Ongoing symptoms of headaches, fatigue, aching limbs, brain fog and cramps and diarrhoea.

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Hi all, I've been going to my GP with these symptoms over the past few years and had stomach issues since I was 14 which were blamed on IBS but later on my Gallbladder which was removed. I'm constantly tired, go to bed and wake up with a headache everyday. I used to have problems with constipation but now it's diarrhoea and after I've eaten I have to literally run to the toilet within 30mins which isn't ideal when I work full time. My brain fog is horrendous and I forget the simplest of words and don't like to have conversations with people now as it's embarrassing when you can't think of a word to finish a sentence. My GP has blamed it all on stress and tried to send me away. She eventually agreed on blood tests which I had. I was borderline Vitamin D and Liver Function test was borderline and my B12 was really low. A year ago I had the same blood tests and was vegetarian at the time...my B12 then was borderline, as was my Vit D but Liver Function then was normal. I started eating meat again just after that as was told it would help the B12. Obviously it hasn't as it is now low.

I'm now getting B12 injections and getting my 2nd one tomorrow but I feel no better so far. I asked the GP for further tests as to try to find the cause of my low B12 instead of just treating the symptoms. I was left a message from GP stating I should be happy I'm getting B12 injections! My life is revolving around my fatigue at the moment and I have to have a sleep when I get in from work due to being so tired and having no energy for anything else! Anyone else having similar problems?

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  • Posted

    HI , you are describing how I felt before my pernicious anemia diagnosis. Your go isn't being anything but an under educated dr. I was lucky enough to have a dr. that the day I was in his office with my problems  he recognized what possibly it could be . He sent me that day for a emergency MRI , and it found nothing in my head . That's what he thought it would be , pseudo tumor was what it was. My brain thought I had a tumor. So then 2days later the neurologist put in hospital on a out patient , they did a lumbar puncture my brain pressure was sky high. So they went to work to look for the reason for pseudo tumor. It turned out my B12 was lower than Drs. had seen. That was 28 yrs ago. I now give myself injections , after this long my injection schedule is 1 ml shot every 7 to 10 days. Yes everything you said fatigued, diarrhea, pain all over, headaches , ear whooshing, if you get the pernicious anemia diagnosis, you run the risk of getting another autoimmune disease, they tend to run in multiples. I wish you the best, it's a long road. Hang in , and fight ,fight,  fight for answers. 

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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.

    Apart from the vegetarianism do you see yourself in any of the above "people"

    It is also important that your Folate level is monitored as this is essential to process the B12.

    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

    diarrhoea

    numbness and tingling in the feet and hands

    muscle weakness

    depression

    Initially, 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 Haemoglobin. Both iron and folate may be needed so please have these levels checked by your doctor.

    It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 you are having 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.  I am not a medically trained person but I've had Pernicious Anaemia (a form of B12 deficiency) for more than 46 years.

    I wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Hi Clive,

      I've not been vegetarian for over 6 months and I'm none of the types of people listed. My folate/B12 was mentioned as one thing and both were low but as far as I'm aware the injections are B12 only. My main issue is my brain fog and tiredness. My other worry is that both my grandmothers had ongoing stomach issues with cramps, diarrhoea etc the same as I have, both had helocabacter pylori diagnosed and had triple therapy treatment, then both had apparent diverticulitis, then both died of pancreatic cancer within 8 months of each other. I'm worried I may have a bowel condition but my GP isn't interested in investigating anything.

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    • Posted

      We store Vitamin B12 in our liver and normally have several years worth in stock and like a car battery gets re-charged every time the motor is running so too does our stock of B12 when we eat animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, seafood,poultry and dairy produce which are the only "natural" sources.  If we don't eat enough of these foodstuffs the our stock of B12 gets "used up" we become deficient and that is when damage is done to the myelin sheath which surrounds our nerves and causes the neurological symptoms you are suffering now.

      It is highly likely that your previous vegetarian diet allowed you to deplete your store of B12 and thus it has to be replaced by the injections yo are having.  However, it is not an overnight magic cure.

      Please remember I'm not medically trained so cannot comment on whether this an hereditary problem or not - you must discuss this with your doctor - if you haven't already.

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