How Sufficient Is Your B-12 Level?

How Important Is B-12 Vitamins?

Many of us have always known that B-12 vitamins were good energy vitamins but do you really know just how important B-12 is to your bodily functions? Well, I didn't have a clue until I became totally disabled, having no clue as to what was happening to my body. For many months, I was poked, prodded and tested for everything from Multiple Sclerosis to Muscular Distrophy, only to find out that I was B-12 defficient. I would then begin to research the importance of B-12 to the bodily functions and I continue to be amazed at the effects this vitamin has on our system. Or more importantly, how the lack of this vitamin can effect us.

Vitamin B-12 functions as a methyl donor and works with folic acid in the synthesis of DNA and red blood cells. It is vitally important in maintaining the health of the insulation sheath, known as the myelin sheath, that surrounds the nerve cells.

B-12 deficiency results in nervous system impairment and damage with symptoms of numbness and tingling in the extremities, leg weakness and stiffness, difficulty walking, fatigue, confusion, depression, irritability, paranoia and yellow-blue color blindness. B-12 deficiency also causes megaloblastic anemia and may be accompanied by spleen and liver enlargement, anorexia, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Other symptoms of deficiency include a swollen red tongue and occasionally fever. New research suggests that B-12 deficiency may increase the risk for breast cancer.


B-12 deficiency often manifests itself first in the development of neurological dysfunction that is almost indistinguishable from senile dementia and Alzheimer's disease. There is little question that many patients exhibiting symptoms of Alzheimer's actually suffer from B-12 deficiency. These symptoms are totally reversable with proper supplementations.

B-12 deficiency has also been associated with asthma, depression, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, tinnitus, diabetic neuropathy and low sperm counts.

How Much Do I Need and What Are the Sources?

Normal blood level of vitamin B-12 ranges between 200 and 600 picogram/millileter. Unfortunately, B-12 is not absorbed very well, so large amounts are needed to supply the tiny amount of B-12 that is actually needed for our body.

The richest food sources for vitamin B-12 are liver, especially lamb's liver and kidneys. It is also found in red meat, poultry, shellfish and dairy products. However, just because you eat a lot of red meat does not mean that you are getting sufficient amounts of B-12 in your system.

Vegetables and fruits are very poor sources. Several surveys have shown that most strict, long-term vegetarians are B-12 deficient. Also, many elderly are B-12 deficient because their production of the intrinsic factor needed to absorb the vitamin from the small intestine decline rapidly with age.

This picture is not meant to recommend any particular brand of supplement
This picture is not meant to recommend any particular brand of supplement


Oral supplementation with B-12 is safe, efficient and inexpensive. Swallowing 500 micrograms of B-12 can result in the absorbtion of as little as 1.8 micrograms so most multi-vitamins do not provide an adequate daily intake.

The best approach is to dissolve a sublingual tablet (1,000 micrograms) under the tongue every day. If a deficiency is actually present, then 2,000 micrograms per day for one month is recommended, followed by 1,000 micrograms per day thereafter.

If your deficiency is due to malabsorbtion in the stomach, your doctor may prescribe a B-12 shot on a regular basis. Normally this will be every day to 2 days for about two weeks with one shot per month thereafter.

There is, however, no scientific evidence supporting the notion that injections are more effective than sublingual supplementation due to the fact that, when dissolved under the tongue, it is absorbed into the blood stream rather than through the digestive process, just as the injections are.

Interactions With Medications

  • Metformin, histamine H-2 receptor antagonists (cimetidine, ranitidine, etc.), aminoglycosides, colchicine, aminosalicylic acid, anti-convulsants and alcohol decrease the absorption of B-12.
  • Don't use with chloramphenicol
  • Don't take vitamin C within an hour of taking B-12 because vitamin C inactivates B-12.
  • Potassium supplements can reduce absorption of B-12 in some people. B-12 supplements should be taken at least one hour prior to taking potassium supplements. Potassium supplements may also contribute to B-12 deficiency.
  • B-12 supplement, in theory, should be avoided by people sensitive or allergic to cobalamin, cobalt or any other product ingredients. However, direct allergy to a vitamin or nutrient is extremely rare and, if reported, other causes should be sought.
  • The Institute of Medicine states that no adverse effects have been associated with excess B-12 intake from food or supplements. In fact, the IOM recommends that adults get most of their B-12 in supplements because of the high incidence of impaired absorption in adults.

Christmas 2008

Enjoying my beautiful, youngest granddaughter, Lilly!
Enjoying my beautiful, youngest granddaughter, Lilly!

My Personal Experience


I learned from personal experience not to take for granted that I am getting enough B-12 in my diet just because I eat lots of red meat, liver and dairy products. This would probably make up the largest percentage of my diet so I had no clue that my B-12 level was so low that I was almost to the point of permanent nervous system damage. In fact, I still have some permanent numbness and tingling in my arms and legs from this past experience. Fortunately, the damage is nothing that keeps me from functioning as could have been the case if it had not been diagnosed when it was.

I started with the B-12 injections and once the levels were normal, I have since continued with the sublingual B-12, which has been literally a life saver for me. I had absolutely no idea how important B-12 was to my body and especially my nervous system until this happened. My hope is that this hub will prevent someone else from having to go through the dabilitating symptoms that I dealt with before mine was diagnosed.

Because of this treatment, I can now enjoy even the smallest of my grandchildren because it no longer causes severe pain to be touched. This, in itself has been a blessing that no words could ever describe!

Take all precautions to prevent the deficiency of B-12 in your body by taking a daily subligual of 1,000 micrograms. If you are already exhibiting some of the symptoms, have your doctor do a blood test to determine if you already have a deficiency and work with him on the best treatment options for you. A simple blood test just to be sure could mean the difference in a healthy level of B-12 and the severe effects that can be caused by B-12 deficiency. If left untreated, the deficiency can cause permanent nerve damage, paralysis and possibly even death, so, please see your doctor if you even think this is possible.

© 2008 Bonnie N. Ramsey

Family Christmas 2008

These are just a fraction of the faces that make me blessed to be healthy again!
These are just a fraction of the faces that make me blessed to be healthy again!

