Thyroid UK

blood tests for b12 and folate

Can anyone give me advise on these tests, these were the last tests that the doctor completed for B12 and ferritin

serum folate 4.6 under range 5.4 - 24

when I mentioned this to the doctor he said everyone over 40 would have a result like this, unless of was thinking of getting pregnant no action necessary.

B12 336 normal range 210 - 910

Serum ferritin 53 normal 10 - 291

many thanks karen

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Bloods aren't my forte but I think your doctor is stupid to suggest that if we are low in vits/ minerals that unless we were thinking of getting pregnant he'd take no further action!

Your B12 for a start is far too low and the new recommendation is a B12 of around 1,000. So you can supplement with vitamin B12 methylcobalamin sublingual. I get mine from Amazon and I give a link below if you'd like to order through them. It is self-explanatory.

Your folate and ferritin is low and if we weren't hypo we could eat the following. Even though some of the following are not recommended, in small quantities a couple of times a week may be fine. However, I am sure some members will advise you how to raise it.

Dark Leafy Greens. It should come as no surprise that one of the planet's healthiest foods is also one of the highest in folate. For an immediate boost in folic acid, consider adding more spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens and romaine lettuce into your daily diet.


Hi Shaws, the suggestion is now that the above veggies are ok for hypo's if cooked. Its the raw form thats not so good for us


Yes but not daily.

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groaten As Shaw's says, you need to supplement B12. Solgar or Jarrows sublingual methylcobalamin lozenges 5000mcg until your level gets up to a nice high level then reduce to 1000mcg daily as a maintenance dose.

When taking B12 we need a B Complex to balance the B vits. As your folate is very low then Thorne Basic B or Jarrows B Right would be good as they both contain 400mcg methylfolate which will help increase your folate level. It needs to be at least half way through range which is 15.

Your ferritin is also low. For thyroid hormone to work properly it needs to be at least 70, 100+ even better. You need to supplement with iron and also take 1000mcg Vit C with each dose which will aid absorption and help prevent constipation.

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Good advice from shaws and SS. Once you are supplementing B12 - further testing is of little value as the results will be skewed/inflated. Something your GP may not be aware of - is that only 20% of your B12 result is available to be transported from the blood into your cells where it is needed. So that makes your result even lower.

In Japan the range STARTS at 500 - and a B12 result under that level can become a neurological condition. Low B12 is often mis-diagnosed as early MS or Parkinsons. Scroll down in the link below to read the neurological signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency. A good site which indicates the seriousness of the condition. Click onto the headings FILMS and watch the videos about B12 - quite shocking when you think GP's are not aware of this easily rectified problem.

B12 works together with Folate in the body - so having that at a good level is important too.

Many symptoms of LOW B12 are similar to being Hypo.

I am a person who has suffered at the hands of poor understanding of B12. I had my Termial Ileum removed over 40 years ago. This is the area of the gut where B12 is metabolised back to the liver. My B12 results have been around the 300 mark for years and only in recent years have I learned more. I had surgery on my spine for stenosis in 2007 which I now think was de-myelination of the spinal cord - where the protective sheath of the cord is affected. If only I had known more about B12 earlier in my life. I now know all the symptoms I had match those on the list - peripheral neuropathy being the main one. So I live with the effects on a daily basis for which regular B12 injections are certainly helping.

My B12 levels in the blood for those years were as a result of taking a good B Complex containing some B12 - so not the true picture at all.

Sorry for the length - am hoping it will also help others reading your post/thread.


Your B12 levels aren't great - some people would be okay at this level but others will be showing signs of deficiency as the effect of B12 isn't about what is happening in your blood - its about what is happening at the cell level.

Your folate is obviously very low and as your body needs folate to process B12 it is not going to help.

Personally I would regard your GPS remarks about folate as negligent and I would seriously consider changing my GP. I am over 40 - well over 40 and my folate levels are off the top of the scale - though that is because I supplement because I have a B12 absorption problem.

The PAS forum on health unlocked is a good place to go for advice on things to do with B12 and folate - though there are some divided opinions on treating a folate deficiency.

folate deficiency is a real condition - hence my feeling that your GPs remarks are negligent - it needs to be treated but it shouldn't be treated on its own if there is a possibility that you also have a B12 deficiency as high levels of folate can mask one key symptom of a B12 deficiency - macrocytosis - and cause a delay in treatment which could lead to permanent nerve damage.

As Marz says there is a significant overlap in symptoms of B12 and thyroid so it gets even more difficult to get a B12 absorption problem properly diagnosed and treated if there is also a thyroid problem - which is a pity as there is a strong probability of the two occurring together. Same is true with diabetes.

This is a link to list of symptoms of B!2 deficiency


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