A vitamin B12 deficiency is more prevalent in people who reach 60 years old and above. Have you been hearing a ringing in your ear? It could be a sign you're lacking the nutrient.
Vitamin B12 is found in the foods you eat. Normally, the protein is absorbed in the gut to be used by the body. However, if you have a ringing in your ear, there may be a problem.
Ringing in the ear(s) is known as tinnitus. The sound has otherwise been described as buzzing, whooping, humming, hissing, throbbing, music or singing.
It's possible to hear these noises in one or both ears, which may come and go.
Tinnitus could be a neurological symptom of pernicious anemia – an autoimmune condition that prevents a person from absorbing vitamin B12 from their diet.
The Pernicious Anaemia Society explained people with the autoimmune condition don't have the necessary protein (intrinsic factor) to absorb vitamin B12.
Intrinsic factor is made from the parietal cells found in the lining of the stomach.
The parietal cells also create hydrochloric acid, which enables B12 to be released from food while the intrinsic factor enables absorption.
When the body produces antibodies that attack the parietal cells, intrinsic factors and hydrochloric acid aren't readily available.
Vitamin B12 comes from animal products, such as cheese, fish, eggs, shellfish, and meat. But when a person has pernicious anemia, the body slowly becomes deficient in the nutrient. This leads to the deformed red blood cells, most likely bent out of shape and large. The strange shape will restrict the red blood cell's ability to transport oxygen