Comments 94 comments

Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Net. This is a very personal message for me due to all the effects it had on me. Once you are disabled from something like this, it tends to make you want to tell others how they can avoid it happening to them. Both doctors and family members were convinced that I had MS because I had every one of the symptoms on a regular basis. I am so grateful that it turned out to be something curable at that stage. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comments and support!


donnaleemason profile image

donnaleemason 8 years ago from North Dakota, USA

Great Bonnie, it is also used for ADHD, I use it on my son.

Your grandaughter is a cutie.


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States Author

Thanks, Donna! I certainly agree about that little cutie! All the kids in the bottom photos are "some" of my neices, nephews, gret-neices, great-nephews and, of course, grandkids. LOL. I didn't know it was used for ADHD but it does make sense. Thanks for posting that!


JennieA 8 years ago

Some interesting info here. I recently found out that my B12 level was 129 pmol/L. I don't know why, I am not a vegetarian, eat fairly well etc.

I started having a b12 injection weekly for the last 6 weeks... but I don't feel much difference.

Can anyone offer me any opinions?

Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States Author

Hi, Jennie! Thanks for stopping by. If you are getting the shots but your B-12 is still low your doctor should try to find out why. Also, if your B-12 is improving and you aren't feeling any better, he should investigate that as well. There may be a cobination of other medical problems. As far as eating right and not being a vegetarian, that doesn't gaurantee your B-12 being normal. It is just worse in vegetarians because most of the B-12 is found in meats and of course they don't eat meat. Talk to your doctor about other tests to determine if you have other medical problems if you don't begin to feel better soon or if your level doesn't improve.


Wendy 7 years ago


I to suffered from lack of B-12 my count was down to 159 and I was very sick. I got to the point hat I was losing my mind and will to live (literally). Luckily my Dr had just went through this with his sister and was very aggressive in treating this with injections. My brain function has cam back 85%, however I do still have nerve damage to my feet. I say go start treament right away before more damage happens.


Robin Pinto 7 years ago

Hello Bonnie, it's funny how we can just stumble on the most interesting things on the internet that speak directly to us. I have severe peripheral neuropathy in my feet and numbness all the way up my legs. I have tried every medication imaginable and nothing works for me. My husband just donated his kidney to me four months ago and they tell me I should be feeling so much better...but I am still so tired I could sleep all day. They then discovered I was severly anemic so I am having iron injections. In the mean time, I found an incredible specialist in NYC that took 27 vials of blood from me to determine the cause of the neuropathy....I just got off the phone with him and he told me I was very B12 deficient. After reading many things on the internet, I found a reason for my fatigue, my forgetfullness, my imbalance and my nerve damage, as well as my anemia. I am amazed how it all fits together. It's as if there are six degrees of separation in my body. God willing, the B12 shots he has perscribed will help to turn things around.

Is this what you found?, that the B12 injections and pills actually reversed the nerve damage? Or was there more to it than that? I am so hopeful because there are no words to describe the agony that I experience every day, all day with severe nerve damage. You can never fully explain it to someone that does not have it. I thank you for your post and wisdom, it was so helpful.

All my best,

Robin Pinto

arithia 7 years ago

Hi, I just found out my b12 level was 177 though I'm a non vegetarian and have milk daily. I'm just 18 and i was having crazy mood swings so i got some tests done. The information you've given is useful. Thank you.

Sally 6 years ago

About two years ago they discovered I was extremely B12 deficient while testing me for many many different things. I now have a shot every three months. The problem is, I get to about two months and I'm really really tired, I literally can sleep for 18 hours and am still tired. I asked for a blood test to check my B12, to see if they'd give me my shot more regularly. I called back today for the results and they said my B12 is fine. I don’t understand. Why else am I tired eight weeks after my shot an right up until I have my next one, if it isn’t my B12 levels?

Joy 6 years ago

Sally, I've just recently found out my b12 level is 159...I have to do a shot a day for 7 then a shot a week for 4 then I have to get them monthly. I've only had four so far so my energy has not returned but they are also having me take follic acid daily because folate was low also. Was your folate not low? They told me it goes along with your b12. I'd ask your doctor if it's ok for you to try it. On the bottle it says people use it to help their metabolism so I would think it'd help with energy.

Dawn 6 years ago

I just found out by b12 levels were 169, I am starting on the lozenges 2000mcg for a month then down to 1000mcg for the following two months before I get another blood test. I am so hoping it brings back some clarity in my mind and help me feel rested.

kaz 6 years ago

i have recently found out my b12 level whilst i was having injections was 138, i stopped having the shots and a year and a half on have just been tested again..

dreading the results :/

Tamara 6 years ago

Thank you so much for this everyone. I have been undergoing a number of tests, neurologist, spinal tap as well as so much more. The Dr thinks I may have early stages of MS, but yet I read this, and my B12 levels are below 100. First discovered last April they were only 73 then in May up to 114 now up to 140, slowly but surely they are getting there. I have hope ! Thank you. Sometimes the opinion of the people is what really counts. I plan to talk to my Dr more about this B12 as I now believe this may be the cause of ALL my symptoms.

Thanks ! :)

Julia Singer 6 years ago

To Robin Pinto,

Could you share with me the "incredible specialist in NYC"

that you went to? My husband has peripheral neuropathy and we are looking for a good specialist.


Julia Singer

Mon 6 years ago

Tamara, my story seems quite similar to yours. Thinking early stages MS.

When this all started for me my B12 was 86.

My levels have been like a rollercoaster. In Feb it was up to 305 :) but I have recently had a setback.

Spinal tap is the next step.

rileyc54 6 years ago

sally i am the same as you after two months i am really tired the doctor said it has nothing to do with b12 as my bloods also came back normal but once i get my shot i feel much better makes no sense i am very fit and go to gym tree times a week but after two months i just feel to tired to do anything im glad someone elese is the same thought i was loseing my mind

de 6 years ago

hello my name is diana i just found out my b12 is low and if felt really tired. My symptoms were i had a cough and felt very weak. You feel like your tingling on your hands and feet. It is not a great feeling i just hope to recover soon with the b12 shots my Dr. is giving me now.

