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Vitamin B12

Having had a CIS in April, I get my formal diagnosis in January 2016,but i am at 90% chance of developing MS. I cant feel my fingers, constantly numb or tingling and have been since April. I now have B12 injections as my level is 28, not sure if this is that bad. Does B12 issues go with MS?

The symptoms of a B12 deficiency is almost the same as MS. Google - Could it be B12 - An Epidemic of Misdiagnosis.

Also - Vitamin B12 deficiency MS.

Hey Foxygirl,

I would definitely trake B12. I ha d a really horrible relapse 3 and a half years ago, before I was diagnosed and I did loads of research. Thought it was MS but the symptoms, as SJ says are exactly the same as B12 deficiency because thbe Myelin sheathes become depleted. I started taking B12 and all my symptoms went within a week. I still had MS though, unfortunately. However, I think that the B vitamins are really important. My level is 1658 ng/l from bloods taken the other day.

Good luck with it.

Adrian

I would definitely repeat what Adrian has said. B12 deficiency (which includes, but is not restricted to, pernicious anaemia) can be mistaken for MS or - as in my case - can run alongside definite MS and aggravate a number of your existing symptoms.

It definitely needs to be kept under control although I am amazed at how even some very experienced Neuros don’t automatically check for it. It isn’t part of the normal Full Blood Screen (FBC). My neuro - who usually takes more blood from me that Dracula - had to be nagged into ordering a B12 test last time I saw her and obviously only agreed to it to shut me up.

Imagine my surprise when soon afterwards I got a panicked phone call from my GP calling me in because of my “very low” B12 so I could start my loading shots ASAP! (I also got a call from my MS nurse checking that I had heard from my GP about them too) All was revealed when I got my copy of my Consultant’s report that said - in an addendum:

“These results suggest that the patient may have a vitamin B12 deficiency … Vitamin B12 deficiency, when prolonged, can also be associated with neurological dysfunction so the correction of a deficiency is particularly important in this case in which the patient repots the impression of worsening of her symptoms despite treatment.”

Good thing that I nagged her. I am very conscious of B12 deficiency in my case because I had major gastric surgery before I was diagnosed and this can lay me open to malabsorbtion of vitamins and other nutrients.

Ironically, I only noticed this thread this morning after returning from the GP where I had my 3 monthly top-up shot.

You say that your “level is 28”. What units are being used for this figure? If it was ng/L (nano grams per Litre) then it would seem VERY low.

My B12 was given as 77ng/L and that sparked panicky phone calls from my GP and MS Nurse

The NHS does not - of course - give any “acceptable range” for B12. However I have found an American site (The Mayo Clinic (Mayo Medical Laboratories) http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/9154 ) which says the following:

" Vitamin B12 level <150 ng/L is considered evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency. Follow-up with tests for antibodies to intrinsic factor (IFBA / Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody, Serum) are recommended to identify this potential cause of vitamin B12 malabsorption. For specimens without antibodies, follow-up testing of vitamin B12 tissue deficiency by measuring MMA (MMAS / Methylmalonic Acid [MMA], Quantitative, Serum) and/or homocysteine (HCYSP / Homocysteine, Total, Plasma) may be indicated if the patient is symptomatic.

Patients with serum B12 levels between 150 and 400 ng/L are considered borderline and should be evaluated further by functional tests for vitamin B12 deficiency. The plasma homocysteine level is a good screening test. A normal level effectively excludes vitamin B12 and folate deficiency in an asymptomatic patient. However, the test is not specific and many situations can cause an increased level. In contrast, an increased serum MMA level is more specific for cellular-level B12 deficiency and is not increased by folate deficiency."

However, other websites give their figures using different Units pg/mL (picograms per milliliter) - with normal values of 200 - 900 (pg/mL) so they are not directly comparable.

I was at ng/l, and had a quick succession of 7 shots to get my levels up. Since then i have had 2 x 3 monthly shots