Could anyone do sit-ups before but no... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Could anyone do sit-ups before but not now?


This is something that has always really, really bugged me.

Prior to being ill I was brilliant at sit-ups. I used to lie on the bed most nights and see how many I could do. Usually anywhere between 50-100 depending on whether I got fed up or not.

Now I can't even raise my head and shoulders off the floor.

I've never mentioned it to a doctor because it doesn't seem to be something they consider as part of a neuro exam - but it bugs the life out of me.

What is going on that I basically can't even shift - I would literally need to be supported just to get to the sitting position.

This question obviously doesn't count if you couldn't do sit-ups before - because I know some people can't. (Thinking of my ex-mother in law!)

In mitigation - I never have a TV so something like sit-ups keep me occupied!

... and has anyone ever noticed how little attention is paid to the neck and back in neuro exams? This might just be me, of course, but I've never had pinprick sensations done on my back - or any kind of sensativity tests. I don't think I've ever had my neck examined either. Yet I get muscle fibrillations in my back!

14 Replies

Alright - you can all:

a) do sit-ups


b) never do sit-ups


engels in reply to Poppet11


Poppet11 in reply to engels

But everyone has a least got a bit of exercise today seeing if they can still do sit-ups, right?

It's a good question that u been asking Poppet. It something that I have never even thought of untill now. A couple of years ago I would of had no trouble. I did try doing them about a year ago and could not even get myself up. At time thought maybe was an age thing.

Poppet11 in reply to Leanneta


The first, and only person, I ever tried to explain it to turned round and said I had weak stomach muscles - erm, I don't think so!

I must admit I'm one of these people that doesn't put anything down to age - I'm just a 'oh, just get on with it,' kind of person.

He actually persisted in 'helping' me and tried to get me to use one of those 'rocking' things to get me up. I still couldn't do it. I really could hardly get up.

Just tried it now and with knees bent I can just about get my shoulders off the floor. The power just isn't there and it doesn't fail in the stomach, it fails somewhere in the spine....

Yeah I got one of those rocky things also have something else put your legs through and u pull yourself up with handles. I'm the same just don't have the strength.

Well I feel better now just knowing that someone else is the same.

I know if I told a doctor they just wouldn't believe that I could do them before...

Leanneta in reply to Poppet11

Ur right there, it's hard enough them diagnosing never mind them then saying its contributing to these symptoms lol. Hopefully one day it will change.


Muscle weakness is one of the potential symptoms of B12D - presumably the nerves are no longer as efficient communicating with the muscles so muscles don't contract as much.

I do a set of exercises each morning as a warm up in preparation for a short run. Before I started self-supplementing I would notice that as I got towards the time for my next maintenance shot my ability to do the exercises - which included forms of sit-ups - would decrease and where as I could manage groups of 12 quite happily after a shot I would be struggling to do groups of 5 before ... there were similar impacts on the running.

engels in reply to Gambit62

I've had similar experience but for me it always felt like general tiredness and fatigue, not something related to specific muscles.

Gambit62Administrator in reply to engels

Think I'd agree that it related to all muscles and there was an element of general tiredness and fatigue but I also felt as if everything was slowed down and the muscles just weren't responding as quickly and I had to put a lot more effort into getting things moving. Once they were moving they would tick over - so could keep up a steady if slow pace when running (and definitely closer to a shuffle than a run, ie legs not being lifted as much) or cycling but getting going was a lot more difficult ... as was stopping.

Poppet11 in reply to Gambit62

If we are talking muscles - it's the nerves not working the muscles. My quads on one side don't work when they are flexed - that you can see.

The situps aren't, for me, a fatigue thing. I just can't move any further. So it could be muscles in the back (particularly since I get fibrillations in my a particular muscle in the back) but I can't even raise my shoulders from the ground.

I'm a competitive body builder with PA, and suffered quite badly after by last dieting cycle, when I last competed.

I fainted and had palpitations weak muscles in my arms, pins and needles anxiety leading to panic attacks. Been taking a hydroxocobabalam naisal spray and my doctor agreed to let me have jabs on a two monthly basis.

the symptoms are slowly disapearing two months later.

I am now back training but having to climb the ladder strength wise to get back to were I was.

You bring up a good point.

I was reading an article from the NYT about a man who suffered a severe b12 deficiency but because he was a body builder he was still producing above average strength on the muscle tests - because he was above average strength. Yet, for him, he was very weak and indeed he was very sick.

The other fact is that we are back to people not quite understanding the damage b12 does and the progression of it. I think this is because we rarely hear from the people who have been severely damaged. They are too ill and I suspect don't make it and are diagnosed with something else.

Really the first three stages of b12 deficiency are reversable.

You have the fatigue

You have the concentration and fatigue

You have the pins needles, slight balance issues, some muscle problems

Then you start moving into the realms of paralysis

Then you do move into the realms of paralysis.

The further your deficiency moves along the stages the less likely it is that your damage will be repaired completely. Obviously the sooner the better.

You only need to look at the Diagnosing and Treating Vitamin B12 vid on YT to see Dave Carr who will always have permanent problems (he was a long distance runner prior to his illness) and the little boy who ended up with brain damage.

Obviously the above stages are a little broad in their symptoms but you can see what I mean. If the damage has gone beyond demyelinating nerves and the nerve has died then there is no way that the nerve can be repaired. Whatever that nerve controlled, goes also.

That's why we have a situation now whereby it is implicated that b12 deficiency may be involved with Parkinson's Disease as well as the many others.

Make no mistake, B12 deficiency if left, will cripple and kill you - and there is no coming back from some of the damage for some people.

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