Neptune 6 years ago

I was just diagnosed with low count of B-12. They have put me on a every other week of shot for the next 2 months. I have been sick, low energy and feeling tired for the past 4 months and I have been going to numerous doctors for my illness. It all started with sharp needle like pain on the left side of my head behind my left ear. I was told that It was a bad virus and was given numerous antibiotic and ear drops and nasal spray. I was seen by several specialist ear/nose doctor, an ophthalmologist, neurologist, had a brain MRI done. The neurologist ordered the B-12 blood work and that's how I was diagnosed with insufficient B-12. My doctor is very optimistic.

jo 6 years ago

my levels have been hovering round 140, last test 133 doctor says this is normal. Testing was started as I have many symptoms chronic fatigue, joint pain, outrageous PMS etc. I am in the UK.

Sanju 6 years ago


i have been prescribed to take b12 injections for 5 weeks,my doc dnt say anythg to me abt that,bt she she simply said dat am having very less contect of iron in my plz can anyone tell me will dat be ok if i take the injections for 5 weeks.then what happens after i need to continue or will it be sufficient,if so then hw can i get b12 in my body....

maxi 6 years ago

hello my name is maxi i just found out my b12 is low and if felt really tired. My symptoms were that i was really tired and felt very weak. You feel like your tingling on your hands and feet. It is not a great feeling i just hope to recover soon with the b12 shots my Dr. is giving me now.

Tanya 6 years ago

Hello my name is Tanya my B12 deficiency was picked up 13yrs ago when pregnant with my second child levels where 150, yes i had injections levels came back up to 200 then this same process happened every time I fell pregnant, after doing so my levels do hover around 200 but in Dr opinion this is normal?? even with symptoms i just don't get it, I know the way I feel, tired, weak,no energy, aches,fatigue and the list goes on, I am so confused in what to do I am getting to the stage I am really sick of feeling this way its dragging me down, because I have had a deficiency in the past does this mean I am going to battle on with this for the rest of my life? I am awaiting bloods to come back as we speak so we will see. I hope some-one can help me

kay 6 years ago

i was just called by my dr and wanted me to come in and get more blood work. said that my folic acid and B-12 were very high. They are very concerned and wanted me in right away. i see nothing posted anywhere about it being too high. Any suggestions or comments about it.

Deirdre 6 years ago

I found out last week my levels are at 122. I've had 6 years of being treated for an anxiety disorder by a doctor who constantly told me my symptoms were all in my head. The pain got so bad recently that I went to another doctor. He sent me straight for blood tests and called me straight back to the surgery. He couldn't understand why I hadn't gone to the doctor about the tiredness he said I muct be feeling. When I detailed all my symptoms that I did go to the doctor about (including tiredness, dizzyness, headaches, joint pain, the list goes on) he was shocked. I'm on one shot a week for 4 weeks, then every two weeks then every month for 4 months. Then back for another blood test. I'm hoping the injections take effect soon and I can feel half normal again. Its amazing that something so small can have such a hugh effect on people.

phyllis 6 years ago

i have a numbness or tingling i n y 2 big toes. i have been to the foot doctor, been for tests..i jjust read on this page that it may be a b12 deficiency in me. i had blood tests and there is almost no b12 in my body!!

shane 6 years ago

is 1000mcg the same as 1000ug?

thank you

meren 6 years ago

Me too. My children may have it also. They are getting their blood tested as this deficiency can run in families. I want them to avoid the problems I have had. This deficiency can also mental problems and psychosis. If you have it, I also advise your kids getting tested.

sal 6 years ago

hi just wondered how bad my actual b12 level is... im not quite graspin all this info.

got my blood results 2day. my b12 is 2.2 what is this?

and my ferritin is 7?

any suggestions as 2 what this means?

chris 5 years ago

I just got back a result of 93, 6 months ago it was 258

????? I don't get it. On an injection once a week for 3 weeks then monthly. Eat well, including meat and very healthy otherwise.

Cindy 5 years ago

Hi Bonnie! It was great to read your story and information on B12 deficiency. I am 33 and just found out that I was severely deficient in my B12. My blood work came back at level 15! I have been through the ringer with tests because of all my symptoms and the nerve damage and even some effects on my brain. I was tired all the time to the point i could not get out of bed sometimes and was tested for all sorts of things including MS. I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2007 at 29 and was told that there was a link with women with breast cancer having a B12 deficiency. I was shocked. I am on injections for the rest of my life now because my body does not absorb it from what I am told. It is amazing at how much stuff can go wrong and all could have been prevented if I had known I was deficient from the beginning.

Kaitlyn 5 years ago

I get monthly injections of B12. I have peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet and the doctors have no idea why I can't absorb it in my stomach. And I have been tested for everything under the sun....

Does anyone getting monthly injections find themselves getting mean and irritable if they go longer than a month b/w shots? Like a week late?

Brendon 5 years ago


I found this by just doing my own research into vitamin B12 because as a vegan it interested me.

All vegans I know have a B12 reading about 600 (mine as of last week was 644) and I believe it's because we're precautionary and take supplements everyday as well as intentionally eating fortified foods.

This has just further convinced me that EVERYONE in society should be taking vitamin B12 since it seems to be missing from so many peoples diets.

Maybe they should add it to the water?

Kacey Jo  5 years ago

When I was in the seventh grade I was diagnosed with anxiety/panic disorder and I have been on medication (Lexapro) ever since. I tried coming off of it two years ago because I feel that I am so young to be dependant on a drug. After two months off of the medication, I started having problems all over agaion and had to resort to the only thing that seemed to solve the problem.. The Lexapro. Since then I have gained weight and was tired a lot. I decided to see a family doctor and address my concerns. He wanted to do a blood test. My iron levels were extreemly high (199) and my B12 levels were extremely low (165). He contacted me with the results and started me on a nasal spray (Nascobal). I take it once a week in one nostril. In the short period of time that I have been taken the medication, I feel a lot better. I am not as tired and I am starting to work on the weight issue. The only thing I am wondering now is if my B12 deficiency would have been addressed when my anxiety/panic disorder was discovered, would I still have to take both the Lexapro and Nascobal or could the B12 supplement have helped everything? I guess I will never know that answer. I just hope that it does not hint that I might have MS. My mother has been diagnosed with it for about 10 years and I see the toll it takes on her daily life. I'm just thankful that B12 deficiency seems to be getting the necessary attention and research that it needs.

