I'd like some advice on a health issue which could relate to B12 deficiency.
Recently I started experiencing occasional numbness mostly in the legs and feet but occasionally in the arm/hand. I thought it might be due to sitting too long in one position and thought little of it. This escalated over the summer especially at night which in turn created a sleep problem. I found it was becoming every night and sometimes also during the day for a while so thought I should go to the doctor. Before doing so I looked online for some possible explanations and came across lots of information on B12 deficiency. This possibility seemed plausible to me since although I am not vegetarian, I am only an occasional meat/fish eater. Some other symptoms mentioned coincided, such as hair loss (slight) and greying, increased frequency and urgency to pee, one night I also suffered extreme dizziness which I put down to getting out of bed quickly but could also be related. When I went to the doctor I mentioned the problems and the info I had seen about B12 deficiency. He ordered a blood test but since it couldn't be immediate due to holiday commitments we agreed I should start a B12 supplement to see the effects. I started with Solgar B12 1000 micrograms once or twice a day. By the end of my holiday (10 days) the numbness at night had decreased massively and I only experienced it from time to time. Since returning I have experienced no problems at all. The blood test was done on my return (10 days after starting the B12 supplement) and the results came back with no B12 deficiency (890 pg/mL). Of course it's impossible to know what the initial levels were and the effects seem significant to me. My folic acid was slightly low (4.3 ng/mL) so the doctor told me to continue with ONE B12 a day plus a folic acid supplement of 10 mg a day. After taking the first folic acid tablet, that very night, the symptoms of numbness in the legs/feet and sleeplessness at night returned. I also noticed that the leaflet inside advises against taking it with B12 deficiency because it may increase the need for the B12 and aggravate neurological symptoms. Clearly I am not going to take the folic acid (which also seems a very high dosage based on what I've read) again but what should I do now? The doctor said I should return in 2-3 months for another blood test (after having taken the folic acid during that time) but should I return straight away to tell him of the effects of the folic acid or wait whilst continuing with just the B12 once a day? My main worry is that the diagnosis is not clear and whilst I hope it’s merely a problem of low B12 in my diet easily corrected by supplementation, I am concerned that there is an underlying problem that is hard to get at.
Of course after such a short time on B12 I presume I could just come off for a couple of weeks and retest? BUT I don’t want the numbness etc to return obviously and would prefer a different solution. Other abnormal results in the blood test were: eosinophils 9.1%/0.51 in the count, basophils 0.5%/0.03 in the count, HDL cholesterol 79 mg/dL (the doctor said this was good!), triclycerides 64 mg/dL.
What would you advise? Does this sound like a simple B12 deficiency? Could it be PA?
By the way, I am a British citizen currently residing in Spain and the doctor visits have all been carried out in Spain.
Thanks for your help.