Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient which keeps the body functioning properly. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include fatigue, low mood and nerve problems. There is another warning – if you feel a certain sensation on the side of your body, it could mean you need more B12 in your diet.
Nerve shock in the side of the body can be a warning sign that your B12 levels are low.
The Thyroid Patient Advocacy explained: “It can be felt coming on a few seconds before it hits, and then it hits almost like a mild but deep electric shock and quickly subsides.
“It can occur at the side of either hip or on either side of the upper body, along the ribs.
“Worse yet, it can occur consecutively in at least two or three locations, one right after the other.”
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The NHS advice is to see a GP if you believe you may be suffering from a B12 deficiency, because these conditions can often be diagnosed based on a person’s symptoms and the results of a blood test.
It’s also important for vitamin B12 deficiency to be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, as the NHS explains: “This is because although many of the symptoms improve with treatment, some problems caused by the condition can be irreversible.”
It is usually numerological complications of a vitamin B12 deficiency, such as vision problems and memory loss, that may be irreversible.
Different types of blood tests can be arranged by a GP to diagnose a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Blood tests can measure the levels of vitamin B12 in a person’s blood, as well as the levels of folate and to check if the red blood cells are larger than normal.
One limitation of blood tests, however, is that it measures the total amount of vitamin B12 in the blood regardless if it can or can’t be used by the body.
This is why discussing all your symptoms with your GP is imperative in order to make a proper diagnosis.
For people lacking B12 in their diet due to dietary requirements or certain medical conditions, Medical News Today says B12 supplements may be recommended.
It said: “For those who cannot, a doctor may prescribe or recommend B12 supplements.
“People can also get B12 supplements from drug stores or choose between brands online.
“Most multivitamins contain vitamin B12 and people can take B12 supplements in the form of oral tables, sublingual tablets that dissolve under the tongue, or injections.”