B12 deficiency in a 5 year old - Pernicious Anaemi...

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B12 deficiency in a 5 year old


Hi, I'm new here. I'm the mother of a 5 year old boy who's had some mysterious symptoms and this forum has hugely helped me figure out what's going on.

He was a vegetarian since birth (and I'd been a vegetarian while pregnant w/ him and for years before), and around ages 2-3. he started having "sad" episodes that would come and go. By age 4.5 they'd gotten much worse, he was genuinely depressed and talking about death (!) and was also tired and pale, hands very cold, etc. I finally realized that he probably had a b12 deficiency, though tests were inconclusive.

I started giving him b12 on my own, but there's so little out there re toddlers and young children and b12. He actually got worse at first--when we introduced fish and meat to his diet, and also when he started taking b12 supplements. We had to start super low, like 60 mcg/day, for him to not react poorly and go a little crazy. Little by little, through trial and error and over the course of months, I've finally gotten him up to 1000 mcg/day, and the transformation has been amazing. We got our happy, easygoing, playful, curious child back! But again, there's been a lot of trial and error.

Just a couple of days ago, I saw the old sadness and paleness come back, and I'm not sure why. I had switched to new supplements (by Jarrow)--a 1000 mcg pill rather than 2 500 mcg pills--but I can't imagine that's the cause. He's not taking folate--should he be? He usually eats a good diet but maybe with that much b12, he needs a good b complex? Is anyone else out there dealing with this in a child? Also, when can I stop increasing the dosage? Right now I'm still increasing it every week b/c otherwise the sadness comes back, but how high will I have to go before it plateaus?

Thank you!

5 Replies

I’m sorry but I cannot help you with most of your questions , but one thing stood out for me — FOLATE . He will need a supplement unless he gets plenty of green vegetables daily . Folate ( vitamin B9) works together with B12 . How much I really don’t know -maybe best to ask a nutritionist .

I'd thoroughly recommend the pediatric version of the book, 'Could it be B12?', written by nurse, Sally Pacholok and her husband, Dr J.J. Stuart, who both worked on the front line of the emergency department in a large US city hospital.


Full title of book Polaris mentioned is "Could It Be B12? Paediatric Edition: What Every Parent Needs to Know".

Thank you. I do have the book, and it's very helpful, but she studiously avoids mentioning dosages for kids--probably for legal reasons--which makes it very much less useful for me.

The only way to know if he should be taking folate is to have his labs tested. It usually does make b 12 work better. I happen to have jarrows b 12 sublinguals, 1000 mcg. I can't take them because it aggravates my neuropathy the exact same way my GP prescribed B 12 supplements from the hospital. The stuff from the hospital made my skin irritated, like a low grade abrasion feeling as if I was sleeping on a bed of hay and gave me to tingling sensations on my face. It felt like their were fleas and bugs chasing after me and I was swatting my face all day like a crack addict...no joke! Jarrorows sublinguals wasn't as bad with the burning sensations but I got the same "fleas crawling allover my face" feeling. Injections are more potent becauze they bypass the digestion tract. If you have problems with low stomach acid, take a PPI and metformin, this is an issue. Now sublinguals are a way to get around this but take many months to work and 500 mg is probably too low a dose. I would like to undergo more testing before I consider this becuase something is wrong with me given how remarkably well my symptoms improve when I take the injections. Perhaps it may never be able to be proven on a lab test. I'm willing to take that risk...many months of feeling tired and not being able to think straight whete you cant tell the difference between North, South, East and West is too grave a price to pay right now. It will take forever for 500 mg sublinguals to work, that's, If they will work at all at that mg. I tried taking 500 mg sublinguals in the morning and one at night, it didnt ease my symptoms. So one 1000 mcg sublingual won't work.

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