What are the Symptoms of B2 Deficiency?

A deficiency in vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, can lead to a range of symptoms. Vitamin B2 plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including energy production and the maintenance of healthy skin and eyes. Common symptoms associated with a vitamin B2 deficiency include:

  • Cracked Lips (Cheilosis): One of the classic signs of a B2 deficiency is the development of dry, red, cracked, or swollen lips, particularly at the corners of the mouth.
  • Inflammation of the Tongue (Glossitis): Glossitis is the inflammation of the tongue, which can lead to a swollen, smooth, and painful tongue.
  • Sore Throat and Redness of the Lining of the Mouth and Throat: This condition, known as sore throat or pharyngitis, can result from B2 deficiency.
  • Red, Itchy, and Watery Eyes: B2 deficiency can cause redness, itching, and excessive tearing of the eyes.
  • Skin Problems: Dry, scaly, and itchy skin, as well as skin rashes, can develop as a result of a B2 deficiency.
  • Sensitivity to Light (Photophobia): Individuals with a B2 deficiency may become more sensitive to light and experience discomfort in bright environments.
  • Burning or Itching Sensation in the Eyes, Lips, and Genitals: Some people may experience a burning or itching sensation in the eyes, lips, and genital areas.
  • Fatigue: B2 is involved in energy metabolism, and its deficiency can lead to overall fatigue and weakness.
  • Mouth Sores: The development of sores or ulcers in and around the mouth can occur.
  • Cognitive and Emotional Changes: In some cases, B2 deficiency may lead to cognitive changes, such as difficulty concentrating, and emotional symptoms like irritability and depression.

It’s important to note that a B2 deficiency is relatively rare in well-balanced diets, as B2 is found in a variety of foods, including dairy products, lean meats, and green leafy vegetables. It is more common in individuals with limited access to these food sources or those with certain malabsorption disorders. If you suspect a B2 deficiency based on these symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance. Treatment typically involves dietary changes or B2 supplementation, depending on the severity of the deficiency and its underlying cause.