Darran Cartner 5 years ago

Hi Bonnie, hope your still feeling ok, I hve just been diagnosed with B12 defiency after 2 years of problems ranging from headache’s, dizzyness, tiredness and sore tongue and mouth. Over the 2 years I have seen 4 GP’s and 4 specialists, ll which say they could’nt fine anything wrong. Last week my mouth was so bad I could only drink enenergy drinks, at this stage I went back to my GP but this time there only a locom to see, within 10 minutes he sugested I have my B12 checked and withing 2 days I was called in for my results which were B12 level 31, he immediately stared my injections and within 2 days I fell much better.

Love your web site, thanks for the info.

Anjali 5 years ago

I just turned 22 and 2day I found out that my B12 level is below 100. At first I was like what is B12 and after reading all the post I can see that i'm in some deep trouble since my level is so low. Thank you all for the information and may u all be blessed for sharing ur personal informtion and making others more aware. Thanks.

Donna 5 years ago

Hello i was just wondering if anyone can give me a little advice. I have been feeling very lethargic for probably about a year now. Gradually gettin worse and worse. Along with this i feel very dizzy and sick and as though i am trembling inside when im not. I went to the doctors and had bloodtests and up to now have had three since first feeling like this. The doctors failed to notice but the first one actually indicated a deficency. They told me on my last test. So as far as i know the deficiency is worse now. I was given 6 injections over 2 weeks n after another couple of weeks after i felt a lot better than i was. Now 2 month on im feeling terrible again but docs say im not due another injection until march. Has anyone else felt this way before they have begun to start feelin better and is it normal or are the doctors just fobbing me off.

Marian 5 years ago

Hi bonnie, I have been having blood tests for 6mths now because my b 12 is also low. i have been having pins and needles in both feet and hand which started around 6 yrs ago and they thought it was arthritis but could not find the problem, that has now changed to having really bad pain in both arms aswell as muscle painand cannot sleep because my arms feel like they have died, but the doctors have put it down to having damage on my neck which is disc damage but after reading all off your entries i am now thinking it could be the b 12. my doctor is doing another blood test to see if i have coeliac disease as she said it could cause the b-12, if its not that they are going too start me on injections. it is worth asking the doctor to be checked if it could be coeliac disease. I just stumbled on your web site but it has helped thanks.

Heather 5 years ago

Thank you for your information. You know I was diagnosed with a deficiency 5 years ago, my Doctor did not tell what that meant other then I needed a shot every month. Booking Doctors appointments became a pain as the did not book a month in advance and I could never get in anyways, so I eventually stopped going. Last year I was having severe headaches, very unusual for me and they sent me for a CT scan. I have been having significant memory issues and trouble picking up objects or doing up zippers. So I was booked for a MRI. This past week I get my blood work back and find out my B12 is less then 90, couple with extremely low vitamin D and calcium. So my doctor says I need to go back on the shot. All is fine, I get my first one in two days. But then I decided to do a little research as he failed yet again to tell what the issues were. Well holy smokes! Make no wonder I feel crappy! I also have hypothyroidism, which I have also had for 5 years, and really I got my blood checked as I thought it was out of wack, as I was losing my hair and craving sweets. Now I have a weight problem, but sweets are not my things, I am more of the savory type. I am curious how B12 affects weight loss. I was losing weight but very slowly for my intake, but 3 weeks ago when the cookie monster attacked, that clearly came to a screeching halt! So I am anxious to know what your experiences have been.

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Did you need a special test, because it did not show on a regular blood test? I was taking shots but keep forgetting now. Thanks for this great hub. I will now be regular in giving my shots. Maybe you saved my life.

Linda 5 years ago

I have dealing with neck pain, arm numbness and hand tremors and fatigue for a year. I first went to the chiropractor to see if that would help. It offered a littl relief. I just delt with it for the next few months, but finally went to see my dr. She ordered a neck x-ray. That came back showning degenerative disc disease and arthritis and a herniated disc. She put me on 10 days of steroids and muscle relaxants. No improvement. She refered me to a neurosurgeon. He reviewed my history and wanted me to try epidural steroid injections in my neck to see if they would relieve the symptoms before he saw me. I had 2 injections 3 weeks apart with no real improvement. I met with the neurosurgeon and it spinal fusion would be the next step. But he had never seen the hand tremors before with herniated disc, so he ran more tests: brain scan, blood work, and an EMG to check for nerve damage.

As it turns out I do have a brain:) the EMG showed nerve damage in my left arm and I had a B12 level of 120.He had me see my dr. the next day for injections. I did the 1 a day for a week now I'm doing once a week and will go for once a month. 12 shots later the tremors in my arms has completely gone away!!!! I am sleeping very quietly now and I am no longer losing my hair. I feel like it's a miracle. I will see my neuro in few weeks for a follow up but all the symptoms that I came in with are almost gone. I still am tired and some slight tingling in my right arm but not all the time. I am so grateful that my neurosurgeon was so through and didn't rush me into surgery.

Now I just need to figure out how I can loose the 7 lbs. I gained since the steroid injections. I've been on weight watchers for 4 weeks and no loss.

Any ideas there would be helpful.

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 5 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

I figured out your keywords, and you may already know that this article is on the first page of Google. Congratulations.

Prakash 5 years ago

Thanks for writing this. I love it when people have gone through an ordeal, learnt from their experiences, improved their conditions and then have gone on to share and educate. Best wishes and please continue writing!


Tina 5 years ago

Hi, I today have also had b12 results showing 108. Also, iron is low :( Have been feeling so run down, but we put it down to everything that we have to daily don't we?? I have to wait till GP in on monday to see what he is going to do with me, but gather that I will be on injections. Love all the stories, really helps.

Thank you all.

jennie 5 years ago

Thanks for this, I've just had my first of 5 injections that I'll be having over the next 2 weeks. My B12 level is at 108 and the nurse said that is very low. I've found this article very interesting and informing

Donna 5 years ago

Two months ago i was refered to a councillor about depression and even changed my pill, blood tests came back clear (b12 wasn't checked at that time) then about a month ago my feet went numb, then my legs right up to my back became numb, like pins and needles without the needles bit. a few weeks after that the pain just above my knees and right down my calves started, pain and cramping really bad, an intense pain that made it impossible to get comfy and sleep and walking was also a major problem. thinking it was a back problem resulting from a fall a few months ago i went to the doctor and he prescribed anti-inflammatory tablets and a blood test for a week later, the same day i was due to have my blood tested i went back to the doctor and got painkillers as it was so bad!! this was the start of sleep, sleep and more sleep, i've even been told my eyes had a yellow tinge at the corners and i have been slowing down for months, not to mention the mild depression that has appeared from nowhere.

well it all clicks into place, my B12 is at 171 and i had my first of six injection today.

