UTI LINK TO DEFICIENCY: Good morning... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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Lettielew profile image

Good morning everyone

Very strange question but does anyone know of a link between low level b12 and recurrent UTI's? Over the last year have had a few of these and to me there seems to be a pattern emerging that coincides with needing B12 injections

Want some evidence if there is any before I speak to GP

Thank you for any comments

22 Replies

Good morning lettielew.What I found was I went through periods of such painful uti symptoms that had me up most of the night maybe five or six times dribbling away,ive always suffered from bladder problems and was told my bladder had to be cut away during hysterectomy as it had adhered to my womb.

I was constantly given antibiotics,despite labs returning negative results,and eventually I built up an intolerance to so many antibiotics it became a struggle.

I refused any invasive procedures because I knew all that would achieve would be the possibility of introducing bacteria into my bladder so continued to search out other solutions, dmannose,lemon water,bottle washing after peeing.

Then came the b12 pernicious anemia diagnosis and first the loading doses then I self injected e.o.d for a good 6 months before reducing.That was when I noticed firstly no more night time visits to the loo and no more pain and inflammation in my uretha or bladder,I do suffer from recurring kidney stones, it amazed me how I’d gone from chronic painful bladder to absolutely nothing now two years down the line.I’ve not had one single uti or antibiotic since my b12 shots.coincidence? Who cares.The gps will never admit the link, mines certainly didn’t ,but I know myself the b12 shots were what resolved this for me.If that’s what’s happened for you enjoy it,I couldn’t be happier.best of luck x

Hi ,thanks for the reply,Really helpful I have had 4 episodes in last year never having suffered from them before but started linking with the episodes to when my b12 was due..

Not putting too fine point on it its the passing of blood that is concerning me .

My last infection was diagnosed and treated by pharmacist !!New GP policy apparently.

As I have had bowl cancer 3 years ago not going to be fobbed off at GP'so wanted to go armed with information!

Thank you again

Yes that’s the best idea any passing of blood should always be checked out by medics.In my case I was passing blood but it was vaginal atrophy causing that ,I had very fine paper cuts and a raw area that bled everytime I peed so obviously if they were visible then the uretha was also atrophied and f course the urine was like peeing acid because of the atrophy.

Always drink plenty water to reduce that acid and flush through your system,I have to maintain this because of the kidney stones I have 4 largish ones in the left kidney just now.

Get yourself checked for V.A as that will show as minute traces of blood in your urine and best of luck with your gp hopefully you have a decent one who’ll listen and check out any concerns you have.

I’ve had no atrophy or utis since starting on b12 shots so I’m really convinced of it’s benefits for that alone. X

Thank you ,yes couple of decent doctors in practice thankfully!

The b12 probably gave your body the strength to fight off bacteria and infections. It’s my theory.

I went through the whole process of STD testing and cystoscopy and the urologist finally said it was a case of “undetermined origin“ and “orange juice is your friend”.

But think about it, low B12, possibly low white blood cells, etc in the blood fighting infections.

Going back to the Orange Juice. Urologist said that it’s acidity cleans out calcium deposits in your plumbing. The calcium deposits are where the bugs find a home. Remove their home, no more UTI.

So far, keeping up on B12 injections (weekly cyano for me) and adding salsa to everything I eat (I do drink an occasional OJ or cranberry) has kept the bugs away.

Lettielew profile image
Lettielew in reply to pvanderaa

Thank you for your reply.I was thinking the same about low white cells etc.

My GP won't budge on less than 10 week injections had to really fight to get them reduced from 12 weeks.

We gather some information and make an appointment!

Thanks again


I think that B12 deficiency can knock the immune system so possibly make people more prone to UTIs.

B12 deficiency can cause neuropathy which may affect bladder control.

NHS link about Peripheral Neuropathy (damage to peripheral nerves)


PAS (Pernicious Anaemia Society)

Based in Wales, UK.


There is a helpline number that PAS members can ring.

B12 Deficiency Info website


NICE Pathway UTIs




Thank you for the information. Do have neuropathy in hands and feet so possibility!

Thank you again

If you have neuropathy, I cannot understand why GP won't give more frequent injections.

I don't understand why they are not following the BNF treatment pattern for those with "neurological involvement". Have you asked them politely why they are not using it?

BNF Hydroxocobalamin


GP can also see the above information in their BNF book Chapter 9 Section 1.2

Unhappy with Treatment (UK info)?

Letters to GPs about B12 deficiency


Point 1 in above link is about being under treated for B12 deficiency with neuro symptoms.

If you're a PAS member might be worth talking to PAS.

Perhaps you can get your GP to read the PAS page for health professionals?


Have you tracked down the local guidelines on treating B12 deficiency for your CCG/Health Board?

It could be that your GP is being constrained in the treatment they can offer by local guidelines.

They can use their professional judgement to prescribe off -licence but I suspect some don't want the hassle of justifying their decision.


Hi Lettielew,

It’s not a strange question. Early last year, I had very poor bladder control even bought nappies. By the September, the sensations I had were frequency (needing to go every 10 minutes for several hours of the day ) inability to completely empty bladder plus hesitation (or stasis if you want medical jargon).

