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Vitamin B12 and Neuropathy

oldbeauty
Posts: 276
Joined: May 2012

Just a note to recommend injections of Vitamin B12 for those suffering from extreme fatigue and neuropathy.  I had a wellness check by my PCP and told her my main issue was neuropathy.  She ordered blood work to rule out causes other than chemo (diabetes, thyroid and B12) and my B12 came in very low.  Strange I thought because I eat a lot of protein (the source of B12), in fact I crave it to the exclusion of other foods almost.  Low B12 is often due to malabsorption issues so maybe my craving makes sense.  The injection works quicker than tablets and I can't believe the change in just a week.  My energy level is up and the neuropathy in my feet has gone from disabling to a level that's flirting with merely annoying.  Amazing!  The treatment is 1,000 mcg daily for 7 days, then weekly for one month and then monthly thereafter.  You can pick up the injection at your pharmacy and self-administer after training by nurse (this is less expensive; since I have exceeded my co-pay and deductible already this year, I am going the more costly route--to my interenist's hospital based clinic for the shots).  For users of metformin, I note that an online resource says it can itself be a cause of low Vitamin B12.  I also take 100 mcg of B6 in tablet form for neuropathy.  Just my experience, but significant enough (for me) to post.  Oldbeauty

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derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Very helpful, oldbeauty, thank you for posting. I'm glad you're getting relief and glad you've shared this with us. Wish there was some way we could bookmark a 'tips' page for all these items that come through.  

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

I am still taking glutamine 3x a day for neuropathy but it had suddenly not been holding it at bay like before... I have gotten some B's including B12 in my IV's but we decided to try doing the sublingual B12 and WOW could I tell a difference and quickly!  I can't say it even touches the fatigue but we are working on my Thyroid as well as it was REALLY low- crazy how out of whack things get and how quickly it can get that way.   I am still recovering from my ASD closure so I am just now up and around some.  You know our bodies are really AMAZING that even with all we throw at them they can heal- my incisions are totally closed on the outside- I can only imagine what my body is busy doing on the inside.  Blessings to all (((HUGS)))

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Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Nellasing, it's great to hear that you are recovering well from your procedure!

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

slow going- guess I am getting old... lol  Wink but progress is progress and I'll take it!  (((HUGS)))

MAbound
Posts: 1086
Joined: Jun 2016

I got B12 shots during chemo and continued on 3000 oral B12 sublingqual after that. I had severe neuropathy after my first dose of Taxol and pushed for the shots from my primary to help me deal with it. Lab tests won't necessarily show that your deficient in B12, but if you are over 50 your body metabolizies less and less B12 from food you eat because of decreasing stomach acid production as you age. Trauma such as having cancer, surgery, and chemo also converts up to 80% of your body's existing B12 levels into it's inactive form, so it's a safe bet that with all that we have happening to us that many are deficient in B12 in spite of normal lab results because the test doesn't distinguish between active and inactive B12 when determining the final results. Metformin, if you're taking it, also lowers active B12. I read that it can take at least 60 days to start getting relief from neuropathy after starting on shots and that seemed to hold true for me. It was a long time to endure the unrelenting burning, but I used ice slippers and mittens rather than drugs to get through it. The relief isn't dramatic, but glacially gradual. It will be a year since I finished chemo on Aug. 31st and the neuropathy is still there, but mostly just a bit of numbness in my toes that I can live with at this point. I also strongly believe using the ice slippers and mittens went a long ways towards preventing the neuropathy from worsening after that 1st round of Taxol/Carboplatin.  

B12 is pretty safe to take orally, but don't self-prescribe the B6. It is neurotoxic if you take too much (and you have to count what you are getting from foods and multivitimins along with the supplement). You can actually cause or worsen neuropathy taking too much of it trying to prevent it. I highly recommend anyone taking supplements in our circumstances to get guidence from their naturopath or at least subscribe to consumerlabs.com to understand the ins and outs of what they are taking. 

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derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Thanks for the consumerlabs.com recomendation. I'd wondered if it was worth subscribing to, so your feedback is valuable. 

MAbound
Posts: 1086
Joined: Jun 2016

Their testing is pretty thorough and the recommendations on which brands pass their tests is very helpful. Some supplements come in different forms and are better absorbed than others and they'll address issues like that. They go further, though, and tell you about the ins and outs of taking supplements, how effective they actually are for different uses, interactions, side effects, etc. They also send email news letters with updates and FAQs that are helpful. It's a very useful resource even if you are working with a naturopath or other professional knowledgeable about supplements. It hasn't been in existence long enough to have tested every possibility out there, but their data base is continually being added to.

 

derMaus's picture
derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Just subscribed. Thanks !! No more random Amazon purchases for me. 

DrienneB's picture
DrienneB
Posts: 186
Joined: Aug 2013

I was dangerously low after chemo. I had a shot and then was prescribed 2000 mg per day, which I have been doing now for a few years. My whole nervous system is going nuts as well due to the lymphatic problem I have since lymphedema developed after surgery. Nothing seems to get better, just worse, but I take the B12 because I need it. (And I order bone marrow and crostini as an appetizer once in awhile!) -j

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