Im so thankful my doctor found my problem straight off.

I am a vegetarian and have never taken supplements and i also like to have a drink most nights.. i had no idea i was causing myself so much damage, who would of thought one little vitamin can be so important :(

thankyou for this article, i too will now be telling all that listen about the importance of B12

Mohamad 5 years ago

Great article! My B12 level is 144pmol/L (got the results today). I saw a doctor ofcourse who recommended that I take the test. I've been feeling mostly fatigue, numbness and sometimes dizziness (I also have a high TG level), even though I look fit :) but my eating habits are a disaster! Gotta be more careful! I will talk to my doctor and will ofcourse brag about my knowledge about B12 (thanks to this article, ofcourse) and see what he thinks would be best for B12 intake? ...nasal, sublingual, injections, or eat lamb liver and/or kidneys!! :( I will re-post in a month time and we'll see if there's progress!

Jenny 5 years ago

I can't believe I didn't find this article sooner. I have suffered for so long from several of the symptoms indicated, NO doctor figured out this very simple problem from what I consider very obvious symptoms. I had depression for years, and as I have aged, painful muscle cramps attacking even in places not common i.e. the neck. In addition, memory loss beyond what others described to me as "CRS" (can't remember s--t).

I will be off to the drugstore and market in the morning and begin to try to "self medicate" might as well, doctors haven't done any better.

Prakash 4 years ago

I have got my b12 report today and it is below 150pg/mL. The pathologist called me inside before releasing the report and asked me if i feel tired or have some other symptoms. i told him that except my left hand which i feel has less power now and also has pain at my wrist joint ( carpel joint area) in the same hand. Otherwise i don't feel tired at all. I go for tread mill 5 times a day and enjoy active life.

Doctor has advised me oral dose of 1500 for 30 days and 2 shots every week.

I am really thankful to my lady doctor who suggested me to go for b12 test after listening to my symptoms of my hand.

sam 4 years ago

My advice is go see more than one doc. I had low B12 levels back in 2004 (i suspect I had low levels for a while before that I was super tired all the time). My doctor(s) for ages didn't even check for B12 in blood tests. Luckily a Locum doc came along and made me go for a B12 test. It came back at 130pg/ml. Was given injections for a few weeks. The difference was instant! within a day I was feeling energised! I eventually was taken off the quartlerly injections.

I then moved house to another area and registered at another surgery. The new doc totally refused to acknowledge that my tiredness maybe due to lack of B12 again. She said that the possibility of that was highly unlikey, despite the evidence of the few years earlier.

joe in kenosha 4 years ago

i went through all of the same symptoms that you folks did, it amazes me how people, including doctors underestimate b12. I am a 47 yr. old man that was treated as if he was making up all my mental and physical pain. I finaly remembered ask my dr. to check my b12 level, you know what? Sometimes bad news is good news. my b12 is very, very low. (my drs. words, who said previously that i was having panick attacks and put me on zanax 2xdaily.) coincidentl, my mom got same diagnoses 1 week later. my sister has b12 deficieny for many yrs. due to crohn's disease. ihad many symptoms including severe depression, tinnitus{a maddening ringing in my right ear} painful joints, spine problems, eyesight problems,eyelids and muscle twitching and spasms,moodturning ,and many more. i went from no prescriptions 3 yrs. ago to 9 prescriptions. 13 pills daily and no releaf. thank God i didn't do spine surgery as was planned. i am now on 1 shot amonth of b12 after a megadose period.i am still in the process of finding out why i am b12 deficient. i am also deficient in vitamin d3. normal d3 is 32~100 . i was at 8. four times bellow the lowest allowed. i am megadosing also d3 and am doing great.

joe from kenosha 4 years ago

p.s if feel like some just is not right and the wrong get another opinion and another until it feels right. listen to your family and friends. if they tell you that your moods or manners have changed it may be true. as in my case of vitamin deficiency and wrong diagnosis along with incorrect meds. my advice, listen to your body, don't mask your symptoms with prescriptions and enjoy life, it's a good thing, be happy, joe from kenosha...p.p.s. sorry about my grammer and spelling, but thats life, not perfect but unique. :•)

veronica 4 years ago

Hi for almost two years now I have being having pain in my neck then follow pain in my right arm, all the test show nothing, I am almost a vegan,only fish I eat now and then,do you think I am sufering from vitamin b12? my dr don't like sending for bloods test

joe from kenosha 4 years ago

hi veronica, i have the same symptoms. first tell your dr. to test your blood. if he don't want to, find another dr. get your b12 and d3 checked. and no vitamins so you don't get a false reading. also, ask for an m.r.i. of your neck, i have severe cervical stenosis. i am not getting surgery because i was vit.b12 deficient{spinal cord,and nerves}, and.vit. d3{bones}. i started with 10 b12 shots per month for 2 months and now 1 shot amonth for the rest of my life. am also mega dosing vit.d3 50,000 mg. for 2months, then 5,000mg. daily. p.s. something isn't right when a dr. don't do blood test. and keep in mind that vitamin deficieny is a big deal but some drs. would rather push narcotics. i did not want to mask my problems with drugs i wanted to correct them. so far so good. and feeling better. i wish you luck and a happy spring. ..joe from kenosha wi.

