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Vitamin B12 deficiency – when a high fever could be a sign of something serious
Vitamin B12 is a crucial ingredient for the healthy running of the body, as it’s needed to make red blood cells. Signs of a deficiency can develop very slowly, so it may be difficult to diagnose the condition.
People with undiagnosed symptoms should consider that they may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
While it’s unlikely that your symptoms are caused by the condition, there are still many people that have a lack of B12.
A quick blood test could reveal whether you should be adding more B12 to your diet.
One of the rarer signs of the condition is developing a high temperature, it’s been revealed.
You may be at risk of a B12 deficiency if you develop an unexplained fever.
A fever is categorised as anything over 38 degrees Celsius, according to the NHS.
One of the easiest ways to know if you have a fever is if your chest or back feel hotter than normal.
Some people also develop other symptoms, including sweating, or having warm, red skin.
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“Unfortunately, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up, and diagnosing it can be complex,” said nutritionist Helen West.
She told medical website Healthline: “A very rare but occasional symptom of B12 deficiency is a high temperature.
“It’s not clear why this occurs, but some doctors have reported cases of fever that has normalised after treatment with low levels of vitamin B12.
“However, it’s important to remember that high temperatures are more commonly caused by illness, not a B12 deficiency.”
A temperature may be caused by a number of conditions, added the NHS.
It’s likely to be linked to the body fighting off an infection, however.
In the UK, you should self-isolate if you have a fever, as it could be a sign of coronavirus.
Anybody with a high temperature should apply for a coronavirus test straight away.
More common warning signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include tiredness, jaundice, and shortness of breath.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
But you can top up on the vitamin by eating certain foods.
The best sources of vitamin B12 include beef, liver, dairy foods, eggs, and salmon.