Confirmed B12 deficiency - My symptoms - hope this helps.

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My B12 was only slightly low at 184. Deficiency caused by 20 years of veganism. High dose B12 cured all symptoms below (which I had had for months) within a few weeks.

- Muscle twitches (fingers jumping/muscles in hand jumping)

- difficulty speaking, words come out wrong in wrong order. 

- arm jerks (electrical feeling)

- noise sensitivity. loud noises make my eyes blink and 'brain spasm'

- feet feel like they are 'no longer working as a pair' 

- Pale complexion

- Unexplained tickly cough

- Finger tips feel rough and don't like touching rough stuff

- Some numbness in some finger tips

- Malcoordination (frequently missing door handles or keys on keyboard)

- Weird head pressure in back right of head and blocked ear sensation 

- Tingling in top lip, slight numbness of nostrils 

- General Malaise

- Unpleasant 'soft teeth' kind of feeling

- raw tingly nerve patch on back


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7 Replies

  • Posted

     Glad you got a diagnosis and treatment and that you are feeling better. Hope your post will help others. 
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    • Posted

      Have you been advised by your GP that if you continue your vegan diet that you will need B12 supplementation for the rest of your life?

      It may sound silly but you also need to have your folate level checked as this works with the B12 and helps your iron to make red blood cells and the three need to be kept in balance.

      I am not a medically trained person but have had P.A. (a form of b12 deficiency) for 46 years.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Clive - this comment is very helpful. 

      I am actually anaemic (self-diagnosed). My toddler is too and I am still breast-feeding and on top of the veganism, I am now anaemic. However, I had pancreatitis the day before I gave birth (!), so because I now have a sensitive digestive system, I avoid taking any iron supplementation, so just live with the anaemia. My folate (folic acid?) I guess is ok, because vegan diet is rich in folate. 

      My doctor actually said all my symptoms were anxiety but they were so extreme and getting worse and worse. He didn't feel my B12 was that low, but soon after started replacing symptoms went. I now take a B12 tablet a day (but I am bit worried because it is one of the 40,000% ones, which seems a bit extreme). Also if I miss B12 for about 3 days, symptoms start to slowly reappear, but very minimal, usually just the funny feeling fingertips.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to give me advice.

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    • Posted

      Fortunately you cannot "overdose" on B12 as any excess is excreted via your urine so I would suggest you continue with the tablets until there is no further improvement and then take a "maintenance " dose every now and again but for "ever".

      As to the anaemia try to eat iron rich vegetables like spinach, silverbeet and broccoli.

      lentils and beans.

      nuts and seeds.

      grains, for example whole wheat, brown rice and fortified breakfast cereals.

      dried fruit.

      As long as you don't have an absorption problem with your digestive system your Foalte level should be, as you say. OK but the point of my "silly question" was that a Folate deficiency can result in similar symptoms that can include:

      symptoms related to anaemia

      reduced sense of taste


      numbness and tingling in the feet and hands

      muscle weakness


      Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 in making red blood cells and helps iron function properly in the body. There is a complex interaction between folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. A deficiency of one may be "masked" by excess of another so the three must always be in balance.

      It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 starts repairing the damage done to your nervous system and your brain starts getting multiple messages from part of the body it had "forgotten about" or lost contact with.

      I sometimes liken it to a badly tuned radio on which you have turned the volume up high trying to catch the programme you want when all of a sudden the signal comes in loud and clear and the blast nearly deafens you.

      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.

      If you are raising your child to be vegan then you must bare in mind that your toddler will also be at risk of developing a B12 deficiency, if not already, as one of the risks listed is "Infants born to and/or breast fed by women who are symptomatic or are at risk for B12 deficiency."

      I wish you both well - goodnight.


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