Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Watch out for ‘strange’ sensations here

Vitamin B12 performs a number of essential roles, such as aiding the production of red blood cells and DNA. It also supports the functioning of your nervous system – a complex collection of nerves and specialised cells that relay messages back and forth from the brain to different parts of the body. It is little wonder, then, that becoming B12 deficient can have a devastating impact on the body.

These sensations may take the form of numbness or tingling, says the health body.

Other signs include:

  • Difficulty walking (staggering, balance problems)
  • anemia
  • A swollen, inflamed tongue
  • Difficulty thinking and reasoning (cognitive difficulties), or memory Loss
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency involve the digestive tract.

“These symptoms include nausea (feeling sick to your stomach) and vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating and gas, constipation or diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. An enlarged liver is another symptom,” says the NHLBI.

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What causes B12 deficiency?

There are two primary causes of B12 deficiency – not getting enough of it in your diet and pernicious anaemia.

Take diet first. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods so people following a vegetarian or vegan diet are at a higher risk of becoming deficient.

However, the main cause of B12 deficiency in the UK is not dietary related.

Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disease that prevents the body from making intrinsic factor – a protein made by the stomach and needed to absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine.

According to the NHS, if your vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by a lack of the vitamin in your diet, you may be prescribed vitamin B12 tablets to take every day between meals.

“People who find it difficult to get enough vitamin B12 in their diets, such as those following a vegan diet, may need vitamin B12 tablets for life,” says the health body.

What foods contain B12?

According to the National institutes of Health (NIH), beef, liver and clams are the best sources of vitamin B12.

Fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and other dairy products also contain B12, it adds.



Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The ‘strange’ sensation in your body to watch out for

When you’re young, most people can receive all the vitamin B12 the body needs from eating meat, fish and dairy – unless they’re a vegetarian or vegan. Still, there are foods fortified with vitamin B12 that are available in supermarkets.

Ada – a global health company founded by doctors, scientists, and industry pioneers – commented that a vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t uncommon among people over the age of 50.

The NHS states stores of vitamin B12 can last around four years without being replenished.

This could explain why Ada asserts that “symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency usually develop gradually and can be wide-ranging”.

Usually, this occurs when sitting or sleeping on part of the body and only lasts a few minutes.

In those with a vitamin B12 deficiency, as the nerves are damaged, the pins and needles sensation could appear out of nowhere with no obvious cause.

Other symptoms specific to a vitamin B12 deficiency, as pointed out by Ada, include pale, yellow skin colour and a painful, red tongue.

You may experience; mouth ulcers and canker sores; vision disturbances; difficulty walking and balance problems.

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For severe deficiencies, there can be noticeable differences in mood, thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

It’s reported by Ada that a person with this type of vitamin deficiency could suffer from memory loss, irritability, depression and psychosis.

Ada recognised that a certain type of medication, named metformin – usually prescribed for diabetes – can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other medications noted include neomycin, chloramphenicol, colchicine and certain anticonvulsant drugs.

These types of medications can potentially interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12.

Ada added that prolonged use of certain medications to treat heartburn and peptic ulcers can worsen an existing vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you’re taking any of the medications listed above, do discuss with your doctor any concerns of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

In order for a diagnosis of a vitamin B12 deficiency to be made, the doctor will take the patient’s medical history into consideration.

A blood test is usually ordered to screen for a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can also measure the size of the red blood cells in the body.

This factor is important as vitamin B12 helps to create healthy shaped red blood cells.

Inadequate amounts of the vitamin in the body can lead to abnormally large red blood cells.

However, a blood test has its limitations – it can measure the amount of vitamin B12 in the body, but can’t determine whether the body is able to use it.



Archaeology bombshell: Strange discovery of mysterious 'Alien' figure

The body, found in the Atacama Desert, was mummified. Due to its appearance, it was described as an “alien” but no researchers claimed that the remains were otherworldly. Remarkably, the remains were just six inches (15 centimeters) long – one of the key reasons scientists were baffled by the find. Ten years after the discovery, DNA and other tests suggest the individual was a human and was between six to eight years of age when he or she died. The body was sold to a private collector in Spain, and was so bizarre it appeared in a documentary as potential evidence for alien life.

Researcher Garry Nolan, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford School of Medicine, said at the time that all evidence suggested it was human.

He said in 2013: “While the jury is out regarding the mutations that cause the deformity, and there is a real discrepancy in how we account for the apparent age of the bones … every nucleotide I’ve been able to look at is human.”

Finally, in 2018, the mystery was solved as researchers undertook genetic tests.

Scientists claimed that Ata, as the child became known as, appeared to have been stillborn, or to have died immediately after birth, with devastating mutations that shaped her extraordinary body.

