B12 deficiency symptoms: The signs low B12 levels are causing ‘possible nerve damage’

This Morning: Guest reveals symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that performs a number of critical roles in the body. Three of the most important are aiding the production of red blood cells, the formation of DNA, and the normal functioning of your nervous system. In terms of the latter, if you have consistently low B12 levels, your nervous system can become damaged.

According to Holland and Barrett, pins and needles, also called paraesthesia, is a “reflection of possible nerve damage or nerve issues.”

The health food shop explains: “Vitamin B12 is important for the metabolic process that produces myelin.”

Myelin surrounds your nerves in order to protect and insulate them.

Holland and Barrett continues: “If you do not get enough B12, myelin is produced differently, and your nervous system does not function well.

“A prickling sensation in your hands and feet can be a sign that this is happening.”

It is worth noting that pins and needles can have benign causes, such as sitting on your own leg for a while.

You can also get pins and needles from a range of conditions, such as sciatica.

Other telltale signs of low B12 levels include:

  • A pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • Changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • Disturbed vision
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Memory loss (also a sign of dementia)
  • Changes in the way you think, feel and behave.

Diabetes type 2: Texture of your hand is a symptom [INSIGHT]
How to get rid of visceral fat: Simple dietary swap [TIPS]
B12 deficiency: Three physical signs to spot [ADVICE]

How to respond

The NHS explains: “See a GP if you’re experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia.”

According to the health body, these conditions can often be diagnosed based on your symptoms and the results of a blood test.

It’s also important for vitamin B12 deficiency to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.

“Although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible if left untreated,” warns the NHS.

Am I at risk of B12 deficiency?

Low B12 levels have two main causes – Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.

Pernicious anaemia and not getting enough of it in your diet.

It is an autoimmune condition whereby your immune system attacks the cells in your stomach that produce the intrinsic factor – a protein that helps the body to absorb B12.

Some people can develop a vitamin B12 deficiency as a result of not getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet.

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods and is added to some fortified foods.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), plant foods have no vitamin B12 unless they are fortified.

You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B12 by eating a variety of foods including the following:

  • Beef liver and clams, which are the best sources of vitamin B12.
  • Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products, which also contain vitamin B12.
  • Some breakfast cereals, nutritional yeasts and other food products that are fortified with vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is found in almost all multivitamins.

Source: Read Full Article