Vitamin B12 deficiency: If your face looks like this it could mean you are deficient

When a person has a paleness to their skin on their face it could be a warning sign that you are lacking vitamin B12. A person may also feel facial pain and occurs usually on only one side of the face at a time. The pain can feel like a dull pain and occurs on the cheek bone directly underneath the eye. The pain can also feel like a shooting pain across the forehead with it sometimes coming downward from the scalp to the edge of the nose or by the eye.

Vitamin B12 does a lot of things for the body such as making a person’s DNA and red blood cells.

It is a crucial B vitamin that is needed for nerve tissue health and brain function. Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin.

The water-soluble vitamin helps with the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Vitamin B12 deficiency could result in anaemia. This usually develops gradually but could worsen if not treated.

When there is a deficiency it could greatly affect a person’s health. Deficiencies result when levels of vitamin B12 are too low and this can lead to irreversible neurological symptoms.

Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Weakness, tiredness or having lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhoea, loss of appetite or having gas
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems including depression, memory loss or having behavioural changes

Foods rich in vitamin B12 include:

  • Beef, liver or chicken
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Low-fat milk
  • Eggs

In a 2019 study vitamin B12 deficiency was investigated and saw that the deficiency to the vitamin may present non-specific symptoms but warrants urgent evaluation and treatment when haematological or neurological features are present.

The study stated that elderly people, pregnant woman and vegans are more susceptible to B12 deficiency and an oral B12 replacement may be a suitable alternative in asymptomatic individual with dietary B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when a lack vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that can’t function properly


The NHS said: “Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when a lack vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that can’t function properly.

“Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body using a substance called haemoglobin.

“Anaemia is the general term for having either fewer red blood cells than normal or having abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell.

“The cause of vitamin B12 deficiency could be due to pernicious anaemia or medication. Most cases of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.”

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