Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that the body absorbs through eating certain foods. Chief among its primary functions is to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and help make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. In some people, dietary intake of B12 is impeded and when this occurs a variety of peculiar warnings ensue signalling something is not quite right.
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Vitamin B12 is crucial in the body and has many vital functions in the body including 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 facial pain.
Facial pain, usually on only one side of the face at a time is a symptom of a B12 deficiency, said the Thyroid Patient Advocacy.
It continued: “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 pain can be excruciating but is usually fleeting.”
In a study with MD Edge Neurology, facial neuralgia which may be linked to vitamin B12 deficiency was further investigated.
The study reported: “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.
“Treatment with B12 injections was found to alleviate the condition.
“All patients reported a decrease in touch and pain sensation, as well as numbness on the affected side.”
The investigators also found that many patients with facial neuralgia also developed cold sores with these cold sores decreasing to vitamin B12 treatment.
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Mouth pain may be another warning sign of a B12 deficiency as vitamin B12 affects a person’s oral health.
As a result, being deficient in vitamin B12 may cause either:
- Mouth ulcers
- A burning sensation in the mouth
These symptoms occur due to a vitamin B12 deficiency which causes a reduction in red blood cell production which results in less oxygen being able to reach the tongue.
Good sources of vitamin B12 include:
- Salmon and cod
- Milk and other dairy products
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or are looking for alternatives to meat and dairy products, there are other foods that contain vitamin B12.
Yeast extract (including Marmite), as well as some fortified breakfast cereals and soy products all contain B12, notes the NHS.
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