Professor Nolan and his team found that Ata was a girl who carried mutations in at least seven genes that are known to cause major skeletal malformations or accelerate their development.

Taken together they explain Ata’s size, abnormal ribs and skull shape, and the apparently advanced age of her bones.

Beyond her skeletal malformations, Ata may have had a condition called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a relatively common life-threatening birth defect in which the diaphragm does not develop properly.

READ MORE: Archaeologists’ discovery of giant skeleton – ‘it’s a human mountain’

“She was so badly malformed as to be unable to feed. In her condition, she would have ended up in the neonatal ICU, but given where the specimen was found, such things were simply not available.

“While this started as a story about aliens, and went international, it’s really a story of a human tragedy.

“A woman had a malformed baby, it was preserved in a manner and then ‘hocked’ or sold as a strange artefact.

“It turns out to be human, with a fascinating genetic story from which we might learn something important to help others. May she rest in peace.”



China mystery: Strange noise causes thousands to flee village over huge earthquake fears

A strange noise echoing throughout a village in China forced many to flee out of fear. Despite the confusion, some residents in the villages in the Guizhou county went in search of this sound with the belief it was a mythical creature. Some described the sound as a dragon growling while others remarked it was more like a tiger’s roar.

Footage of the villagers swarming at the top of the mountain in Xiushi of China’s southwestern province Guizhou began circulating on Chinese social media.

The video eventually reached Twitter where social media users made their own conclusion about the mysterious noise.

Some Twitter users remarked that it could be the sound of fault lines beneath the village, causing fears that an earthquake could be imminent. 

While others considered it could be an animal in the wild, as similar noises had been heard elsewhere in China.

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Guizhou officials sent teams of experts to search the area after the video went viral.

Zoologists were able to later confirm the sound was in fact coming from a small bird.

The yellow-legged buttonquail was dubbed the culprit and is only slightly bigger than a sparrow.

Despite their size, the birds have a considerably loud song.

During the breeding season, female yellow-legged button quail’s loud hoots can be heard at a distance as far as 100 metres.

Local primary school teacher Liu Fuqiong claimed to have seen the bird making the confusing call.

He said: “It hummed twice or three times repeatedly every six or seven minutes.

“The sound was very deep, I thought it was quite strange as well.

“A dozen of villagers followed the sound to the cornfield and chased down a yellow bird with a really short tail.”

The director of the provincial wildlife protection centre told reporters similar sounds had been heard before in the area.

He said: “Residents in other areas had heard similar sounds before.

“They just didn’t think too much about it.”



China mystery: Strange noise causes thousands to flee village over huge earthquake fears

A strange noise echoing throughout a village in China forced many to flee out of fear. Despite the confusion, some residents in the villages in the Guizhou county went in search of this sound with the belief it was a mythical creature. Some described the sound as a dragon growling while others remarked it was more like a tiger’s roar.

Footage of the villagers swarming at the top of the mountain in Xiushi of China’s southwestern province Guizhou began circulating on Chinese social media.

The video eventually reached Twitter where social media users made their own conclusion about the mysterious noise.

Some Twitter users remarked that it could be the sound of fault lines beneath the village, causing fears that an earthquake could be imminent. 

While others considered it could be an animal in the wild, as similar noises had been heard elsewhere in China.

DON’T MISS: China earthquake: Powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake strikes near Hotan

Guizhou officials sent teams of experts to search the area after the video went viral.

Zoologists were able to later confirm the sound was in fact coming from a small bird.

The yellow-legged buttonquail was dubbed the culprit and is only slightly bigger than a sparrow.

Despite their size, the birds have a considerably loud song.

During the breeding season, female yellow-legged button quail’s loud hoots can be heard at a distance as far as 100 metres.

Local primary school teacher Liu Fuqiong claimed to have seen the bird making the confusing call.

He said: “It hummed twice or three times repeatedly every six or seven minutes.

“The sound was very deep, I thought it was quite strange as well.

“A dozen of villagers followed the sound to the cornfield and chased down a yellow bird with a really short tail.”

The director of the provincial wildlife protection centre told reporters similar sounds had been heard before in the area.

He said: “Residents in other areas had heard similar sounds before.

“They just didn’t think too much about it.”



Bundesliga 2019-20: A strange season with the usual winners

The mundane oddness of the situation was summed up by Saturday’s title celebration. DFL boss Christain Seifert, whose organization runs the Bundesliga, pointed Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer towards the Meisterschale in order for Neuer to lift the trophy in front of an empty stadium, rather than handing it over.

