Confused, do I need to suppliment?

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I have been feeling unwell for a while now, worst symptom bring constant pain in my head for over a month now. GP had blood tests done.

B12 was 287 ng/l

Folate was 3.1 ug/l

Iron was 6 umol/l

Ferritin was 14 ug/l

GP suggested I take folic acid as folate was low. I feel like the other results were on the low end of normal and was thinking of taking a b12 suppliment. I was hoping to get some opinions on here as my GP takes a month to see.

Thank you

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hello Sarah, Before I was diagnosed with PA, I to had pain in my head and was having episodes of blindness in my left eye. My B12 level was 117 , the B12 level was so low it had caused Puesdo tumor ciribri, That's where the damage to nerves in brain and optic nerve ,causes the brain to think it has a tumor. So it stop processing spinal fluid, the pressure builds up and you have headaches, vision problems, whooshing sounds in ears. So the answer to your question is yes with your lower number you need extra B12 and other supplements. I live in the US, our treatment for PA is different than the UK . So I can't speak to what treatment should take place, I also am not a medical person either. But you do need to something , to much B12 will not harm you as you will urinate it out. Best of luck, God bless.  

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  • Posted

    You don't quote the ranges <from - to> on your test results so it is difficult to determine whether you are deficient or just low.

    What kind of diet do you have?  Are you on any medications? Do you have any autoimmune diseases?

    The natural way to source Folate is to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables - sprouts, broccolii, asparagus, spinach, peas beans etc. Many breakfast cereals are now fortified with folic acid so check the side panels on the packets.

    Alternatively you can buy Folic Acid 400µg tablets cheaply over the counter at any pharmacy or supermarket.

    For Vitamin B12 you need to eat red meats, fish, seafoods, eggs and dairy produce.

    Alternatively you can buy sublingual tablets or sprays at pharmacies or health shops and as Suzanne says you cannot "overdose" on B12 as any excess to requirement is excreted via your urine.

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

    I wish you well. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you both so much for replying, I really appreciate your time.

      I've never seen blood results before so didn't know the other numbers were important, sorry. Here are what they say:

      Iron: 6 umol/l (6-35)

      Ferritin: 14 ug/l (13-150)

      Transferrin Saturation: 9% Will be filed as: 42AR.00

      B12:287 ng/l (197-771) Symotoms of B12 deficiency may be seen at lower end of the reference range e.g. <300 ng/l

      Folate: 3.1 ug/l (>3.9)

      What kind of diet do you have?

      I have a pretty good diet for the most part, I would say 70% of my diet is from vegetables, mostly dark green veg but also some orange and red vegetables too. I don't eat much fruit and I could drink more water if I'm honest. I get red meat once a week at the most and chicken usually around 3 times I week.

      Are you on any medications?

      No medication

      Do you have any autoimmune diseases?

      No nothig like this. I had an emergency c-section over 6 mobths ago but it went every smoothly. Other than that nothing out of the ordinary.

      I will be taking Folic Acid for sure. I think I will probably get B12 since you can't take too much (thank you for this info, I didn't know this). I'm not sure if I should take Iron or not.

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    • Posted

      The numbers in brackets show that you are at the very bottom of the ranges for:

      Iron: 6 umol/l (6-35) - Ferritin: 14 ug/l (13-150)

      and that you are deficient in  Folate: 3.1 ug/l (>3.9)

      If you supplement with B12 it's important to know that 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.

      Symptoms of a folate deficiency 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 and your B12 levels are "bumping along the bottom" of the range.

      Replacing B12 will lead to a huge increase in the production of blood cells and platelets (which occurs in the bone marrow) and can lead to rapid depletion of folate and iron stores; this can then limit the expected recovery of Hb. Both iron and folate may be needed.

      I think you should speak to your doctor regarding the above.

      Please remember I am not a medically trained person. 

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