Extremely low B12 levels - is this normal?

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Hello. I suspected that I had anemia because sometimes I would get dizzy when I stood up from the couch. And went to a doctor. He ordered a blood test. We got the results and he said "You don't have anemia but you have vitamin D and B12 deficiency, which also can cause that dizziness." And he prescribed some supplements. But I'm concerned with my test results because my B12 results are shown in pg/ml.

My B12 level = 95 pg/ml (which is 0.095 nanograms)

Healthy or reccomended minimum B12 level = 150.000 (150 thousand) pg/ml (which is 150 nanograms)

So... This is very confusing and frightening to me. I don't even have 1 nanograms of B12 and the minimum healthy ammount is 150. I have to have like 1500 times more than this in order to be "minimum healthy"

Can these results be mistaken? I mean I don't really have a healthy diet but I didn't expect this much of deficiency. (I'm not a vegan but I usually eat junk food, at least I used to)

I mean, looking at these test results... I feel like I should have died from this, right? But anyway, you know better so if you could explain this to me, I would really appreciate it. 

By the way, while the reccomended amount of B12 intake daily is around 3-5 micrograms, my supplement has 1 miligrams of B12 in it (which I take daily) and it's 1000 micrograms. Is this safe? I'm taking 250 times more than I should. And the doctor said that I should take these for at least 3 months.

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  • Posted

    You are not surprisingly getting confused with units. Normal levels vary but 148 pg/L or 200 ng/L are recommended in UK guidelines. You are taking 150,000 /ml as the norm. That is out by 6 digits. There will be a thousand times less in a ml than in a litre.

    The dosage you are taking reflects that only around 1% is absorbed orally. You need to build up your stores so yes it will take time. Some doctors prefer to use higher doses by injection initially then maintenance doses

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    • Posted

      I'm confused.

      1 nanogram = 1000 picrograms.

      I have 95 picrograms per mililetre, which is 0.095 nanograms per mililetre

      The healthy level is 150 nanograms per mililetrer. And I have 0.095 of that 150.

      "148 pg/L or 200 ng/L are recommended "

      This part really confused me. So around 148 and 200.000 (200 thousand) picrograms per liter is normal?

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    • Posted

      It should read 148pmol/l or 200ng/l. Your result was given as 95pg/ml which is 95000 pg/l or 95ng/l. Just less than half according to uk guidelines.Part of the confusion is taking pg/ml and comparing it to a reference figure for ng/l as if it were ng/ml which is where the 1000x error comes in.

      I should note that reference figures vary and the measurement is of all b12 some forms of which are inactive due to being oxidised. How much depends on how much antioxidants are available which is why a healthy diet is important and and you need medical monitoring of your condition and response.

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    • Posted

      I still don't understand the right amount that I should have. WebMd says 200 nanograms/mililiter, healthline says 200 picograms/milileter. And one of them equals 1000 times the other. It's like hearing "you should drink 2 litres of water a day" and then hearing some other source saying that you should drink 2 mililetres of water every day. I still don't get it... Which is correct? Pg or Ng?

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  • Posted

    Well u should know u can't possible overdose from B12, your body has the ability to get rid of it thru many ways, sweating, urine, exercise etc.. Also the recommend intake dose is too low, specially for someone with a severe deficiency, i also started with a 1000mcg and it didn't do much, once u get to a certain point your stomach doesn't absorb B12 the way it should, so it needs to stay in your mouth until it's dissolved. I'm taking 10,000 mcg or 10mg a day and I'm better but still not fine. I didn't give a shi* about the recommended dose or what the doctors said (cuz if it were up to them I'd be dead) I just went on with my instincts and it paid off, I'm getting better and it has been almost a year.

    "Big pharma" wants people sick so they can buy pills for many diseases that are caused by B12 def.

    You don't need to be a vegan to be one, not even a vegetarian, the way we should be getting B12 should be through the soil, but because we now live artificial lives, in polluted cities and eat foods full chemicals we're basically screwed!

    Anyway I hope you get well soon. It can be quite hard.

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  • Posted

    Czesc burak,

    95pg/ml is an extremly low value. You shouls first douvle check in another lab.

    Then if true immediately starts hydorxycobalamin shots + oral potassium citrate or gluconate and maybe iron (iron supplements are hard for stomach etc unfortunately).

    Before that check for iron, ferritin, homocysteine and potassium and of course standard full blood test.

    Then after 1-2 month of treatment check again B12, potassium, iron and homocysteine, .....

    Then again after 6 month.

    And once a year for life.

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    • Posted

      Czesc burak,

      95pg/ml is an extremely low value. You should first double check in another lab.

      Then if true immediately starts hydorxycobalamin shots + oral potassium citrate or gluconate, zinc, and maybe iron (iron supplements are hard for stomach etc unfortunately).

      Before that check for iron, ferritin, zinc, homocysteine and potassium and of course standard full blood test.

      Then after 1-2 month of treatment check again B12, potassium, iron and homocysteine, .....

      Then again after 6 month.

      And once a year for life.

      Pozdrawiam,

      Przemek

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