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Vitamin B12 performs three major roles in the body – it helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Facial pain or a yellowing of the skin on the face could be symptoms of a B12 deficiency.
Facial pain is one warning sign of low levels of B12 to look out for in the face, according to The Thyroid Patient Advocacy.
It continued: “The pain is usually felt on only one side of the face at a time.
“This pain varies so much that it would be difficult to describe all the possibilities.
“It can be a dull pain in the cheek bone right underneath an eye.
“It can also be a sharp shooting pain across the forehead, sometimes coming downward from the scalp to the edge of the nose by the eye.
“This can be excruciating but is usually fleeting.”
In a study with MD Edge Neurology, facial neuralgia and its possible link to vitamin B12 deficiency was investigated.
The study noted: “Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause isolated facial neuralgia, independent of trigeminal neuralgia and peripheral neuropathy, according to research presented at the 14th Congress of the International Headache Society.
“All patients reported a decrease in touch and pain sensation, as well as numbness on the affected side.
“The blink reflex and trigeminal nerve evoked response were abnormal, and all subjects had low levels of serum B12.”
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Another warning sign of a B12 deficiency is a slight yellow tinge to the whites of your eyes, a condition known as jaundice.
Studies attribute the symptoms to vitamin B12’s role in the production of the DNA needed to make red blood cells.
Without it, the instructions for building the cells are incomplete, and cells are unable to divide.
This causes a type of anaemia called megaloblastic anaemia, in which the red blood cells produced in your bone marrow are large and fragile.
The body craves vitamin B12 in order to support the nervous system, as well as the production of red blood cells. Eventually, over time, your body will show you that you’re missing it.
As red blood cells begin to form abnormally, oxygen isn’t effectively transported around the body.
Organs that don’t receive adequate amounts of oxygen suffer, explained Medical News Today.
As the nervous system is affected, nerve damage can occur if you’re lacking vitamin B12.
Other vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms may include:
- Strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in the hands, legs, or feet
- Difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)
- A swollen, inflamed tongue
- Difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), or memory loss
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