Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Why do I feel better out in fresh air? and Can B12 deficiency be responsible for nasty cramps?

Hi everyone, I'm in need of further educating, please! I know everyone will say 'of course you feel better out in the fresh air' but I'm wondering if that is particularly true for PA sufferers? I even feel a bit better when driving so by 'outside' I mean out of the house. My symptoms, diminish a little but don't disappear. Also, I have suffered for many many years with the most awful cramps, anywhere on my body. They are excrutiatingly painful and I have been treated with 300mg of Quinine which I understand can have an effect on blood sugar levels, although quite how I am not sure. Does PA cause cramping? Is taking Quinine a waste of time?

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Can't say I'd really noticed any lessening of my symptoms when I'm outside or out of the house ... in fact some probably did get a lot worse (eg I was suffering from mild psychosis which was definitely worse away from home).

I do find that some colours can affect me and make me feel more anxious etc ... though that is definitely less now that i've managed to get my B12 levels high and keep them that way ... red was bad and green was good. The dashboard in my car has a lot of red so there were times at night when I was driving and just wanted to put the indicators on or put the lights on full beam to give myself a respite :)

I used to get a lot of cramps when the deficiency was bad - so would probably go with yes cramps can be a symptom - possibly down to nerve signals not working the way they should.

Muscle spasms associated with my migraines got a lot worse as well - but I find that B6 levels getting low also seem to have the same effect now ... or at least I suspect its B6 as it tends to go away if I supplement the B6 ... really do try with diet but it doesn't seem to do the trick.


Hi shevie, I definitely had a lot of problems with cramp before I was diagnosed. It is better now, but one of the first symptoms to return when my next injection is due. I never tried quinine, but do have a sub lingual spray to use as needed. I also feel better out in the fresh air, maybe I get more oxygen into my lungs when I'm outdoors? Best wishes MariLiz


A completely wild shot here, Shevie, but is it possible there's an irritant in your home? If you feel better just out, no matter where, it would suggest there's an environmental toxin in there somewhere. I get like that anywhere near a perfume counter. I get nausea, headache, turning to migraine. If I have to stay next to an irritant perfume (including on people!) too long I even get sensitivity to light and noise!

I don't believe in 'your life is poisoning you' tinfoil hat paranoia, so please don't think I'm suggesting water filters, algae and chanting, but it is possible that you are using something, from an anti-bacterial kitchen cleanser to a significant other's perfume that is, literally, getting up your nose. It's worth checking to see if anything new has been introduced recently that coincides with when you first started feeling this, like new carpets or a sofa or a change in shampoo.

Muscle cramps can be induced by loads of things, unfortunately, but bad diet (sugar, caffeine and chocolate) can all cause them because the body loses magnesium trying to process them. But conditions like B12 deficiency, anaemia and thyroid problems can all induce cramps too. I used to get them all the time and then I noticed they'd stopped. I still have NO clue what I changed - more's the pity. I think you could probably find a list on the internet of likely culprits and just work your way through them.

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All your points are ones I have worked through! Theres certainly nothing new in the home, and i dont eat sugar, caffeine and chocolate goes straight for my teeth so i avoid that too! However, we do have an open fire and the house is a very old single wall cottage so with all doors firmly shut to cut down draughts it could well be that the fire is eating up all the oxygen and leaving me with nothing! Its a mystery


Hi, I also feel better in the fresh air outside. I think its because i find breathing is impaired.


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