Feeling very poorly

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Hello, I'm hoping someone here can give me some advice. I have been feeling unwell for a number of months (approx 4 months). Nothing you could specifically put your finger on, but increased fatigue and a general feeling of not feeling "well".

A couple of months ago I had a hospital admission with "suspected" viral meningitis. I had an excruciating headache, severe vomiting, delirium, pains in my legs & feeling hot and cold at the same time (?chills I guess) and low grade fever.

I went to my doctor approx two weeks ago & she ordered bloods (a very wide variety apparently, including thyroid). I had my bloods done and a few days later my doctors surgery phoned & asked me to come in for some more blood tests, this time for B12 and folate, as apparently something was off on my FBC.

Anyway, I am really in a sorry state.. I'm feeling so unwell! Pains in my legs, weakness, dizziness, can't sleep, feeling hot and cold, breathlessness when moving around, feeling confused on and off. It's taken me ages to write this! I'm desperate.. I see the GP next week for the test results. But I don't know if I can go on like this!!!

Should I get some strong B12 supplements?

Thank you for reading!

Emma

From UK

35 years old

Traumatic brain injury 2.5 years ago

Was (wrongly) given Nitrous Oxide approx 1 year ago

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Forgot to say that I went to my doctor because I was feeling very unwell.
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  • Posted

    Hi BrokenDoll, it does sound as though B12 could be an issue especially as the doctor did further testing with B12 & folate. Can you phone the surgery for the results of the B12 and folate testing? If you begin supplements now it will skew any further tests the doctor might want to do.

    One of the problems is the doctor will be testing for reasons for your B12 and folate to be low (assuming it is that). Are you vegetarian or vegan? This would suggest a dietary cause. If that isn't the case it is often harder to find the reason.

    Have a look at the Pernicious Anaemia Society website for more information, they have a full list of symptoms caused by low B12. It doesn't always mean you have Pernicious Anaemia as there are many causes.

    Good luck with your GP appointment next week, and I hope you get some answers and begin to feel better. Marion

    ps Nitrous Oxide depletes B12, as do some other anaesthetics.

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    • Posted

      Hi Marion,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it! 

      I can try and call the surgery, I know some have a policy of not allowing receptionists to give results, but there is no harm in trying! I'm guessing they could be there by Friday? 

      I am not vegetarian or vegan & I have a really good diet! I have been having digestive problems for a long while, so wondering if it's originating from there and could be pernicious anaemia? My digestive symptoms are: nausea & occasional and sudden vomiting, acid reflux, constipation, stomach pain (up under ribs) and sudden diarrhoea that comes and goes. 

      I think I'm going to steer clear of supplements then! I'd already been taking a comprehensive B vitamin at the time of testing (for about a year). I have come off of that for the B12 & folate test, but not sure how long it takes to deplete! 

      Thanks again Marion! I just need a diagnosis & treatment, as my life is on hold (I'm barely functioning). It's all made worse as I already have neurological symptoms following my traumatic brain injury. 

       

      Take care! 

      Emma

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    • Posted

      If you have digestive issues, that may well be the cause. We are often low in other things due to poor absorption, so maybe get your doctor to check your VitD levels too?  

      Hope you get the help you need, and begin to feel better soon. 

      Marion

      Antacid medicines can also lower B12.

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    • Posted

      Hi BrokenDoll - such a sad name.

      "Anyone at any age, can become B12 deficient. Thus you need to be tested immediately if you develop the symptoms described  in this chapter. 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 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.

      Infants born to and/or breast fed by women who are symptomatic or are at risk for B12 deficiency."

      Do you "see" yourself in any of the above?

       

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    • Posted

      That's a great idea, thank you Marion! My GP seems to be fairly clued up, which can only be positive, as I understand a lot of medical practitioners aren't that clued up when it comes to B12 deficiencies.

      I haven't taken antacids, I have 1tsp of bicarbonate of soda in warm water for my acid reflux.

      thanks again! 

      Emma 

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    • Posted

      Hi Clive,

      Thank you for taking the time to respond! I'm feeling pretty sad at the moment! sad

      I actually see myself twice there! I had "borderline" thyroid issues & had thyroiditis for a good number of years. This was never monitored, nor treated.

      I also had quite a hefty dose of nitrous oxide approximately 1 year ago by paramedics when I was suffering with a severe pylonephritis infection/renal colic. I shouldn't have ever been given it in the first place, as its contraindicated in the brain injured. I had a severe reaction to it and became hypoxic & kept losing conciousness.

      Thanks again 

       

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    • Posted

      I forgot to say that my GP has tested my thyroid two weeks ago, I will ask her what the results were when I see her next week.

      she ordered a whole host of tests & then I got the call that my FBC was abnormal & that they wanted to test for B12 & folate (this was taken yesterday).

      Thanks Clive! 

      Emma 

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    • Posted

      Hopefully the tests will show something up that is treatable and your doctor will follow through with it.

      I think that nitrous oxide can completey "wipe out" B12 which may go a long way toward explaining how ill you have felt.

      A quote from US National Library of Medicine goes:

      "Nitrous oxide produces irreversible oxidation to the Co++ and Co forms that renders vitamin B12 inactive". 

      I do wish you well and a speedy recovery.

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Excruciating headache, hot and cold sounds very like the Subacute Viral Thyroiditis I had some years ago (like having the worst case of flu.) My heart was pounding out of my chest. Went on for a couple of weeks, first I had over-active thyroid whilst my thyroid chugged out all the thyroxine into my body then underactive once it had finished.  Luckily I eventually went back to normal although I believe the virus took hold because my B12 /iron was low and I was anaemic and my immune system was shot beforehand.  The B12/iron deficiency didn’t get diagnosed until years later. Also I think that the over active thyroid caused scaring on my heart and eventually I had to have a pacemaker fitted for ‘heart block.’

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Emma, I'm not a medically qualified person but reading through your post I was immediately allerted  by your symptoms, reference to B12 and Folate test and the use of nitrous oxide all of which made me think that maybe you are Vitamin B12 Deficient.

    Do you know what your Serum B12 and Folate readings are?

    Who’s at greatest risk for B12 Deficiency?

    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 that can interfere with B12 absorption including the contraceptive pill..

    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.

    Infants born to and/or breast fed by women who are symptomatic or are at risk for B12 deficiency."

    Apart from the those highlighted above do you see "yourself" in any of the others?

    Treatment of cobalamin deficiency

    "Current clinical practice within the U.K is to treat cobalamin deficiency with hydroxocobalamin in the intramuscular form outlined in the British National Formulary, BNF, 

    Standard initial therapy for patients without neurological involvement is 1000 µg intramuscularly (i.m.) three times a week for two weeks. 

    The BNF advises that for Pernicious anaemia and other macrocytic anaemias patients presenting with neurological symptoms should receive 1000 µg i.m. on alternative days until there is no further improvement.

    However, the GWG recommends a pragmatic approach in patients with neurological symptoms by reviewing the need for continuation of alternative day therapy after three weeks of treatment"I think you need to go back to your doctor with a list of your symptoms and ask him to treat them in accordance with the above guidelines. 

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