I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency about a year ago. And with my hypothyroidism, it has been a struggle to do a lot of things.
I was getting B12 injections for a while to help boost my B12 intake. But then my levels reached 1000 and I was taken off them. As numbers were more important than symptoms. I kept taking B12 supplements. but they were not enough.
So here I am, still struggling to live with this and many other problems.
So, what is B12 Deficiency?
Also known as Hypocobalaminemia. It is a low-level vitamin in the blood. If untreated it can lead to a number of problems, including neurological disorders and nerve damage.
If B12 levels fall below the 500 range. The brain starts to deteriorate at twice the usual rate. And if you’re not getting enough, it can leave you feeling weepy and drained, poor concentration and mood swings.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
- Unexplained tiredness
- Brain fog
- Brittle nails
- Pins and needles (usually in your hands and feet)
- Balance problems
- Burning legs or feet
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
- Lack of concentration
- Memory loss
- Bleeding gums/mouth ulcers
- Blurred vision
- Low Energy
- Restless Legs
- Pale appearance
How to test for B12 Deficiency
This is usually done by Blood tests. But there are other tests: Schilling test, Bone marrow test and a Metabolite assessment.
Treatment for B12 Deficiency
You need to replace the Vitamin 12 by injection initially and then continued injections or high doses of an oral supplement for life.
Types of B12
There are 4 types of B12 supplements out there.
Is a natural form of B12. Hydroxocobalamin is produced by many bacteria that are used to produce the vitamin commercially. Hydroxocobalamin is used as an injectable solution for treatment of the vitamin deficiency and for treatment for cyanide poisoning.
This is the form that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it’s ready for your biochemistry to put to immediate use.
Also know as Cobamamide and dibencozide, it is one of the active forms of Vitamin B12 (the other is Methylcobalamin). This is only available in tablet form.
This is a cheap, synthetic form of B12 that is bound to a cyanide molecule, that is made in a laboratory. I recommend avoiding it completely. It won’t kill you to take it, of course, but there’s a better solution for B-12.
So in theory, I should be getting regular injections but I’m not. And supplementing is costly. Especially for the amount I need to take daily.
But I will keep on fighting.