Vikram 4 years ago

i had all simptoms of b12 treated for some weakness then found its b12 it was 223 got 7 injection for 7 days then 4 for every week next 4 weeks now i am on one every month 2 months over 3rd in progress, i feel very tired don't get motivated on own which i did, feel frigtened to walk alone, or go any where alone, Please let me know what to do more to recover more and what all care shoul be taken, i am 41 Male vegetrain since last 10 years.

vikram 4 years ago

sorry for my spellings

joe from kenosha 4 years ago

hi vikram, sorry to here about your symptoms. i went through the same things so i will share my experiences with you,o.k.? first i have to say i am not a dr. keep in close contact with your dr. i had severd panick attack like symptoms(but not real panick attacks, often people are misdiagnosed as anxiety/panick attacks,but really are b12 deficiency symptom. you have to remember that you have been deficient for a long time and your body is going through changes. give yourself time to heal. i tried anti depressants and went off because they made me worste.then xanax that i now only take as needed. l was originally on for misdiagnsed panic attacks. no longer daily though. try to relax or keep yourself busy. see what helps. its hard to go through because unless you go through you cant understand it. i felt like i was going crazy and others thought i was over reacting beause "its just a vitamin". b12 has soooo many symptoms that its over looked because "its mostly elderly. when iwent to monthy shots i could feel a craving for b12. not a craving like an addict but more like a part of me was removed and my body wants it back. its hard to expain. my symptoms start coming back after 2 weeks. so we ait to find the correct dosage. that takes time. i think the mental symptoms are harder to are worste than the pain.

Carol 4 years ago

A couple of years ago I was having symptoms of fatigue, depression, anxiety, tingling, etc. I went to my doctor and all they wanted to do was put me on depression/anxiety medicine. After further testing they told me my b-12 was low 296. My doctor told me that the normal level was 200-1100, but that everyone was different and he wanted my levels to be 800-1100. I recently had my levels rechecked and my b-12 was 400 which is low for me. At that time my sugar started dropping. Come to find out if you are b-12 defficiency you are more likely hypoglocemic, because b-12 turns your food into glucose. So if your b-12 is low your pancread puts out too much insulin. I am currently waiting to see my endocronologist and taking injections to get my b-12 back up.

Julie Chubb (Registered Nurse) 4 years ago

To all you wonderful people who have stopped me thinking I was going mad. I am 45 and am a qualified Nurse so you'd think I would know better - no such luck. I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia (Lack of B12) 2 weeks ago. I too was convinced I had MS - I am a happily married family girl and was convinced I was dying. I can't explain my panic. I too have been treated for anxiety/depression none of either were correct. I have just had loading dose injection number 4 and am due the last one on Monday. I have veared from energetic days to bad days but hope that my blood count will settle down when I have my 3 monthly maintainance shots. I cant thank you enough for your supportive comments. You have all made me feel human again. God bless each and everyone of you.

Julie Chubb (RN)

Jenny 4 years ago

I got diagnosed with pernicious anemia 3 years ago n have been having vit b12 objections,w

Wen I went too the docs for my 3 month injection she told me I didn't need it anymore.n too c ow I go in 6 months time,I've started too get the stomach cramps bk along with a dodgy stomach,mouth ulcers,very tired, very irritable,my achillies tendons n feet ave started too ache,I've been bk docs too tell her how I felt,n she said too come bk at end of the month for blood tests,I'm a 30 year old woman,any advice for me?xx

emarie 4 years ago

Mall absorption is a cause of low b12 levels. For me it was giardia which I probably had for years and is known to eat up 25% of nutrients ingested.

GP 4 years ago

First thing, don't worry. Be informed and work for improvement.

After reading this page I felt being a part of all the nice people here. I had got my B12 level tested about 15 days back as part of a routine check-up. I am 50, male and strict vegetarian. My B12 level is 125. I don't know, since when I have been suffering with this deficiency. My blood iron level too is low, just 29.

I don't experience any symptom. I sleep for 8 hours in night and rest of the time I am awake. After a full day work, I am able to walk 4-5 km. without any fatigue.

I only changed my eating habits after knowing my B12 level. Doctor suggested me to take more Vitamin C to make intestine absorb nutrients from the food. Avoid taking antacids or acid blockers. Eat B12 fortified cereals, yoghurt, cheese etc. Have Vitamin C like tomato, lemon etc with protein like pulses, beans.. and one tablet of Ultrafolin. Be positive and active.

I will get the things tested after 6 months again. I hope the figures improve.

Llosa5 4 years ago

I was diagnosed with b12 deficiency 2 weeks ago with a level of 113 after having many neoro logical issues like pain, stiffness, twitching, burning and muscle cramps. I started on shots and take sublingual tablet everyday. I'm feeling worse and now I have stomach issues, nausea and dizziness with chest pain. Do you know if I'm actually getting better since I am getting treatment or if this is normal to get worse before you get better? I'm 35 and want my life back!

Sandra 4 years ago

My serum panel for vitamin B12 was 2000 H .

What could be causing these?

pennie 4 years ago

i have just found out i have low vitamin b12 i was constantly falling asleep and started losing bits of my hair i had problems with my hand and feet my hands are always red and get shooting pains in them and my fingers swell from time to time and they have gone crooked my feet are a little red but not as bad as my hands but my toes are crooked. So i had to see a dermotologist and they took a blood test and thats how i found out my vitamin b12 was low i have to have injections now and gona see how my hands and feet get on the dermotologist think because i have low vitamin b12 its causing these symptoms in my hands and feet

Tracey 4 years ago

I have had chronic hives and angiodema for 7 months. While trying to find the answer for this, I was diagnosed with B12 deficiency. My count was under 50 !

I knew I have been sleeping every weekend for months and barely getting through work days. Now I can't get out of bed hardly, can't concentrate, focus, or remember anything! I got first of I believe many B12 shots this week. I imagine it will take a long time to feel like I can function again. Still waiting on tests why so low B12 and no one has a clue about the hives.

It helps to read I am not alone.

Sara 4 years ago

Hello All,

How glad I am to have found you, have been feeling awful for about 18 months but have gone down hill since january, exhaustion fatigue, weeping, low, moody, anxious, confused,not able consentrate I honestly thought I was going mad, along with the with back pain & numbness in arms & hands the list goes on, got my blood results last week and have low b12 111, have stated on my loading dose have had two of the six shots this week, within a few hours of the first injection I felt a little brighter, but by the end of the next day I was going down again, the same has happened after my second shot,is this normal ?


Tracey 4 years ago


All your symptoms are what I feel ( minus the numbness ). I am shocked to hear everyone being on such aggressive B12 treatments- daily, as I am less than 50 and my doc has me scheduled for 1 shot a week? I am wondering if I need more.

I asked how long before I felt better and he said a little help right away but could take 4+ weeks for the B12 to start absorbing into my tissues which I guess is where we will find the most benefit? Learning myself as well. I have 2nd shot next week and then new blood tests on the 3rd visit. If improvement they will teach me to give myself the shots. We will see.