Another medical term, sorry, for all of that is a ‘neurogenic bladder.’ Because of my inability to empty bladder (urinary retention) led to infection.

Offensive cloudy urine, burning and backache are the usual symptoms. Twice I was prescribed Nitrofurantoin which according to the British National Formulary should be prescribed with caution if b12 deficient and iron deficient (I was both).

B12 affects nerves, muscles and leads us prone to infection. Well, everything. I haven’t had a UTI since getting my B12 injections frequently. And that would be me self-injecting.

In Dr Joseph Chandy’s book ‘vitamin B12 in Practice’ p 58 and 271. UTIs and incontinence.

Best wishes

Vitamin b12 vs Multiple Sclerosis
Lettielew profile image
Lettielew in reply to Narwhal10

Thanks so much ,will feel I am armed with an informed set of data to at least open a discussion with my GP Thank you again

charks profile image
charks in reply to Narwhal10

Hi there

Frequent urination is one of the things I still suffer from. Luckily I don't have UTI's. It started after my B12 got so low that I passed out and was unconscious for over 30 minutes. When I came round I had no bladder control at all. It slowly got better but I am left with the frequent urination. It is a real problem for me. I often have to go 'al fresco'. I keep hoping that it will resolve itself once my body has fully recovered from B12D. I have been on the correct dosage of B12 for 8 months now. Has your frequent urination sorted itself out?

Narwhal10 profile image
Narwhal10 in reply to charks

Hi charks,

I am so sorry to hear that. How awful for you being unconscious and loss of bladder control. I do hope you are on the mend.

I still have frequent urination. Are you in the U.K. ? I carry a card from Bowel and Bladder UK - Just Can’t wait card, lots of people don’t know about it. Whenever, I’ve flashed it people are great.


I have a disabled toilet key from Disability Rights U.K.

I still wear ‘protection’ so to speak and yes, the odd bush has got watered much to my embarrassment.

Things have improved - 3 months ago I used to get really bad bladder spasms if I waited but now they’ve gone. Phew.

Best wishes.

Hi again,

Articles that mention UTIs or neurogenic bladder or bladder dysfunction, and B12 deficiency

These are aimed at researchers and health professionals and may contain details that could be upsetting.



Thank you so much for information. Will have a good read of the Ricles

Thank you again

From my experience, definitely a connection. B12 injections reduced bladder problems to virtually nil.

OMG, I'd never made the connection but I used to get UTI's so bad (made worse by losing power of limbs, probably MS related) that I was hospitalised 5 or 6 times. Nothing serious since frequent B12 injections (self-administered 2-4 times per week).

I find it hard to take myself back to where I was in February this year as I had not been diagnosed with PA and I did not know what was wrong with me. I was incontinent and was having to buy pads as I could not leave the house for 30 mins without fear of having an accident. I was getting up 8-9 times a night and was experiencing continuous UTIs. Actually I took myself to GP as I thought I had bladder cancer. It was at that appointment that I asked for my B12 to be tested as my brother had just had a deficiency identified. My B12 came back at 110 ng/L. I couldn’t walk upright, I was in excruciating pain down my back. I had mouth ulcers, pins and needles even under my scalp, Loss of taste, dry eyes, racing heart and palpitations. So yes I believe UTIs are linked. Since I started treatment they have decreased in frequency but I’m still getting there!

I find this thread fascinating. 10 Years ago I was diagnosed with Interstitial Cystitis and while I do believe that was the correct diagnosis I am beginning to wonder if B12 deficiency and/or PA can be linked. My IC has always been very triggered by my allergies and by acidic foods. I have lived with a pretty strict diet the past 10 years, but have also learned how to "cheat" occasionally. Usually so I can have a glass of wine or two at a social gathering. I don't do that often though. However, I have discovered that since doing weekly B12 injections I have had very little issues. I even spent a weekend with family where I had a few cocktails and glasses of champagne over the course of three days and didn't have to take any of my anti-spasm meds. I've been able to drink other drinks that I haven't been able to drink in years. I look forward to my annual urology check up in January so I can discuss this with my Urologist. I'm wondering if the nerve issue in my bladder was just the beginning of my B12D or PA symptoms. Although my B12 level was only at 240 when the deficiency was discovered. (My folate was low though so if I'm understanding correctly the 240 could have been false since I was low in folate.)

Lettielew profile image
Lettielew in reply to Amybonner

Hi Amy bonner,yes since asking my 'silly' question I am now convinced there is something in it reading all the replies.Can I ask are you in the UK?

How do you manage weekly B12 injections?

Amybonner profile image
Amybonner in reply to Lettielew

Hi Lettielew! I am the US. I have been getting my weekly injections at my primary care doctor’s at the direction of my neurologist. Her office is only a mile from my house. However, this week, at my request, they showed me how to do them myself. My neurologist is w am ting me to space them out which i will try but I’m not convinced that it is the right move. He’s usually pretty good about adjusting the plan and communicating so we will see.

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