“This is a special moment, but also a very strange one,” Seifert said. “We’ve never experienced a season like this before. No fans, no celebrations, no whistles – it’s an odd atmosphere. It’s not the Bundesliga that we want, but it was the only Bundesliga that was possible.”

Not everyone agreed with that, particularly when plans were being hatched last month. Games behind closed doors, or Geisterspiele as they’re called in Germany, were one of a number of issues where large sections of fans and authorities were at odds.

“We experienced a season like nothing we’ve experienced before, and hopefully we never will,” Helen Breit, a board member of Unsere Kurve, Germany’s biggest collection of active fans, told DW. “No one could have guessed in the beginning of the season that it would go this way. We’ve seen conflicts between fans and the associations and clubs intensifying shortly before the coronavirus break. Just like every other aspect around fan culture at the stadium, it was brought to a standstill.”

Football grinds to a halt

At the end of February, just as the seriousness of the pandemic was starting to become apparent in Europe, there had been a standstill of a different sort in Bayern Munich’s game against Hoffenheim. The match in Sinsheim was interrupted after fan protests, with Bayern players and officials remonstrating with fans about banners criticizing Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp and various decisions from the German game’s governing bodies, particularly the DFB (German FA).

Players confront fans in Bayern's game at Hoffenheim (Imago Images/Hartenfelser)

After the players and match officials left the pitch, the last 13 minutes were eked out with the teams passing the ball aimlessly between themselves and refusing to play. At the time it seemed the issue might define the Bundesliga season, but just one full matchday later, play was stopped altogether.

When it started up again more than two months later, on the pitch at least, normal service was resumed. Borussia Dortmund hammered Schalke 4-0 in their first game back, but a 1-0 loss at home to Bayern 11 days later effectively ended their title challenge after Hansi Flick had replaced Niko Kovac early in the season and steadied the Bayern ship. The Bavarians’ eighth title in a row led to the familiar debate about their dominance and what it means for the league.

“I think it is worrying, but part of a wider issue,” journalist Kit Holden, who writes about the Bundesliga for English and German publications, told DW. “Bayern were always dominant, but it used to be that there was space for any club to break that dominance if they had an outstanding season or a once-in-a-generation coach. The top six is now a lot more stodgy, and I think that is partly why teams like Leipzig and Dortmund have not taken advantage of Bayern’s slips.

“They have more to lose by dropping out of the top four than they have to win by beating Bayern to the title in a single year. The table has become more predictable from top to bottom, and that is not just Bayern’s fault.”

Grim times for Schalke, Union overachieve

As Holden went on to mention, Union Berlin’s survival was one of few stories of great overachievement in the 2019-10 Bundesliga campaign. A fiery 1-0 win over fellow capital city club Hertha was the highlight of a campaign that saw Urs Fischer’s outsiders survive comfortably and finish in 11th. For newly-monied Hertha, a chaotic season saw Jürgen Klinsmann come and go but finish once again in midtable mediocrity. They ended up 10th, above Union on goal difference.

Disappointingly, Hertha also made headlines back in February after their defender Jordan Torunarigha was racially absued by a small section of Schalke fans. It was the first of many bleak stories to emerge from a miserable campaign on and off the pitch for the Gelsenkirchen club. But the actions of players like Jadon Sancho, Weston McKennie and Marcus Thuram highlighted the growing momentum of the Black Lives Matter late in the season, with Bundesliga players taking a knee in solidarity. 

At the conclusion of the season, only two issues were unresolved; the final Champions League spot and the battle for the relegation playoff. While Werder Bremen capitalized on Fortuna Düsseldorf’s tepid last day performance to secure the latter, Borussia Mönchengladbach did their bit to clinch Champions League football on the last day. Their coach Marco Rose, in his first season with The Foals, perhaps summed up the prevailing mood better that most.

Something missing

“The most important missing factor is our fans,” he said on Saturday. “I hope that our fans, and we have very, very many  of them around the world, enjoy an extraordinary success for this club. I’m mighty proud of the boys, of this club. It’s something special. With fans, this would have been explosive today. Of course we hope…you’ll be back next season.”

Even Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller, a relentless winner raised in a relentless winning machine, conceded something was missing. “Of course all is different during the corona times,” he said. “The competition is the same, but I wish the fans would be back soon, we hope we can integrate them back bit by bit again. Without the fans, there’s something missing.”

Whether Rose and Müller’s hopes for a return to normality will be granted is unclear. But, unlike many of its peers, Germany’s top flight season has finished, and all that remains is to see whether Bayern can clinch yet another double in the German Cup final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4. Perhaps Peter Bosz’s side might just provide one more twist in this strange but familiar tale.

Interviews for this story were conducted by Felix Tamsut and Oli Moody.