Pernicious Anaemia Society
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ups and downs?

hi all!

A few weeks ago I took a liquid vitamin with B12 and folate. for the first time in over ten years i had energy, my hair started growing back, my nails were impenetrable, and my years of depression and anxiety totally subsided. I then got the flu, kind of randomly although it is going around in the US. I switched to a liquid b complex because the first supplement had iron that was making me very nauseous and giving me migraines. I seemed to have to keep upping the dose to feel good but I didn’t mind. I got over the flu and still had great mental wellness but my nails/hair stopped growing and I have cuts around my cuticles. I started taking a separate sublingual b12 (really high dose) and folate (800mcg). The last few days the mental clarity that I had achieved is gone and the depression/anxiety is back.

I have read a lot about people starting supplementation and getting worse before getting better. I’ve also read about people supplementing and inadvertently depleting their potassium which might cause depressive symptoms. I’m not sure if there is some sort of ratio of vitamins I should be taking or if I need to supplement with potassium/if I should just stick to the b complex and not upset the balance with extra B12 and folate. Im just a little worried that I’m messing with the healing process. Any advice?

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Hi moni4moni It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 starts repairing the damage done to your nervous system and your brain starts getting multiple messages from part of the body it had "forgotten about" or lost contact with.

I sometimes liken it to a badly tuned radio on which you have turned the volume up high trying to catch the programme you want when all of a sudden the signal comes in loud and clear and the blast nearly deafens you.

A lot will depend on the severity and longevity of your B12 deficiency as to how long before there is no further improvement or recovery. Some symptoms will "disappear" quite quickly whereas others may take months or even years. There is no set timescale as we are all different.

It is important that your Folate level is monitored as this is essential to process the B12.

There is a complex interaction between folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. A deficiency of one may be "masked" by excess of another so the three must always be in balance.

Symptoms of a folate deficiency can include:

symptoms related to anaemia

reduced sense of taste

diarrhoea

numbness and tingling in the feet and hands

muscle weakness

depression

Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 in making red blood cells and helps iron function properly in the body.

Fortunately you cannot "overdose" on B12 as any excess is excreted via your urine and as for low potassium a banana a day will help.

I am not a medically trained person but I've had P.A. (a form of B12 deficiency) for more than 45 years.

I wish you well

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