Is it worth getting your body's vitam... - National Migraine...

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Is it worth getting your body's vitamin levels tested?


Hi. Is it worth getting your body's vitamin levels tested? The International Journal of Clinical Practice show that a deficiency of vitamins D, B6, B12 and folic acid can cause headache and migraines. Did any of you had it checked ? My GP is hopeless and he is happy to prescribe me tons of meds but a blood test is something he avoids like plague and I'm just wondering if its worth nagging him ? Thank you

7 Replies

Hello dagmarafairley. I have chronic migraines and I take supplements including B12, niacin, D, magnesium, and a B. I have some vitamins tested with my yearly checkup. D is crucial - I live in northern Canada and many people here are low on D due to the short days. I have found that vitamins decreases the intensity of migraines, but not the number. It might be worth a try, you never know how you are going to react.

My neurologist advised I take a high dose of B2 bc it has been shown to reduce migraine. She is normally very skeptable about supplements in general. I've been under her care for about 8 years and she has never suggested any supplements before. Unfortunately the B2 annihilated my bladder so I had to stop it. Obviously you wouldn't a test for this however.

It is a relatively simple blood test to check your B12, Vitamin D and folates (that's folic acid in the blood stream), but from what I recall, it is nowhere near as simple (with any degree of accuracy) to check B6 levels. Your GP is unlikely to carry these out though unless you are showing deficiency symptoms (other than headaches), but if you are going to ask again, just ask for those three. You could say you feel terribly tired and a bit weak all the time and your feet tingle a bit or something, and you would also like to know what your Vitamin D levels are before you start on a supplement so you can work out how much D to take; they are more likely to check Vitamin D if they have never checked your D levels before. There are private GP/doctors who can arrange any blood test you like, but obviously you'd have to pay both for the consultation and each blood test, and they may not be working properly currently because of Covid.

Alternatively, if you are not supplementing with vitamin D already, start taking it now - assuming you are in the UK, you will be deficient at this time of year. As for the B vitamins, if the doctor refuses to do those tests, you could just try taking a B50 complex supplement for a couple of weeks to a month, it won't do any harm and may do some good.


Testing of B6 leads, quite naturally, to taking B6 supplements.

I'll paste a post I made on another HealthUnlocked forum in the hope that it is of interest and/or help:

The taking of B-complexes, and of just B6, has often been discussed here. I, along with several others, have pointed out that high doses of B6 should be avoided as they can cause neuropathy - one of the symptoms that it is sometimes taken to help relieve.

This paper, from 2017 has an explanation for this phenomenon.

What it doesn't do is give information about doses. It appears to say that, while pyridoxine can cause neuropathy, other forms of B6, such as pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, do not cause this issue.

Toxicol In Vitro. 2017 Oct;44:206-212. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2017.07.009. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

The vitamin B6 paradox: Supplementation with high concentrations of pyridoxine leads to decreased vitamin B6 function.

Vrolijk MF1, Opperhuizen A2, Jansen EHJM3, Hageman GJ4, Bast A4, Haenen GRMM4.

Author information

1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

2 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), Utrecht, The Netherlands.

3 National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.

4 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a coenzyme in many reactions involved in amino acid, carbohydrates and lipid metabolism. Since 2014, >50 cases of sensory neuronal pain due to vitamin B6 supplementation were reported. Up to now, the mechanism of this toxicity is enigmatic and the contribution of the various B6 vitamers to this toxicity is largely unknown. In the present study, the neurotoxicity of the different forms of vitamin B6 is tested on SHSY5Y and CaCo-2 cells. Cells were exposed to pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxal, pyridoxal-5-phosphate or pyridoxamine-5-phosphate for 24h, after which cell viability was measured using the MTT assay. The expression of Bax and caspase-8 was tested after the 24h exposure. The effect of the vitamers on two pyridoxal-5-phosphate dependent enzymes was also tested. Pyridoxine induced cell death in a concentration-dependent way in SHSY5Y cells. The other vitamers did not affect cell viability. Pyridoxine significantly increased the expression of Bax and caspase-8. Moreover, both pyridoxal-5-phosphate dependent enzymes were inhibited by pyridoxine. In conclusion, the present study indicates that the neuropathy observed after taking a relatively high dose of vitamin B6 supplements is due to pyridoxine. The inactive form pyridoxine competitively inhibits the active pyridoxal-5'-phosphate. Consequently, symptoms of vitamin B6 supplementation are similar to those of vitamin B6 deficiency.

Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Neuropathy; Neurotoxic; Pyridoxine; Supplements; Vitamin B6

PMID: 28716455

DOI: 10.1016/j.tiv.2017.07.009

Hi Dagmarafairley. I'm taking vitamin D currently and have taken Vitamin B complex and Magnesium but in oil and spray forms. This way, it doesn't go through your digestive system. The magnesium is sprayed onto your skin and other vitamins in your mouth and it gets absorbed through the mouth lining directly into the blood stream. As far as I understand, vitamins and/or magnesium will help you only if you are deficient in them. But yes, we are all deficient in Vitamin D in the UK.

In relation to blood tests, I have a vague memory to have read that tests are not accurate, particularly in relation to Magnesium, as the quantity in the blood doesn't correlate with the quantity of Magnesium being available to your cells. That said, there are private labs you can find online which will do tests for you. I don't believe you need a referral but they are pricy.

You may be better off to first go for a food intolerance test (yes, pricy again, unfortunately) but it may show foods that your body can't digest properly.

All the best.

Thank you so much for your advise , I didn't think about having food intolerance test done but now you mentioned it it makes sense ( plus I'm very curious to see the results ). x

Thank you all for sharing your opinions and experience , I found it very helpful , thank you.

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