There’s lots of foods that contain vitamin B12, namely meat, fish, eggs and cheese. Unless you’re vegan, you are probably getting enough from your diet. However, there can be a few reasons why you’re deficient in the vitamin. One of the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency is pins and needles, confirmed the NHS. Known as paraesthesia, it “feels like pricking, tingling or numbness on the skin”.
There are various reasons why a vitamin B12 deficiency might emerge.
As well as dietary restrictions, one of the most common causes of this condition is from another underlying health condition – pernicious anaemia.
This is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body’s immune system attacks cells in the stomach.
As a result, the stomach cells are unable to produce the protein intrinsic factor.
Another culprit of a vitamin B12 deficiency is taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
This type of medication is used to treat indigestion, but it can inhibit stomach acid production too effectively.
Stomach acid is needed to release vitamin B12 from the food eaten.
If you’re concerned you may be suffering from a vitamin B12 deficiency, do speak to your GP.