Vitamin B12 deficiency: Pain felt in either of these two body regions could mean danger

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient which helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. The vitamin also makes DNA which is the genetic material in all cells. Lacking in the vitamin could create some worrying symptoms and feeling pain in either of these two body regions could mean you are lacking in the essential vitamin.

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Pain in the hands

Sharp, stabbing or tingling pain in your hands could be a warning of a B12 deficiency according to Thyroid Patient Advocacy.

It continued: “This occurs suddenly and for no apparent reason in a spot directly below the ring finger, approximately where the first palm crease is.

“If B12 deficiency is not treated, a tingling pain may begin to occur along the outside edge of the hand, starting from the wrist.

“This pain occurs when the wrist is flexed backward.

Pain in the face

“These may be preceded by a temporary blind spot in the centre of the field of vision, usually lasting about ten minutes, and sometimes followed by facial pain under the eyes,” added the health site.

“After the blind spot vanishes, there may be zigzag streaks through the vision that may last up to hours.

“Even in the same person, there may be extreme variations in the headaches themselves.

“They may be quite severe with nausea or they may be virtually non-existent.

“How can it be a migraine if there’s virtually no pain?

“Doctors say it’s a migraine if the described visual problems occur, whether there is significant pain or not.

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Why vitamin B12 is so important for the body

Having too little vitamin B12 can do a lot harm for you according to Harvard Health.

The health site said: “Consider this: Over the course of two months, a 62-year-old man developed trouble walking, experienced Severe joint pain, began turning yellow, and became progressively short of breath.

“The cause was lack of vitamin B12 in his bloodstream, according to a case report from Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital published in The New England Journal of Medicine. 

“It could have been worse—a severe vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to deep depression, paranoia and delusions, memory loss, incontinence, loss of taste and smell, and more.”

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In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the many faces of a vitamin B12 deficiency was investigated.

The study noted: “The most prevalent symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are neurologic, such as paraesthesia in hands and feet, muscle cramps, dizziness, cognitive disturbances, ataxia, and erectile dysfunction, as well as fatigue, psychiatric symptoms like depression, and macrocytic anaemia.

“Some of the cases reported in this article, as well as the study by Smelt mentioned previously, suggest that supplementation of vitamin B12 itself, regardless of the actual vitamin B12 status, improves clinical symptoms. 

“Because symptom improvement in long-standing (subclinical) vitamin B12 deficiency may take some time, we usually advise a treatment regimen of twice weekly hydroxocobalamin injections for three months, after which a thorough re-evaluation is performed with systematic evaluation of symptom score as demonstrated in the patients.”

Treatment

When it comes to one of the best ways to ensure you are getting the required amount of B12 in your diet whether a vegetarian or not, is by supplements.

The recommended daily amount of B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms.

The body absorbs only as much as it needs and anything else gets passed through the urine.

Supplements are considered safe and can be purchased at most health shops.

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