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If your hands, feet, or legs feel as if they are constantly poked by pins and needles, it’s possible you have vitamin B12 deprivation. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to the damage of the protective sheath that covers the nerves.
If you currently have celiac, Crohn’s, or any other illness of the gut, your body has a difficult time absorbing vitamin B12. Heartburn medicine consumption can also challenge the body when it comes to getting an adequate amount. Here are some ways to tell you are in need of vitamin B12.
- You’re always cold. When you’re low on B12, your body may not have enough healthy blood cells to move oxygen around, causing anemia. This leaves you feeling colder than usual, typically in the hands and feet.
- Your thought process is cloudy. Serious B12 deprivation can lead to depression, confusion, memory issues, dementia, and loss of balance. Adults are recommended to take 2.4 micrograms of B12 supplements per day. Do not exceed this dosage, as overconsumption can lead to dizziness, headaches, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting.
- You feel weak. It’s possible your muscles are lacking the strength they need to help you get through your day. Pay attention to how you’re feeling; if you’re tired and/or lightheaded, talk to your doctor.
- Your tongue is smooth. This is known as atrophic glossitis and happens when the bumps of the tongue (known as the papillae) disappear. This causes the tongue to look and feel smooth. While infections and medications can cause this to happen, it’s more often caused by B12 deprivation. If left untreated, your tongue can become sore.
- You’re having heart palpitations. These occur when your heart skips a beat or starts beating faster than usual. You may feel this in your throat or neck when it happens. Try adding more chicken, eggs, and fish to your diet. The best source of B12, however, comes from beef liver.
- You’re growing older. It may be difficult for your body to absorb B12 as you grow older. Therefore, it is best to seek treatment before you are at risk of anemia, nerve damage, mood swings, and other dangerous conditions. Pay attention to any symptoms that occur.
- You’ve discovered sores in your mouth. Ulcers may form on the gums or tongue. While sores can clear up on their own, it’s best to avoid triggers such as vinegar, citrus, and hot spices.
- You’re having digestion issues. You may lose your appetite, lose weight in a short amount of time, or have constipation. If this is the case, it’s likely your doctor will give you a B12 injection into a muscle so your body will absorb the vitamin.