Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that the body absorbs through eating certain foods. Chief among its primary functions is to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and help make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. In some people, dietary intake of B12 is impeded, however. When a person experiences a B12 deficiency, there are a multitude of unusual ailments. Experiencing this type of pain on the body could mean you’re lacking in vitamin B12.
How is B12 deficiency diagnosed?
According to the NHS, a diagnosis of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia can often be made by a GP based on your symptoms and the results of blood tests.
Pernicious anaemia is usually picked up through additional blood tests that seek to identify the underlying cause, although the tests are not always conclusive, says the health site.
If your B12 deficiency is directly caused by insufficient dietary intake, you may be prescribed vitamin B12 tablets to take every day between meals, notes the NHS.
“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,” it explains.