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Symptoms of low B12 levels in the body can seem innocuous meaning many put off seeing their doctor. This is a mistake as left untreated, a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible neurological complications. If you find yourself experiencing an uncomfortable burning sensation under your feet, it could be one of the early symptoms warning you need more vitamin B12.
Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune disease that prevents the body from making intrinsic factor, which in turn can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK.
There are a number of symptoms that signal a vitamin B12 deficiency caused by pernicious anaemia.
One key warning sign is burning legs or feet, according to the Pernicious Anaemia Society.
Burning feet is also known as Grierson-Gopalan Syndrome.
It happens when low levels of B12 damage nerves in the body’s extremities, such as feet.
Other B12 deficiency anaemia symptoms include:
- Extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- Lack of energy (lethargy)
- Feeling faint
- Pale skin
- Hearing sounds coming from inside the body, rather than from an outside source (tinnitus)
- Loss of appetite and weight loss.
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Vitamin B12 plays an integral role in driving several important biochemical reactions in the body, including reactions required for the function of your nervous system.
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause several health problems, including permanent nerve damage.
Nerve damage resulting from a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause symptoms that include a burning sensation in the feet.
If you suspect you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, you should consult your doctor.
Since most vitamin B12 sources are found in the animal products such as meat and eggs, vegetarians may be prone to developing B12 deficiency.
Equally, the elderly are also prone to develop the condition.
Other risk factors for a B12 deficiency include individuals suffering from conditions affecting the absorption of this vitamin, such as those suffering from Crohn’s disease.
People with poor dietary habits are among the high-risk group, as well.
Since vitamin B12 plays a key role in the proper functioning of the nervous system by stimulating the production of myelin (material that isolates nerve cells and ensures proper neurone conductivity), low serum levels of this vitamin will lead to nerve damage, manifesting as neuropathy.
Burning feet caused by vitamin B12 deficiency is a reversible condition.
Proper and timely diagnosis is essential and by taking care of your nerves by providing them with a sufficient amount of B12 you can help reduce the uncomfortable sensation in your feet.
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