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Vitamin B12 deficiency: The two warnings signs your levels are low found on the face

Low Vitamin B12 and low iron levels are causes of anaemia. Anaemia is when you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry the oxygen you need around your body.  When anaemia first develops, symptoms can be loss of appetite, constipation, headaches, irritability and difficulty concentrating. Another major indicator that your B12 levels are low include pain in the face and a change in colour.

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.”

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Another sign on a person’s face warning of a B12 deficiency is noticing a paler colour.

This could also have a slight yellow tinge to the skin and the whites of the eyes will also be affected, appearing less white and more yellow.

The reason for this colour change in the face is due to the body lacking the essential B12 vitamin and this causes problems with the body’s red blood cell production.

When the body lacks B12 it is not able to make red blood cells as easy as those who have high levels of B12 in their system.

Without it, the instructions for building the cells are incomplete, and cells are unable to divide.

This in turn causes a type of anaemia known as megaloblastic anaemia, in which the red blood cells produced in the bone marrow are large and fragile.

These red blood cells are too large to pass out of the bone marrow and into the circulation.

Therefore, a person does not have as many red blood cells circulating around the body, and the skin will appear pale in colour.

The fragility of these cells also means that many of them break down, causing an excess of bilirubin.

Bilirubin is a slightly red or brown-coloured substance which is produced by the liver when it breaks down the old blood cells.

Large amounts of bilirubin are what gives the skin and eyes a yellow tinge.

To prevent vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s strongly advised for vegans they should take adequate amounts of vitamin B12 supplements to make up for the shortage in their diet.

For people who cannot absorb B12, the condition cannot be prevented.

However, once it is diagnosed, regular injections of vitamin B12 will prevent symptoms from returning.

If you have been experiencing more pins and needles sensation in your body speak with your GP who can check your B12 levels. 

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