Borderline low B12 - could that cause my symptoms?

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I am a 50-year-old female who has been overall very healthy throughout my life. 7 weeks ago, I suddenly began having pins and needles in both feet - they wouldn't go so far as to "fall asleep," but just the general tingling, pins and needles feeling. Very soon that progressed to also include my lower, and upper legs. Every day for the past 7 weeks I've had this - it never goes away, though during stretches I might not notice it as much, or it might be more severe at one moment than another. Also, the sensations can't be described as just one type - they change/rotate/sometimes several types occur at once, and include tingling (including on soles of feet), pins and needles, a sharp pain in one big toe, a slight burning feeling, a very slight buzzing feeling (nothing drastic), prickly legs, and the phantom-like feeling that something's brushing against the inside of my upper things (on top of the skin) - almost feels like static. Generally there's no pain, except for that occasional stab in my toe. I've had a couple areas very fleetingly feel numb, but so far that hasn't progressed to any true numbness where I can't feel touch, or anything like that. At times I've felt my hands might be starting to tingle - HOWEVER, that hasn't really materialized and that could by my extra-sensitive imagination, and expectation it will occur there next. I don't feel like I have weakness - more like tired legs. But NOT so tired that it keeps me from doing normal stuff. Through all this I've continued to work (getting in and out of my car, walking short distances several times a day), drive around a lot, move around the house going up and down stairs, doing laundry, preparing meals, all the normal things of life. No trouble with walking or balance. Also, curiously (but thank goodness) these sensations don't bother me during the night and I'm able to get decent sleep. 

Anyway - sorry for all the detail. 2-3 weeks ago my doctor checked my B12 and found my level to be 275. She acknowledges this can be considered low, even though it's supposedly just above the "normal" range. This is my question - has anyone experienced what I've experienced? And could these sypmtoms of mine be caused by B12 deficiency, even if it's not "drastically" low? By the way I haven't had my B12 checked for decades, if ever, so I can't say whether it's been this level for a long time, or what's the case with that.

I've started 7500-10,000 micrigrams sublingual B12 and feel no improvement, but that's just been for a couple weeks. I'm assuming it's normal it could take longer to see a change in symptoms.

Of course, I'm freaked out about MS - but for this post, I'm just focusing on whether my B12 could indeed be the cause of all this trouble. Currently I'm waiting for further blood work that's testing folate and MMA to get a better idea of B12 issues, as well as glucose for diabetes (though a few months ago that was normal in a routine check). 

I'm hoping so badly this IS B12 to blame, since I can certainly live with that and do everything possible to reverse it. But I'm just looking for people's opinions or personal experiences on whether fairly low B12 can actually cause such weird, disturbing sensations. 

One more thing, for the past 18-24 months I've had occasional aching hips/legs overnight - I maybe notice it a few times a week. I've always attributed this to aging joints, peri-menopause, bursitis that goes with getting older, maybe some early arthritis, etc... But now I'm reading this could also be a sign of B12 deficiency - has anyone else experienced this, where your hips/legs are painful at night, but basically fine during the day (although they're a little stiff when I first get up in the morning)? 

Sorry, I feel like I'm all over the place here. If anyone has actually read to the end of this - I would so appreciate any feedback on B12 and anything else I've touched on.

Thank you so very much!

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    My blood levels were low in B1 thiamine . I now take complex vit B and B-12.

     Had many of the same symptoms as you and they are pretty much the same in 4 months of taking the required amt of vit B. The tingling is gone but the exhaustion is always there. I find when I get out and walk or do something I have more energy, especially since I have stopped all sugars abd eat clean foods. Lots of veggies and fruits. Takes time as well as reading up on foods that help. 

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  • Posted

    Hi, sounds pretty classic in terms of b12. Lots of people are symptomatic with regard to numbers being higher than drs cut off point on bloods. There are two other places you might like to look at. PAS and b12 org. Most helpful and informative.
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  • Posted

    Hi Molly

    Sorry to read about your leg issues. My B12 deficiency diagnosed last month (my level was 48) caused the pins/needles in my hands/arms rather than my feet/legs, but everyone is different.

    However, I did have sciatica, when pregnant 3yrs ago, which caused similar problems to what your describing. I put it down to the pregnancy and baby compressing my sciatic nerve, but my B12 may have been borderline then and it didn't improve until my baby was a few months. I was low on iron when I had sciatica.

    Good luck, hope they find the cause (I don't recommend the B12 injections unless you have to have them - they hurt!)

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  • Posted

    You may not be able to absorb the tablets so need injections. The tablet could also skew the blood results so maybe stop them wait a while and get tested. Check iron and folate levels too. Good luck.


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