National Migraine Centre
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New to this forum

Hi all,

I was looking up visual disturbances with migraine & found myself reading some posts. I had migraines as a teenager, but after a 3 month course of homeopathic treatment & avoiding certain food groups, I was migraine free for 20 years.

Unfortunately I had 3 car accidents & a nasty fall within a 9 year period. Now the migraines are back, with a vengeance.

I do have a number of other physical problems, as well as depression. So at present my migraines are weekly & last from 3 to 7 days. Although last July I had a migraine for an entire month, but the neuralgia I suffer daily was particularly bad at that time.

I have had an occipital nerve block injection, as that is where the soft tissue damage in my head is (from the fall). Unfortunately the injection made me worse.

I now take Naratriptan as soon as a migraine starts. This either works immediately or not at all. It is quite normal for me to have blurred vision, loss of vision in right eye & flashing lights. However a recent migraine caused me to see a green hue, this was particularly obvious as it was snowing. I am not sure if this is a one-off thing or if the migraines are changing.

If anyone has any experience of such visual disturbance, I would be interested to hear about it.

Kind regards,


3 Replies

You mention a lot of other problems - eg depression, fall etc - which leaves me wondering if the reason for the restart of migraines might be B12 deficiency. It is a relatively easy thing to treat though quite difficult to get a diagnosis as a) there isn't a good test (compounded by general lack of awareness that the test isn't very accurate) and b) lack of awareness of the full range of B12 symptoms and a general misconception that it means anaemia.

You can find more information about B12 on the following sites


If it does look worth investigating then I'd recommend that you don't take 'results have come back as normal' as being the end of it but ask for the test results and post them on the PAS forum. One problem with the current test is that it is known that lots of people have strong clinical indicators (symptoms) but results are reported as normal by labs - anything under 500 would be treated in Japan - though bottom of the normal range is generally around 150

My migraines got a lot worse in the few years before I was diagnosed whilst in hospital following a fall that left me with an ankle that needed to be pinned - took me another 15+ months to actually figure out what having 'low B12' meant and figuring out the treatment that was right for me.

My migraines include chromatic aberrations - patches of colour - can be green, red, blue or yellow ... though this is generally an early signal before the head starts (and everything else - get really bad gut spasms with mine) at their worst though have been a lot better in the last few months and not got that far.


Thanks Gambit62.

I have had blood tests every 3 months since July 2012, as my blood platelet count was low, then fluctuated. So I will check with my GP regards the B12.

I did have a course of iron pills for 2 months over Sept/Oct last year, but that brought my iron levels back to normal. I will look into this further.

Many thanks.


If nitrous oxide was used as an anaesthetic during the period of accidents then that may have contributed to the development of a deficiency as it oxidises the B12 you have.

B12 deficiency can either be caused by

a) lack of B12 in your diet (eg vegan or vegetarian with little dairy/fish) as it is only found in animal products - but presume your GP will have ruled that out

b) drug interactions - number of drugs are known to inhibit the uptake of B12 - ironically this includes drugs used to treat heartburn which can be an early symptom of B12 deficiency so just makes a bad situation worse

c) an autoimmune response that either destroys a binding factor (intrinsic factor) that needs to bind with B12 so it can be absorbed by specialist cells in the illeum - or a response that destroys those cells. You absorb 99% of B12 in this way and 1% 'passively'

d) gastric surgery affecting the ileum

e) changes in stomach acid levels - lowering - as you get older - which is why it is more common in older people.

B12 is stored in the liver which means that a malabsorption problem (b-e above) can take years, or even decades to really manifest itself and as most of the symptoms look like getting older it can go undiagnosed for years as well ... and because there is a huge overlap with other conditions - including depression - it can then be misdiagnosed.

Unfortunately, untreated it is a very serious condition, but the treatment is relatively straight forward - though people tend to vary very much in how much and how frequently they need the treatment which is another saga - hence the recommendation to post results on the PAS forum.

You need to get your folate levels checked - should be done at the same time anyway - as you need folate to absorb and metabolise B12 - guess your GP may already have looked at folate levels in relation to anaemia so they are probably okay. The downside of high folate levels is that it can mask the development of anaemia caused by B12 deficiency. The one bit of good news about B12 is that you can't overdose on it and there are no known downsides from keeping levels high ... but if you can get a diagnosis - or at least get the tests done before you try supplementing for yourself.


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