Convinced I am b12 deficient

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I went to the doctors about 2 years ago when I started suffering with stomach problems. I was told I had IBS. I then went for anxiety and depression about 6 months later. Since then I seem to have felt less and less like myself, both mental health issues has worsened and now I have numerous other symptoms such as fatugue, pins and needles, bruises everywhere from nothing, heart palpitations and shortness of breath, no concentration, dizzy spells, severe memory loss and struggleing to walk and coordinate myself properly. Ive had 2 blood tests for b12 and one was low, the second normal. My doctor rang today and said that as the most recent result was fine, nothing further could be done. Is this true? I feel like Im going crazy. Im 26 and used to exercise regularly until this happened. Does this sound like a deficieny?

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  • Posted

    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.

    Symptoms of B12 deficiency tend to develop slowly and may not be recognised immediately. As the condition worsens, common symptoms include:

    Weakness and fatigue

    Light-headedness and dizziness

    Palpitations and rapid heartbeat

    Shortness of breath

    A sore tongue that has a red, beefy appearance

    Nausea or poor appetite

    Weight loss


    Yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes

    If low levels of B12 remain for a long time, the condition also can lead to irreversible damage to nerve cells, which can cause the following symptoms:

    Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

    Difficulty walking

    Muscle weakness


    Memory loss




     Are you in the UK?

    The British Society for Haematology guidelines say on the Diagnosis of B12 and Folate Deficiency "In the presence of discordance between the test result and strong clinical features of deficiency, treatment should not be delayed to avoid neurological impairment".

    This means your doctor should be treating your symptoms not just looking at the computer screen.

    I 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

      Hi Clive,

      Thanks for your detailed reply, it will be of great help.

      Just a quick query - Since lot of people go through dizzy spells, trouble walking when they are B12 deficient, do you know in how many days these symptoms can improve post taking the supplements.

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    • Posted

      It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 you are taking 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

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    • Posted

      Hi Clive,

      My B12 reading is 156 and my Dr prescribed me remylin d (daily) which has 1500 mcg B12.

      I am also Vitamin D deficient (20), for which I have been prescribed a weekly boost (60000 IU)

      In addition I am taking A to Z multivitamin daily which has little vitamin B12 and Vitamin D.

      My Dr didn't put me on B12 injection hope oral ones will work for me ..what's your experience say..

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    • Posted

      The supplements will be good as long as you don't have an absorption problem with your digestive system.

      Look back at the list of "causes" for B12 deficiency in my above original reply to Haza811 a day or so ago and see if you can "see yourself" among any of the "people" mentioned.

      For example does your diet include enough meat, fish, seafood, eggs or dairy produce for B12?

      Have you had any gastric surgery or are you on any medications that affect absorption?

      Do you have any other autoimmune diseases?  thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, lupus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis etc.

      Does the "A to Z multivitamin" contain Folic acid (B9)?  Do you eat plenty of leafy green vegetables for Folate?

      Keep a list of your symptoms and note those which get better or worse and try and separate those of B12 and D.

      Lower level Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of non-specific symptoms, including possibly chronic fatigue (experts have for many years noted an association between sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalitis (CFS or ME) and low blood levels of Vitamin D). It has been estimated that between 50-70% of people living in the northern Europe (where daylight length reduces your chances of receiving adequate sunlight in the winter) are deficient in this vitamin by March each year. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include chronic pain, weak bones, frequent infections (recent research has detected an association between vitamin D deficiency and severe pneumonia), depression and fatigue. 

      I hope you will feel some improvement soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Clive,

      Thanks for your prompt response.

      In my case - it seems to be long term use of antacid medicines. I have been taking these medicines from years though I stopped it in 2014 however I am again on these medicines from past 2 months..

      Also, I only eat chicken no eggs, mutton, fish etc. Though I will start eating them now.

      I also have some mild auto immunity (undiagnosed).

      And A to Z contains folic acid B9 - 1 Mg

      Thanks for your wishes - I hope to experience some improvement soon.

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  • Posted

    Hi Haza,

    I am also new to this B12 deficient world. Just yesterday I got my blood report, vetting B12 deficiency.

    Now a days I am also feeling very weak, fatigue, dizzy, trouble walking ( so I feel you).

    I am going to see my Dr today and expecting some supplements.

    In your case, you may want to cross refer with other Dr to seek his opinion. It's important to find the underlying cause of B 12 Deficiency, like in my case I guess over use of PPI and H2 blockers (antacid) led to this.

    Your symptoms does sound like a B12 deficiency

    Rest lot of it has already been explained by Clive in below mail

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