I guess we all need to keep each other informed.


Pat 4 years ago

Hi i have just had my 1st injection for vitamin b12 go bk again fri for another 1 then again next week for another 2. So glad ive found this site as i know nothing about the deficiency and my doc not said a lot about it.I feel ill hate i cant do daily things like i used to.

Dianne Crockett 4 years ago

Thanks for your post i have been diagnosed with B12 Deficiency and pernicious anaemia for almost 4 years now, i live in the uk and i am only allowed 1 shot every 3 months or 12 weeks, which i find is nowhere near enough, i have found especially in america people can have a b12 shot a lot more regularly and when i questioned my dr as to why i have to wait 3 months between shots i was basically told he is the dr and he knows best, there was a petition sent to the government that asked that people with b12 deficiency be treated as individuals and not grouped together because we all handle things differently, our petition was ignored so everyone that i know of in the uk with b12 deficiency is not allowed more than 4 shots a year, because i have no intrinsic factor i cant take b12 pills to give me a boost as my body wont absorb it, its very frustrating as i know i need more than 1 shot every 3 months, sometimes i cope other times like now i don't. I also find it frustrating that i may not have been diagnosed at all if it hadn't been for my insistence to my Dr that i thought i had diabetes, if i hadn't of pushed for that blood test i dread to think how much worse things could have been, i definitely feel like with all medical conditions everybody is different, so for some people the 3 monthly shots may be enough but for me i don't feel they are, i am not due another shot for about a month but all my symptoms are back with avengence, fatigue, mouth ulcers etc etc, but my dr and nurse still insist 3 monthly is enough, so i think i have babbled on enough, what i would really like to know is how often do you guys get your shots and do you think that 3 monthly is enough for you?

Sara 4 years ago

Thanks Clive, your a star, I will take a look.

Hi Tracy just an update

I have now finished my loading dose and do feel a lot better than I did, I now have to wait six weeks for another blood test and 12 weeks for my next jab, the anxiety & weeping seems to have gone although I am still experiencing the tingling & numbness in my arms & hands. my consentration is better but not what it was and my vision problems are about the same, am seeing my gp on the 15th to discuss this in more depth as I need to know what the cause of this is and if there is an underlying problem.

will update you again soon.


Tracey 4 years ago

Sara and rest,

I have update. Had my 3rd B12 shot Tuesday and blood results. I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia. This is an auto immune disease in which your body creates antibodies that basically attack the lining of stomach where B12 is absorbed. So, B12 shots for life. The only way to know if you have this is if your doc tests your blood for the antibodies.

After 2 shots my level went from under 50 to 185. Still very low. I am doing 2 more weekly shots and then monthly and retest in 3 months. Still only feeling about 50% to normal but it's a start.

I still don't have any answers for chronic hives (ugh) but at least this B12 issue was caught in time. Good luck to all.

Nik 4 years ago

I am having these symptoms now as I type. I have recently had an MRI as localised numbness, dizzyness and weakness and it turned out to be a herniated protruded disc which does explain a lot of the issues. I have previously had B12 tabs but was not sufficient so was given short course of injections. This happened whilst I was pregnant and have since had another child since.

I know this is my issue and hope just deficient and not a lifelong problem with absorbing. Incidentally I am also an appaling vegetarian.

Will definitely be going to the GP after bank holiday and get bloods done and lipids tested.

Sick of living half a live as I am sure all you poor people are and feel.

Will update forum with results and improvement I hope. Good luck to everyone.

betty 4 years ago

i have recently had a low vit b12 blood test which was 109, had five injections, then 1 every 12 weeks, i wish i could say i felt beter!!!!!

leonie 4 years ago

i have had low b12 result 153 and low folic acid, after suffering for years with horrendus throat ulcers constantly every month ,which i put down to my periods, i now think it was the b12 which made them so bad the bad heads & dizzyness not feeling "with it" and complete exhaustion sleeping as much as possible but always waking feeling tired ,every cough and cold lasted weeks longer than any one elses, not healing properly , just thought as the busy mum of 3 kids this was normal until friends family began to comment "your always ill " and i realised the ulcers and temperatures were their permanantly and were,nt going away with any break in between ,when i went to docs i had already discovered the link between the ulcers & b12 ,good job ,as although i had all the symptoms including tingling in hands my doctor was doubtful, so im now on the 2nd of 5 jabs and feel a little better have to have a blood test in 3months but i still don't know if this is for life or if i have pernicious anaemia ,my doctor has,nt been helpful the first nurse said it was for life the second said no ,all i know is i never what to feel like this again !!! and the jab does,nt hurt you don't really care all i want is to feel like me again

ElizaK 4 years ago

Can anyone tell me how long it should take to start feeling better using sublingual B12 only. Though I have had symptoms of anemia for about 4 months, my B12 level was 260 which my doctor said was normal. She does not recommend shots. I'm taking 5000 mcgs a day, for two weeks now, but not feeling much of an improvement.

robert 4 years ago

so my girlfriend was tested for symptoms of marked fatigue and her levels were 178. She was recommended to have one injection per month. After about 10 days, her fatigue disappeared. I was feeling tired as well so went to sprouts market where they give them every couple of weeks. Had the new methylcobalimine injectable. I felt amazingly well about one week later. My fatigue is gone, my mind is sharp again. I feel happy. Like a miracle.

brrrt 4 years ago

use a B complex.

and drink lots of water and stop eating crap.

joe from kenosha 4 years ago

hello every body, just sending an update. i've been reading everyones posts and a lot of folks are asking how soon until you feel better. it took me 6 months for the nerve damage to get better. although some of my damage is better i am so glad to be on te shots. i'm still a bit low on b112. i'm on monthly shots. i cant understand why some folks are getting only 1 shot every 3 months. i feel i could get 1 every 2 weeks. i also give myself my injections. they are not covered by isurance but only cost $6.15 per shot. remember, if you have b12 deficiency symptons you have been deficint at least a couple of year. so give the shots time.. it took me 6 months and well worth the wait. happy summer to all.

