Vitamin B12 is a complex molecule that plays a key role in keeping the nervous system well lubricated. The longer the deficiency is left untreated, the more serious the consequences for an individual’s health. Some of the ramifications of a deficiency include irreversible damage to nerves, so it’s important to check for warning signs as they arise. One of the signs can be low levels around the eyes.
Vitamin B12 helps produce a substance called myelin which is essential for the nervous system because it protects nerves and helps them transmit sensations.
When B12 levels are low, myelin production stops, causing nerve damage.
The Health website’s B12 deficiency explains: “This widespread condition is indiscriminate — it can cause long-term nerve damage if left undiagnosed or untreated, causing a whole range of symptoms that can vary in severity.”
Some of the common symptoms associated with a vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss.
Read more: Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: the warning sign that may appear when walking up the stairs
Sometimes, patients may struggle to maintain balance, or may experience confusion, and mouth or tongue pain may occur.
Two lesser known symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can occur around the eyes as a result of limited oxygen access to body tissues.
According to Chatelaine, a common cause of dark circles under the eyes is low iron or B12.
The site explains: “This deficiency can lead to poor oxygenation of the body’s tissues and the effects are mostly seen under the eyes where the cyanotic veins are most visible.”
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It occurs when the optic nerve, which is responsible for transmitting signals to the brain, is damaged.
The result is a decrease in central vision, which can sometimes be reversed with the help of vitamin B12 supplements.
Where do you find B12
Harvard Health explains, “The human body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, nerves, and DNA, and to perform other functions.” The average adult should get 2.4 micrograms per day. Like most vitamins, the body cannot make vitamin B12.”