Vitamin B12 is needed by the body to make red blood cells, and also to help with the production of DNA. It boosts the nervous system while keeping it healthy, added the NHS. It can be difficult to know if you’re at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, as the symptoms develop slowly. You could be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you often develop pins and needles, it’s been revealed.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up
Pins and needles in your hands or feet could be caused by nerve damage that’s linked to a B12 deficiency.
Without enough vitamin B12, the nerves don’t have a protective layer, which increases the risk of the sensation, which is also known as paresthesia.
“Unfortunately, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up, and diagnosing it can be complex,” dietitian Helen West wrote on medical website Healthline.
“One of the more serious side effects of a long-term B12 deficiency is nerve damage.
“That said, sensations of pins and needles are a common symptom that can have many causes, so this symptom alone is not usually a sign of B12 deficiency.”
You could also be at risk of the deficiency if you frequently develop mouth ulcers, she added.
There are a number of hidden B12 deficiency symptoms that develop in your mouth, including ulcers and a burning pain on the tongue.
It can even cause your tongue to become inflamed and appear smoother than normal.
The inflammation can be very painful, and it may change the way you speak.
One of the more common signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency is extreme tiredness.
B12 is needed to make red blood cells, and without enough of the vitamin, the body struggles to transport enough oxygen to your muscles.
Meanwhile, some patients may find the deficiency causes changes to their overall movement.
Changes to the nervous system can affect your balance and co-ordination, said the dietitian.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Diagnosing the condition early is crucial, as it can lead to heart conditions and temporary infertility on rare occasions.
But you can top up on the vitamin by eating certain foods. The best sources of vitamin B12 include beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, and salmon.
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