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B12 and anxiety

(65 Posts)
PippyRose Mon 05-Feb-18 20:23:55

I had a blood test for B12 deficiency last week. My Mum and Dad have it and have regular b12 injections. Apart from feeling tired a lot, I always seem to be cold so I thought I'd better get mine checked and I got the results today and it's low. I have to have another test on Friday just to confirm it's consistently low, not just a one off before the Dr will consider treatment.
I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and I was wondering if anyone else saw their anxiety levels improve after vitamin B12 injections? Maybe I'm just clutching at straws but I've read that there are links between deficiency and anxiety.

Dreamslongforgotten75 Mon 05-Feb-18 23:08:14

Pippy, I noticed a massive improvement in my anxiety when I supplemented with B12. It took 3 months for it to start working but when it did it was very noticeable.

PippyRose Tue 06-Feb-18 06:39:34

I suppose it has to build up in your system. I've read a bit about how important it is for the nervous system. I'm glad it worked for you smile It's amazing how something so simple can make a difference.

I already take supplements but I suspect I have the intrinsic factor (?) that prevents it from being absorbed in the gut.

I'm holding out hope that it I'll see an improvement if I start the injections (providing my levels are still low on this second blood test).

bandbsmummy Tue 06-Feb-18 06:45:08

Yes I saw a huge improvement in my anxiety and depression. I've been retested and they won't give me the b12 anymore and was told that my levels 'weren't that low anyway' when a bit of my own research said otherwise. I always felt a dip in mood in the run up to needing the next injection and am really suffering now. Hope it helps you.

PippyRose Tue 06-Feb-18 06:54:28

Sounds like a cost cutting exercise Nandsb. Shame, especially as it was working for you. Did they offer an alternative such as SSRIs? I know I'd rather go for the more natural option of B12 if it works.

I take it your Dr knows the way it affects you? Maybe a day in your shoes would change his/her mind. Very frustrating.

Is paying for the treatment an option for you? I suppose it's quite expensive :/

Horses4 Tue 06-Feb-18 07:01:02

B12 can help with anxiety and palpitations etc.

They won’t give it to PP because of levels, not because of cost cutting (it is about £1.50 a shot) but because GP surgeries are under fairly strict guidance because of research on the impact of excess on the liver.

It doesn’t build up in the system, quite the opposite. You need regular doses to get by. I had to fight to get the frequency of mine increased, my sister’s GP simply won’t allow her to increase past the 12 week interval. She can hardly talk and has extremely poor motor control when her injection is due.

Good luck, OP, it’s a hard condition to have, and GPs go by the blood test range rather than symptomatology, in my experience, hence BandB’s experience.

PippyRose Tue 06-Feb-18 07:16:28

Ah I didn't know it could have implications for the liver. Makes sense Horses.That explains my second blood test to make sure. Definitely best to avoid them if they going to cause liver issues.

Sounds awful for your sister sad

How often do you have the jabs now? Was your anxiety bad before the treatment?

And, because I'm a complete wimp.....do the jabs hurt as much as my Mum says they do?! :/

bandbsmummy Tue 06-Feb-18 08:06:52

Yes, as @Horses4 says, my levels are now not low enough to need it according to GPs guidelines. I have another appointment with the Dr who originally asked for me to be tested today to talk about options. Annoyingly, they only retested me as I asked to have them more frequently than 12 weeks so shot myself in the foot there!

I found that the initial loading phase, where you have several injections over the course of 2 weeks was a little painful but as a one off it's not so bad and I am a massive wimp.

10thingsIhateAboutTheDailyMail Tue 06-Feb-18 08:12:41

Can you change your diet to include more dairy/fish/eggs, or are you vegan?

Horses4 Tue 06-Feb-18 08:21:03

If it’s pernicious anaemia, diet makes little difference as you can’t absorb from food or supplements.

The injections do sting as they are intramuscular but it’s not a bad feeling when you know you are going to get a boost from it!

I get mine every eight weeks as I have a sensible doctor who followed the BNF which says every two to three months is okay for pernicious anaemia.

Horses4 Tue 06-Feb-18 08:23:40

For what it’s worth, there is doubt cast on the liver research. B12 is excreted and not stored. Dogs with the same condition get injections every week!

rainsbows30 Tue 06-Feb-18 08:23:55

Will the quantity in a women's health multivitamin be enough to make a difference? I have awful anxiety but don't want medication.

