B12, folate and ferritin ..... Need advice please

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Hi, I'm new to this but am desperate for some advice. I am totally exhausted 24/7, I wake up exhausted and usually with a headache, I walk into things (like staggering), I have palpitations, flashing vision, lightheadedness, tingling and numb feet and hands (just fingers), mild joint pain, lots of bruises, I'm pale and look ill all the time. I'm 35 and have 2children (7 year old and 11 month old). I eat well and do dance twice a week. I'm not overweight, maybe slightly underweight. I'm not depressed but I'm starting to feel low because of how rubbish I always feel. I do suffer with anxiety and insomnia. I take 100mcgs of Levothyroxine for under active thyroid. Here are my blood results

Serum b12 303 ng/L

Folate serum 4.9ug/l

ferritin serum 30 ug/l

Hb 139

White cell count 5

There are loads more results listed under FBC, all fall with normal, but some are on low end.

I'm thinking I might get some b12 spray or dissolving tablets, or patches? And maybe take folate and iron tablets too? I've also been looking into whether to buy t3 tablets for my thyroid to see if that helps?

Thank you in you are still reading, if you can offer any advice I'd really appreciate it. I'm desperate to feel well again.

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tiffany do you know the range for folate, i think it should be higher , if you start taking 5mg folic acid that will bring your b12 to where it should be, b12 will prob go abit lower if you start taking folic acid, i really think you need injections of b12 to get into the cells, am not sure about iron if you dont need it its not wise to take, am sure some else with more medical experience will write xx
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  • Posted

    I agree with Jazzyanne that whilst your B12 level at 303ng/L seems to be OK  but your folate at 4.9ug/L apperas to be very low.  The range for my tests show show folate at 3.10 – 20.50ng/ml but as I'm not a medically trained person I don't know why different suffix letters are used.

    Has your doctor told you to "go away" despite your symptoms or has he offered any treatment?

    If you do decide to supplement with B12 and folic acid please do tell your doctor what you are doing and maybe even ask him whether he would give you a trial of B12 injections to see if your symtoms improve.

    I wish you well

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    • Posted

      Thank you both for taking the time to reply. I've spend some time online today researching my options and am more confused than ever, as I'm now wondering whether it might be be thyroid that is causing me all the problems. I've been reading up on synthetic T3 (very hard to get via NHS apparently as its really expensive) but I might order some online.

      So hard to know what is making me feel so rough, so I guess it's just trial and error and I'll have to spend a fair few quid online I think.

      My GP hasn't offered to see me again but I think I might go back and see her and tell her what I'm thinking of trying and see what she says. I don't think she'll be overly impressed at me trying to self-medicate but I've got to do something, I can't carry on feeling like this it's just awful.

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    • Posted

      Is your doctor treating you for your underactive thyroid or are you selfmedicating the Levothyroxine? Has that not stabilised you?

      I suggest you list your symptoms, if possible take someone with you who has witnessed them and go back to your doctor, point out your low folate level and how essential it is to process the B12 that's floating around in your bloodstream and request a series of injections.

      She may argue that your Serum B12 level at  303 ng/L is "NORMAL" but irrespective of that she should treat the symtoms.

      Treatment of cobalamin deficiency

      "Current clinical practice within the U.K is to treat cobalamin deficiency with hydroxocobalamin in the intramuscular form outlined in the British National Formulary, BNF, 

      Standard initial therapy for patients without neurological involvement is 1000 µg intramuscularly (i.m.) three times a week for two weeks. 

      The BNF advises that for Pernicious anaemia and other macrocytic anaemias patients presenting with neurological symptoms should receive 1000 µg i.m. on alternative days until there is no further improvement.

      However, the GWG recommends a pragmatic approach in patients with neurological symptoms by reviewing the need for continuation of alternative day therapy after three weeks of treatment

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    • Posted

      My doctor is prescribing levothyroxine, but I'm pretty sure my levels are always still a bit high (they don't always tell me, but the ones I know of are high end of normal - I read on here that someone in thyroxine should have levels of under


      I had the b12 loading injections a year ago (almost exactly a year ago) when I was pregnant, and an iron infusion too. I've been feeling pretty good until the last month or two which I why I asked my gp if she'd check my b12 again.

      She's a very good and easy to talk to GP so I will definitely go back and see her, but I won't be able to get a routine appt now for 3-4 weeks.

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply and advise, I appreciate it

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    • Posted

      It is really sad that you have to wait so long to get an appointment but in the meantime I don't think it would do any harm by boosting your Folate level naturally as this works with the B12.

      "Spinach, turnip greens, bok choy, parsley, and romaine lettuce are all rated by our system as excellent sources of folate. Other vegetables can be strong sources as well, and we see asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli and beets join the excellent group. We also see a number of the legumes do very well for this nutrient."

      Some breakfast cereals also have folic acid acid.

      You never know but increasing your Folate level like this might bring your B12 level down a bit and "qualify" you for injections.

      I wish you well.

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