Vitamin B12 is absolutely essential for maintaining the body’s overall health, but many people may not be getting enough of the vitamin in their diet. Some people with a deficiency might first notice symptoms when they develop some unusual sensations in their extremities.
Vitamin B12 is used by the body to make new red blood cells, nerves, and DNA.
It’s also used in a number of other everyday bodily functions, but huge numbers of people may not be getting enough in their diet.
The body doesn’t naturally engineer vitamin B12 – like it does for vitamin D – which is why it’s crucial that everybody eats enough B12-rich foods.
But if you are at risk of a deficiency, it can be difficult to even know.
“Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency usually develop gradually and can be wide-ranging,” said the medical website.
“If left untreated, the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency tend to worsen and irreversible problems involving the nerves and brain may develop.
“A person with vitamin B12 deficiency may notice general symptoms of anaemia as well as symptoms that are more specific to the condition.
“Symptoms more specific to a vitamin B12 deficiency include pale yellow skin colour, painful red tongue, mouth ulcers and canker sores, [and] pins and needles, numbness or other strange sensations in the hands, legs or feet.”
But just because you develop pins and needles, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
The symptom, which is also known as parasthesia, can affect everyone at some point in their lifetime.
It usually feels like a pricking or tingling sensation just under the skin.
It’s actually caused by the blood supply to the nerves being cut off, which is why it usually happens when you sleep or sit on a particular part of the body.