Please help Losing my mind : b12 deficiency

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My husband is 37 years old . He suddenly started developing profound numbness , heaviness in his legs . Then a couple of days later he started developing symptoms in his hands

We thought it was the beginning of GBS SINCE he had had a viral infection some time back or we thought it might be LYME , since we go out hiking.

After tests Lyme came negative , vitamin b12 was 140 , vitamin d is 10 and vitamin b1 is 4 (lab normal is 4 to 10). He took b12 shots for 5 days continuously and his numbness got better . But today exactly after a week of his last b12 shot his numbness is back.

He has been taking multivitamins orally everyday for the past week . He is a vegetarian. His folate levels were normal as was his HEMOGLOBIN.

Why have the symptoms returned ? Please help . I am losing my mind .

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    he really needs a high dose vit d, plus if he is getting b12 injections he should be taking folate acid, they say it should be at the higher end of the range for it to work x
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  • Posted

    Is your doctor planning to continue his injections? His level of B12 was very low, as was his VitD. Being vegetarian means he isn't getting B12 from his diet, so he will need a high level supplement, general multivitamins probably aren't enough.

    There may be a fault in his digestive process that prevents him absorbing B12 from tablets? Many people use sublingual tablets or sprays, these dissolve under the tongue and are absorbed into the blood stream, bypassing the digestive route.

    The other issue is that once supplementing begins the symptoms can worsen for a time. It seems to be quite usual for there to be this heightened response at the start of treatment.

    It is probably a good idea for your husband to contact the doctor and explain what is happening.

    Best wishes 


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  • Posted

    The B12 injections should not have stopped. They should have continued per the paragraph highlighted below because of his symptoms and this should be shown to his doctor.

    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"

    It is not uncommon for symptoms to apear to get worse before they get better and this is a sign that the B12 is starting to mend the damage done to the nervous system.  The brain starts to get bombarded with messages from part of the body it has previously forgotten about as the damaged myelin sheath surrounding the nerves is repaired and "reconnected".

    As has been stated in other replies here being vegetarian will lead to not only a B12 Deficiency but also to Vitamin D as (apart from the sunshine for D) both are only obtained naturally from eating animal products.

    It has also been stated that the injections are for life - which is true with Pernicious Anaemia - and may well be the case if your vegetarian husband is on medications or for other reasons is unable to absorb B12 via his stomach.

    I suggest he lists his current symptoms and presents this to his doctor asking for a resumption of injections in accordance with that paragraph in the BNF guidelines.  It would be good if you could go with him as one who can validate his symptoms as the doctor is less likely to "pooh pooh" them in front of a witness.

    I am not a medically qualified person but one who has had P.A. for 45 years but am still "clivealive" at 75.


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