Could you have vitamin B12 deficiency? The symptoms can mimic a lot of other conditions: fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, tingling in the hands and feet, and even memory problems among others.
People over 50 may be more vulnerable either because they're not getting enough B12 in their diet or because they can't absorb enough no matter how much they take in, according to Harvard Health Publications. One recent survey found that nearly a quarter of adults over 50 had a serious or borderline B12 deficiency.
B12 is found in meat, poultry, dairy products and other food from animals. That's why people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet can be at risk of a deficiency.
Another group at risk, according to Harvard Health, are people who have had weight loss surgery because the procedure interferes with the body's ability to extract B12. Heartburn drugs can also increases the chances of a B12 deficiency for the same reason.
If you think you might have a B12 deficiency, ask your doctor if you should get a blood test to check for it. It can be fixed with weekly shots or a supplement. Your doctor may also recommendation a multivitamin formulated for people over 50.
For more information, check out this fact sheet from the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements.