Vitamin B12 deficiency: The ‘strange’ feeling in your body that could be a warning sign

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Vitamin B12 deficiency affects around six percent of people aged below 60. What’s worse, this statistic rises with age even further, reaching 20 percent. Lacking this nutrient can trigger different health problems, including folate deficiency anaemia.

Like with most vitamins, B12 can’t be made organically by your body.

However, your organism needs the water-soluble vitamin to make red blood cells, nerves, DNA and help with other tasks.

According to the Harvard Medical School, vitamin B12 deficiency can be “sneaky” and “harmful”, so it’s important to be able to spot the warning signs.

The deficiency can develop slowly, which makes symptoms appear more gradually.

But in some cases, you can also experience a relatively quick onset.

One warning sign of this deficiency is strange sensations in your hands, legs, or feet, the health portal reports.

This can also present as numbness or tingling in these areas.

When it comes to sensations in parts of your body, the NHS also lists pins and needles as a possible vitamin B12 deficiency symptom.

It happens when the blood supply to your nerves gets cut off.

Symptoms like these could occur due to the vitamin’s role in your nervous system.

The lack of it can even lead to nerve damage.

However, these sensations aren’t the only symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other warning signs include:

  • Pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • Sore and red tongue
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • Disturbed vision
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Changes in the way you think, feel and behave
  • Decline in your mental abilities (memory, understanding and judgement).

The NHS recommends seeing your doctor if you experience symptoms like these.

The good news is that the condition can be picked up just based on your symptoms or after a simple blood test.

What to do when I’m vitamin B12 deficient?

Depending on what’s causing this condition, your doctor will choose the best course of action.

The majority of people can be aided with injections or tablets that replace the missing nutrient.

There are also “good” food sources of vitamin B12 including:

  • Meat
  • Salmon and cod
  • Milk and other dairy products
  • Eggs.

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