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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Puffiness, dark circles and prominent blue veins could be symptoms

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Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all of your cells. This is why having a deficiency to the essential nutrient could have dire effects on the body. If left untreated, the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency tend to worsen and irreversible problems involving the nerves and brain may develop. The risk of experiencing a number of serious complications, including heart failure, may also increase.

B12 is able to help rid the body of water retention, due to its diuretic attributes, so without it, swelling can occur.

Therefore, having a B12 deficiency is known to be a major cause of water retention.

Water retention, also known as fluid retention or oedema, occurs when excess fluids build up inside the body.

This can lead to the swelling of the tissue around the eyes, giving them a puffy appearance.

B vitamins are very important in the body, said NetDoctor.

The health site added: “They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 (also called folic acid) and B12.

“Some of them may have a role in circulatory health and water balance in the body.

“A healthy diet should give you all the B vitamins your body needs to function normally so make sure you include a variety of foods and if you decide to take a B vitamin supplement, don’t take more than the recommended dose.”

A common cause of dark under-eye circles is low iron or B12.

A B12 deficiency can result in poor oxygenation of bodily tissues and the effects of this are shown mostly under the eyes.

Bluish veins around the eyes may be more visible.

“Be sure to drink plenty of water, pack in the antioxidants, and minimise the consumption of salt and alcohol in your diet,” advised MZ Skin.

These culprits lead to water retention, exacerbate swelling and reduce circulation which all contribute to a change in appearance around the eyes.

In extreme cases, lack of B12 can damage the optic nerve or plug up the blood vessels in the retina, causing blurry vision, double vision, sensitivity to light, and even vision loss.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any patient with optic nerve cupping and bitemporal visual field loss,” said The Review of Optometry.

The health site continued: “Risk factors for developing this deficiency include malnutrition, tobacco or alcohol abuse, age and any type of malabsorption disorder.

“Some patients may experience an improvement and partial recovery of visual function after vitamin B12 supplementation.”

Other symptoms warning of low B12 levels include:

  • A pale-yellow tinge to your skin
  • A sore and red tongue (glossitis)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • Changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • Disturbed vision
  • Irritability
  • Depression.

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