Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to unusual, undiagnosed symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms can develop very slow, and may include feeling very tired, difficulty breathing, and having a sharp pain in your hand. But you could also be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency, and should consider adding more B12 foods to your diet, if your skin has signs of these spots.
Vitamin B12 is used by the body to make red blood cells, according to the UK National Health System. It’s also used to produce DNA, and to keep the nervous system healthy, it said. You could have a vitamin B12 deficiency if you’re constantly having headaches, lose your appetite, or if you’re always feeling tired. But you could also be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you find small, white spots on your skin, express.co.uk wrote.
Developing white spots on your skin could be one of the earliest warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency, warned charity Patient Thyroid Advocacy.
They’re most likely to appear on the outside of the foreman, but they could develop in other places, too.
Left untreated, the spots may develop into dry, flaky skin, and the longer they’re on your skin, the whiter they become.
The spots are likely to be a result of a reduced amount of melatonin in the body, said the charity.
“If you have any unusual undiagnosed symptoms, perhaps you should consider whether you have a vitamin B12 deficiency,” it said.
“The symptoms often come on so slowly that a B12-deficient individual may become accustomed to them and not complain until the symptoms become severe.
“White spots in the skin, resulting from melatonin becoming absent in the area.
“These often occur on the outside of the forearm, but may occur in other places.
“The longer these spots are there, the whiter they get. As time goes by, the spots become very dry and flaky to the extent that small raw spots of skin may be exposed.”
You could also be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency if you suddenly have a very itchy tongue, it added.
It may start itching without any warning, and it usually occurs along the edge of the tongue.
A vitamin B12 deficiency could be caused by pernicious anemia — a condition that’s caused by the body’s immune system attacking healthy stomach cells.
It’s important for the condition to be diagnosed early, as it can lead to heart conditions and temporary infertility on rare occasions.
But, you could boost the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet by eating more beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, or salmon.
You should still speak to a GP if you’re worried about the signs or symptoms of a deficiency, however.
Most cases can be easily treated with vitamin B12 supplements and diet changes.