Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The tingling sensation you may feel if you lack B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The tingling sensation you may feel if you lack B12


Vitamin B12 helps nerves cells within the body. Without enough of it, you may experience a tingly feeling – what’s going on?

The NHS confirmed that one symptom of a vitamin B12 deficiency is pins and needles.

Also known as paraesthesia, the condition feels like pricking, tingling or numbness on the skin.

It often happens in the body’s extremities: the hands and feet.


  • Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Peculiar warning sign on your skin

However, it’s not uncommon for the tingling sensation to appear in the arms and legs.

The Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy stated: “A clear link has been established between a lack of vitamin B12 and peripheral neuropathy.”

The organisation explained: “A lack of B12 damages the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerves.

“Without this protection, nerves cease to function properly and conditions such as peripheral neuropathy occur.”

If not treated, the damage can become life-long – a neurological exam will need to be done to assess the nerve damage.

This diagnosis is to be made by a medical professional who can discuss treatment options with you.

Paraesthesia is the result of blood supply being cut off from the nerves.

Notably, this can be due to sitting or sleeping on a body part.

When this happens, the tingling sensation should only last a few minutes.

When the weight is taken off the body part affected, blood supply should return to the nerves, ceasing paraesthesia.

This would indicate that there isn’t nerve damage, but just to be sure, what are the other symptoms of a B12 deficiency?

The NHS outlined that some people deficient in the vitamin may have a yellow tinge to their skin.


  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Warning sign in your hands

Another sign would be a sore and red tongue, medically known as glossitis.

And mouth ulcers may indicate an issue with the uptake of vitamin B12.

More disturbing symptoms include changes in the way you think, feel and behave.

Depression may become apparent and irritability may become pronounced.

The NHS added that a decline in mental abilities may appear.

This includes having trouble with your memory, understanding and judgement skills.

Moreover, the way you walk and move around may be affected.

And it’s not unheard of for sufferers to experience disturbed vision.

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