Three symptoms of Vitamin B12 ‘borderline’ deficiency

  • Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that helps make DNA and keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy.
  • When low levels of this vitamin occur, the body can exhibit borderline symptoms that can still be treated.
  • Three borderline symptoms that are often ignored include having an itchy tongue, white blemishes on the skin, and pain on the palms.

Vitamin B-12 is an essential B vitamin needed for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells and DNA. Deficiency occurs when vitamin B-12 levels are too low, impacting the body in multiple ways. As symptoms slowly develop, it is possible to miss borderline symptoms, which are symptoms related to any number of conditions.

According to the Thyroid Patient Advocacy (TPA), if a person whose wide-range of borderline symptoms turns out to be a deficiency in vitamin B-12, this is a good sign. This simply means that the condition can still be treated because it hasn’t yet reached full-deficiency.

The health platform states that the borderline symptoms to watch out for are:

1. Itchy or tingling sensation in the tongue

The TPA explains that the condition may be marked with a sudden itch on the edge of the tongue, on one side or at the tip. “Some individuals experience stinging, pain, or tingling instead of itching,” says the health body.

2. White skin spots

Melatonin is a hormone responsible for changes in pigmentation. Research has shown that vitamin B12 directly influences melatonin. So when there is an absence of the hormone in affected areas which commonly occurs on the outside of the forearm, white spots appear. The longer period they occur, the whiter they get. The TPA also notes that as time goes by, the spots become very dry and flaky exposing raw spots of skin.

3. Sharp stabbing pain in the palm of one or both hands

According to the health site, another borderline symptom is a sudden pain occurring in a spot directly below the ring finger, where the first palm crease is located. If left untreated, a tingling or stabbing pain starting from the wrist up to along the outer edge of the hand occurs. Pain is especially experienced when the wrist is flexed backward. The health body also added that vitamin B12 deficiency can result in a loss of sensation.

Treating vitamin B12 deficiency

Two types of vitamin B12 injections -Hydroxocobalamin and Cyanocobalamin- are normally used to treat Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia to replace the missing vitamins.

In some cases, improving your diet can help treat the condition and prevent it from recurring. According to Harvard Health, the best sources of vitamin B12 can be found in: fish and shellfish, red meat, liver, poultry, dairy products, yeast extract, fortified breakfast cereals, and enriched soy or rice milk.


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