Can b12 deficiency cause a chronic itch?

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I’ve been back and forth from doctors over year trying to diagnose my itchy scalp which is a constant thing and like torture. I find it hard to enjoy life with this problem and am desperate to find out what’s causing it.

After a dermatological cause being ruled out by 2 doctors and 2 trichologists I have been looking online for answers. After blood tests in October 2017 it revealed I had a very low b12 level and was put on injections monthly which have now changed to every 3 months. 

After 2 months of injections my itch went away however after my 6th one the itch came back and blood tests showed my b12 was normal. 

Has my late diagnosis of b12 deficiency (an absorption issue) causes nerve damage that is just isolated to my scalp? I’ve read about scalp neuritis online but not b12 as a cause. 

I am desperate for answers and what medication will numb this itch so I can start living my life again. 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you thought to ask your local pharmacist for advice?

    Did you have any other neurological symptoms?

    A lot will depend on the severity and longevity of your B12 deficiency as to how long before there is no further improvement or recovery. Some symptoms will "disappear" quite quickly whereas others may take months or even years. There is no set timescale as we are all different.

    I am not a medically trained person but I've had Pernicious Anaemia (a form of B12 deficiency) for more than 46 years.

    I wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply Clive.

      Nope no other neurological symptoms apart from my scalp and the only reason I found out I was b12 deficient was after blood tests to see if anything was causing my itchy scalp.

      Is it possible b12 deficiency caused nerve damage and my b12 injection dose is too low? At first it was weekly now it’s changed to every 3 months 

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    • Posted

      Often it's the other way round - people injected with hydroxocobamalin can develop pimples/acne and other adverse side effects, Was your itch before the injections the same itch as afterwards?

      The six 1mg "loading doses" and three monthly maintenance injections are standard treatment for B12 deficiency.  Do you know why you had low B12?

      Anyone at any age, can become B12 deficient.. However, certain people are at an elevated risk. They include the following:

      Vegetarians, vegans and people eating macrobiotic diets.

      People aged sixty and over

      People who’ve undergone any gastric and/or intestinal surgery, including bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes (Gastric bypass).

      People who regularly use proton-pump- inhibitors. H2 blockers, antacids, Metformin, and related diabetes drugs, or other medications, or infections such as h-pylori that can interfere with B12 absorption.

      People who undergo surgeries or dental procedures involving nitrous oxide, or who use the drug recreationally.

      People with a history of eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia).

      People with a history of alcoholism.

      People with a family history of pernicious anaemia.

      People diagnosed with anaemia (including iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia).

      People with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten enteropathy (celiac disease), or any other disease that cause malabsorption of nutrients.

      People with autoimmune disorders (especially thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, lupus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis, infertility, acquired agammaglobulinemia, or a family history of these disorders.

      Women with a history of infertility or multiple miscarriages.

       Has your Folate level ever been tested or were you prescribed folic acid?

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    • Posted

      Maybe then the "remission" whilst having the B12 injections was just a coincidence,

      I still think a chat with a Pharmacist is a good idea.

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