbearing age should be assessed for potential folate defiency and take a supplement if indicated.


The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.


British Columbia Medical Association. B12 Deficiency – Investigation and Management of Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency. Victoria, Canada: Guidelines and Protocols Advisory Committee; 2007.

First Consult: Megaloblastic Anemia

Rakel: Textbook of Family Medicine, 7th Ed.  2007.  Common Laboratory Testing.

Lisa Watson

Dr. Lisa Watson is a Naturopathic Doctor practicing in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She is a passionate writer and speaker and encourages her patients and readers to embrace their full, amazing, health potential. You can follow Dr. Watson on twitter at @drlisawatson or contact her at

12 thoughts on “Do You Have a B12 Deficiency? – Quiz

  1. I actually answered 15 of the questions with a yes. Does this mean that mine is worse than most cases? I do receive a B12 shot once every two weeks but it doesn’t seem to getting better.

  2. Yes, it does mean that you may have a more pronounced B12 deficiency. You may want to talk to your doctor about increasing frequency of injections as well as taking sublingual (under the tongue) B12. B12 deficiency is a serious issue, advocate for your health! ~Lisa

  3. There are a variety of things that can cause acne. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, food sensitivities, hormone imbalances – it’s most important when treating acne to understand the underlying cause and address that.
    Vitamin B12 deficiency has not been linked directly to acne. In fact the opposite has been demonstrated – over-supplementation with vitamin B12 can worsen acne.
    If you are struggling to manage your acne on your own, get in touch with a Naturopathic Doctor in your area and get the help that you need! Find one through in Canada and in the USA.

  4. I am experiencing ADHD symptoms like absentmindedness, Slow thinking, memory loss.. thinking something and writing something else or saying something else, day dreaming while working, not remembering spellings while I was pretty good at it before.. I was diagnosed with b12 deficiency a month ago and it was 67pg/ml and got 5 b12 shots in 10 days along with b12 tablets. Is it possible to develop adhd at my age (20) ? What should I do?

  5. Symptoms similar to ADHD can develop at any age, but tend to begin in childhood. Many other conditions could be contributing to the symptoms you describe – including B12 deficiency. I suggest you see a Naturopathic Doctor in your town, and in the meantime you can read about Adult ADHD in my article:

  6. My amazing saved-my-life Natureopath, Dr. Wagstaff, died last October 2014. His wife is a Natureopath as well but I don’t find her to be as intuitive or effective as he was.
    I live in Williams Lake, BC. Who/where is the nearest Natureopathic Physician to me?
    Thank you for this site I came across in winter 2012 issue of Canadian Health & Lifestyle magazine.

  7. You are lucky to have many wonderful Naturopathic Physicians in British Columbia. You can find a licensed doctor through the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia.

    Be well

  8. lm anemic, just had blood tests done waiting on results. my iron level is 5 so l dont know if its iron or b12 causing these symptoms. fatigue, ringing in years, heart palpitations, burning toes, restless legs, agitation, weakness, Difficulty walking ,Diarrhea, anxiety. also how long dose a b12 supplement last before you need to take more, 1 2 3 hours

  9. An iron level of 5 is VERY low! It would be the most likely cause of your symptoms. But be sure to have your medical doctor test your B12 levels as well. Vitamin B12 is typically dosed once per day or an injection is given once per week. ~Dr. Lisa

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