Llosa5 4 years ago

I wanted to follow up with everyone from my last entry a few months ago. The B12 shots do help, they just take awhile. I now get a shot every other week and take methyl sublingual B12 a couple times a week. For me, it has been a journey. There is always a reason why you are deficient if you are eating like you should. My reason I discovered is that I have Sjogrens, which has caused my dry mouth and blurred vision, as well as joint pain. Because I have no saliva, i was not absorbing the B12 from foods. BUT if you are wondering how long it takes to feel better with shots it does take time. For me, a shot every day for a week, then 2xs a week for a few weeks, all while eating healthy and taking sublinguals in methyl kind. B12 treatment did help me with fatigue, floaters and weakness. Hope this helps!

betty 4 years ago

neurologist diagnosed b12 deficiency (around 100) from my complaint of numbness and tingling in lower legs. said it was neuropathy from b12 deficiency. Been on monthly shots since 2006. Feel great for a few days then numbness and tingling returns. by the end of the month I am so fatigued. doctor said shots will not cure the tingling and numbness but would keep me out of a wheelchair. good news. I tend to fall because I the feeling in my feet is so bad I think I have stepped on solid ground when I actually will be inches from the ground.

jillstrutt7 profile image

jillstrutt7 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

I get a B12 shot every 2 weeks, and I've found that my symptoms -- stomach upset, weight loss, mood changes, and tingling -- have subsided a great deal. Plus it gives me a nice little boost the day I receive the shot. That could be a placebo effect, but I still like it. Great article!

BarbieB 4 years ago

I am so happy that I came upon this site today! I am relieved to know that I am not the only one going through this. My doctor finally checked my B12 levels and today they came in at 153. He has only suggested that I take the vitamin supplement 1000 mcg and after reading all of the posts here I will make an appointment to find out why he is not giving me the shots. My journey started in July when I was driving. Luckily I was stopped at a red light when I thought I was going to die. My whole world just started spinning crazy and I thought I was going to pass out. I thought that I was having a stroke! Since then they have been testing me and the blood work for B12 came in very low. I have had constant neck pain, night sweats, can't sleep for more than 2 hours at a time and because of my age, 55, of course they just want to blame it on menopause. Since July, I am in a panic when I drive! I can make it to work and home but that is about it. I am delighted that I have a place to go and read other people's thoughts on this. Thanks Bonnie for posting this great web site!

penny evans 3 years ago

ive been having b12 injections for a few months now and my hands have got a little bit better still get the pain in them now and then but not as much as i did before still have the ree dness aswell my fingers and and toes will be crooked for life now because of my bones being so weak they want go back straight now i also have low vitamin d aswell so got to take vitamin d once a day aswell as having b12 injections every 3 months

Beth 3 years ago

Hi......I have various neuro type symptoms - feeling unbalanced, Pins and needles/tingling throughout body, heaviness in head and headaches. my doc says my B12 level is fine - Its 289 at the moment - Should I go back and ask to be retested??

donnamt 3 years ago

@ Beth I have just read an article that says anything under 500 is too low and causes the brain to damage! I have no idea why the level is set so low if there is evidence it needs to be higher out there on the net... get a second opinion and do not be told you are ok when you are suffering. I'm over a year into treatment and my level is now up at 1173 so the injections really help. My memory is still awful though and my left leg often feels heavy still... I guess once the damage is done there is no going back !!!!

closeGrerteme 3 years ago

We used to acquire at the top of life although recently We've established some sort of amount of resistance.

closeGrerteme 3 years ago

My partner and i utilized to get high on living nevertheless of late I have developed the resistance.

Cathy 3 years ago

do you think that your Vit B 12 low level can cause you to have Raynaud's (ray-NOHZ) disease ? I have it and my levels are low...if I get B12 shots can that cause this disease to go away or be less?

shirley 3 years ago

doctor said my b12 is good at 300 it has been as low as 198 range 180-800. i have real bad tingling of the tounge cold water feeling right side of face and feeling very fatigued with a sick feeling i took b12 reebble the dose and it goes away for a few hours then i have to tabe more

shirley 3 years ago

sorry im back pressed wrong button

yes after a few hours the symptoms come back so i have to take more b12 tabs ,, i explained this to the doctor so she has prescribed b12 for me double the highest dose and im waiting for an appointment from neurologist plus i had 24 hour urine test for another issue and have now been referred to the endocrinologist as something has shown up in my urine,, my question is why is the b12 taking the symptoms away if my b12 is fine

thank you shirley

Yover 2 years ago

Even diabetes Type 2 can be a cause of clinically significant functional vitamin B12 deficiency (Diabetes care 2011 May, Solomon LR)! "functional" here means: vit B12 normal , above 400 pg per ml and MMA(Methylmalonic acid) values above 250 nmoles per L. That was my case. I had signs of neuropathy (numbness and tinglings). I am well now under oral cobalamin therapy. Finally, Vit B12 dosage alone here was not enough, MMA test was indispensable too.

carol 2 years ago

Hello I just foun out that my levels are only 3 not to sure what that means. Is this bad. Only going to see a specialist on the 26th very concearned. Feel very tired all the time can this cause blindness can some one please tell me how bad this is can u be hospilised with this.

Jenny Paterson 2 months ago

Frist of all we live in Australia.My daughter who is 24 has been diagnosed two years ago with low B12 which was managed with supplements. She has been training as a nurse. She has anxiety problems,persistent tiredness but her symptoms came to a head with severe reflux. She was given acid reducing drugs to try to calm down the reflux and sent for a scope of her stomach which only showed that she had reflux. She is sleeping 12 to 14 hours but not sleeping well and always so tired. I thought she might have a thyroid problem because of her symptoms....when she went back to the doctor more bloods were done and her reading came back for B12 at 116. The doctor said to her that this was not too bad and definitely would not explain her tiredness. She told her to just take supplements. Now what I don't get is why her B12 was not tested before she went for a scope based on her extreme tiredness alone....let alone the reflux. My guess is she has an underlying problem considering this is not the first time her B12 has been down. Needless to say we are consulting a new doctor nest week. But I guess my question is this...why are doctors in Australia saying a level of 200 is ok? I have noticed lots of people on this thread saying they have horrible symptoms when their reading is over 170, and why is our doctor so complacent? Maybe low B12 is even causing her anxiety.

JJ 5 weeks ago

So my B12 levels went from 480 - 2000 in 4 months. I have been taking an injection of 1000 ml weekly, could this be the cause of the rise in levels? I was under the impression that is is water soluble and and is extracted in the urine... So why are they so high??

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