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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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B12 deficiency, very depressed and afraid to treat

Hi everyone

I have low b12 and am currently experiencing some pretty bad depression along with moodswings and anxiety along with some other symptoms.

I have been posting over in the phoenix rising forums but I'm seeing if there's any advice that I can be offered here.

Now a lot of people over at the phoenix rising forum seem to have bad reactions to b vitamins, specifically methyl b12 and methylfolate. These reactions are, irritability, increased depression and anxiety.

Some attribute these reactions to "overmethylation or startup reactions". They believe in start low and go slow with these supplements.

I do have mthfr and have tried taking methylfolate with methyl b12 but the times I have tried it, it just seemed to make my mood symptoms worse.

Some people have suggested this could be the result of "methyltrap", not enough b12 to make the folate work so therefore you experience worse symptoms of b12 deficiency.

So now my plan is to get my b12 levels up first and get on a good daily maintenance dose of sublingual methyl b12 before starting methylfolate again. But, the thing is I'm so put off of taking methyl b12 as I'm afraid it will cause me to become worse, wether it increases my depression, anxiety or causes an anxiety attack.

I'd like to start off taking 2000 mcg methyl b12 and really ramp up the dosage from there but am really having a hard time getting myself to do it. And I'm only getting worse.

If more details are needed I can provide them.

If anyone has any advice or is farmilier with these issues any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you very much!!!


13 Replies

From my own experience I find that hydroxocobalamin works better for me with the neuropsychiatric problems - moodiness, depression and anxiety but I still need to take really high doses of that.

I also use methyl but that because it helps better with neurological problems and gives me more feeling in my foot. I think it also helps me better if I am having sleep issues.

I tend to use a nasal spray rather than sublinguals and tablets. Its a method that works well for me.

People do seem to vary a lot in the way they respond to different formats of B12 (cyano-, hydroxo- and methyl ... and probably adenyl ... not that I have tried that but may do at some point.

It may be worth looking at other forms of B12 to see if they have an effect.

My experience with recovering - after speaking to my GP who only wanted to push ADs on me and dismissed B12 as still being an issue because I was on maintenance shots - was using a nasal spray 1mg 3 to 4 times a day. Within a few weeks I went from struggling to walk to being happy perched at the top of a ladder pruning my grape-vine. It wasn't until a couple of months later that I realised I was coping a lot better with anxiety and the depression that I had suffered with for decades - something which I was convinced, because of time-scale, probably wasn't related to B12 - had actually disappeared as well.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to have been much research on either different forms of B12 or different methods of delivery - definitely think that nasal works better for me with the moodiness than injection but that's only observation - or at least I'm not aware of it but would be good to hear from others if they are aware of any research.

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Just wanted to add - after looking at the phoenix rising forum and realising that you may be affected by MTHFR and realising that you may have problems with converting forms of B12 to use at cell level that sometimes where there are problems with absorption/conversion flooding the system to counterbalance the drop in absorption can work so trying hydroxo in high doses might not be as daft as it sounds at first.

Eg it is possible to counterbalance a B12 absorption problem by flooding the gut with B12 - because 1% is absorbed outside the ileum. However, as always, people respond very differently.

Hope you find something that works for you soon.

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I have perniciou anaemia and sekf inject hydrox b12( not suggesting that for you) but when i first started i felt really ill for about 3weeks but after that the change wss remarkable. you also have to keep an eye on folic acid, vit D iron levels and ear 3banans a day for potassium.


To much potassium is very bad for you same as sprouts cherries which are all very bad for your blood pressue, Go see your dietian at the Dr surgaery for advice, becareful with self medicating


I'm waiting to hear my results back from 23andme.....

Personally I'm finding that I'm very low at the moment which then impacts on taking the supplements so descend further- get my drift... I have to be very strict and make myself take them. Certainly methyl enables me to have some energy - I take the Jarrows 5000 under my tongue, an active B complex and have some new mega drops of Adenosyl that I need to work out what they do for me.

I felt like I was I my 20's after the loading doses of hydroxy but alas not for long....


Having had blood problems all my life had many tranfusions was given advice by a very well thought of Dr he said besr thing for PA is after eating a well thought out light lunch salad meat cheese glass of milk or pure juice, take a small power nat then middle afternoon eat a few squires ofchocolate


Eating chocolate and taking naps is not the solution to B12 deficiency or pernicious anaemia, no matter how "well thought of" the doctor.

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He said WHAT????!!!!


Well if you have pa you cant get any b12 from eating so that doctor sounds like the doc i saw who told me to eat green veg!!!!!

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Absolutely- you will not be able to get sufficient B12 from diet alone if you have absorption problems - and if you are low, you still need the loading doses regardless of reason. B12 is found in dairy and meats, not fruit or veg.

I must be averaging c8000 Mcg a day just to function on supplements - you are not going to get that from food...


My biggest problem is that I have read a lot of people reporting that they get increased symptoms of irritability, anxiety etc.

And a lot of my symptoms are mood related. I'm just terrified of making them worse with the b12.

Does anyone know if b12 can cause worsening of these symptoms?

I'm probably just gonna dive in and start taking 2000mcg a day methyl to start.


cobain_justinsane, I'm in exactly the same position as you are. I have severe depression at the moment with very little room for error.

I want to try hydroxycobalamin shots but worried about getting worse. I've had mixed results with methylcobalamin sublinguals. Would love to know what you ended up doing.


Hello wesleysnipes

I foolishly have not started taking my B12 yet (really need to start in the new year!!!). So, I can not give you any advice. Sorry.

I would recommend that you check out forums.phoenixrising.me/ind...

You might be able to find some useful information there.


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