Rubberduckies Tue 06-Feb-18 08:28:34

My B12 was very low. I found some research that 1000mcg sublingual tablets had a similar effect to Injections for some people. Worked for me and Gp was quite surprised as I was going to be started on injections. I've got the natures aid ones.

bandbsmummy Tue 06-Feb-18 08:36:06

Good to know @Rubberduckies, I'll try them if I get no joy later.

DustyMaiden Tue 06-Feb-18 08:36:25

I have been incredibly ill due to B12 deficiency, I don’t absorb it.

There are videos on utube that show how bad it gets.

Yes my anxiety improved with injections. I got fed up with only being given then when the Dr thought it was low enough.

There is a pernicious anemia society which gives excellent advise and latest news.

I now take sublingual tablets every day, it keeps my level up and is constant. I buy them my self.

PippyRose Tue 06-Feb-18 12:54:23

Can you absorb the supplements even with pernicious anemia though?

I'm thinking of asking them to check for any thyroid issues when I have the 2nd blood test because apparently that can affect b12 levels. Hypothyroidism can cause anxiety in itself so I've read.

Recallclock Tue 06-Feb-18 13:00:05

I was told it WAS due to cost.
That previously doctors gave the injections for years and years when there was no evidence of benefit.

I noticed that I am very breathless and my anxiety is through the roof before injections are due again. It is awful and yet I have been told I can only have a year of injections but then need to get poorly again before they would give them again.

TheNecroscope Tue 06-Feb-18 13:09:43

I’d encourage you to join the pernicious anaemia and B12 def support groups on Facebook. Sadly the majority of members are battling with their gps to increase frequency of injections, usually to no avail. If you have pernicious anaemia there should be no question of ever retesting or stopping injections as it’s something you need for the rest of your life. It does happen though. Left untreated for long enough, it can leave you with permanent neurological damage.
Lots of people buy their own B12 and inject themselves through desperation. It’s absolutely crazy. The pernicious anaemia society are trying hard to campaign to make it available over the counter and to change the guidelines so that more frequent injections are offered.

PippyRose Tue 06-Feb-18 15:27:19

Thank Neroscope, I'll have a look at their page.

I agree with you about the re-testing. It's not a condition I should imagine you recover from so treatment should be ongoing.

Wowzel Tue 06-Feb-18 15:38:42

I was admitted to hospital in August with neurological symptoms - reduced feeling, movement and strength in both my arms and hands. It turned out to be due to a b12 deficiency.

I had 2 weeks worth of B12 injections every day and am now on tablets with testing every 6 months. Had my bloods done last week and my b12 level is now really high but the neuro consultant wants me to keep it high.

I don't have pernicious anaemia though - my deficiency was entirely due to diet and being a pregnant vegetarian who had stopped eating eggs.

arousingcheer Tue 06-Feb-18 15:40:22

I'm not a health professional so can't advise but I do my own b12 injections and imo they have improved my tinnitus, foot pain and sexual function considerably (though they took a fair bit of time to do so). So it's something to consider if you've been told you need b12 injections but they're being withdrawn and you're suffering. This website helped too: www.b12d.org/

PippyRose Wed 07-Feb-18 07:23:10

Maybe my diet has something to do with it as well Wowzel. I don't eat red meat or drink milk. I do eat chicken and fish though and generally eat healthily.
I suppose I'm just desperately clinging on to the hope that the b12 issue is the root of my horrible anxiety so I can finally do something about it. Would be nice to have a day without a racing heartbeat and an infuriating tendency to overthink everything and worry about every little thing. My mind needs a rest!
Thank you all for your posts. The b12 thing is clearly a bit of a minefield and can have massive impact on people's well being. Thanks for sharing your experiences on it and shedding a bit of light on something that is new to me. Good luck to all x

Recallclock Wed 07-Feb-18 07:39:57

Can you get B12 tablets?
Particularly off prescription?

PippyRose Wed 07-Feb-18 09:36:49

I already take over the counter supplements Recall but my levels are still low. That's what people are talking about, some people can't absorb b12 via the gut and need a jab to obtain it.

VimFuego101 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:48:30

I found it definitely improved my mental health when I started to get monthly b12 shots. I was also finally able to break a lifelong hair picking habit; before the b12 I used to compulsively pull out my hair.

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