Hypothyroid & low B12 - painful feet: Hi everyone... - Thyroid UK

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Hypothyroid & low B12 - painful feet

Hi everyone - I was diagnosed six weeks ago as hypothyroid, a low B12 and low vitamin D. I have started on 50mcg Levothyroxine and I had 6 x 1mg injections of B12 over a 2 week period. I am now taking 1mg Hydroxycobalamin via sub lingual tablet daily and vitamin D supplements. My problem is very painful feet/ankles/lower shins - it feels like a combination of aching and electric shocks and it is worse when I am resting. Does anyone else suffer these symptoms or have any helpful information. Other than this foot/leg problem I am feeling much better - I am not tired during the day and (without trying) have lost over half a stone in weight.

12 Replies

I'd say take vit D3 and k2.. what are your re enter blood test results?


Pain is quite common and it might be due to you just starting your dose and as your dose is gradually increased your pain should diminish. I was amazed I felt worse when starting levo than before I was diagnosed.


Your blood test should be due now as you were diagnosed six weeks ago. The test should be at the earliest, fasting and allow a gap of approx 24 hours between last dose and test and take afterwards. This helps keep the TSH highest as doctors usually only take notice of the TSH and might adjust dose unnecessarily.


Always get a print-out of your results with the ranges and you can post if you have a query.

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My blood test is due in 2 weeks - my doctor said she wanted me to be on Levo for 2 months before re-test. My original TSH was 6.6 which my doctor described as sub clinical, but she said that she wanted to start me on Levo though as I was having lots of symptoms. I forgot to mention that I am also getting pains (though not as bad) in my fingers.

I have access to all my test results online so I can always easily get copies.


That sounds B12 related, neurological symptoms. Were you tested for Pernicious Anaemia? There is a PA forum on here, I would take your results/symptoms etc over there as they can advise.


Thanks for this Silver_Fairy I will do as you suggested 😀


I had similar symptoms pre-treatment for hypothyroidism. I took B12 supplements but have discovered spirulina is a very high natural source so have a dose of that now every morning and my feet are fine. Tastes pretty awful!!


Not everyone agrees that Spirulina is a source of B12:

Nori is considered suitable for humans, but

it is not widely available, whereas the more widely available

Spirulina may contain pseudo‑B12, a biologically

inactive analogue, which would not be beneficial and

might even be harmful.

This paper is NOT available:


Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Nov;232(10):1266-74.

Vitamin B12 sources and bioavailability.

Watanabe F1.

Author information

1 School of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Tottori University, 4-101 Koyama-Minami, Tottori 680-8553, Japan. watanabe@muses.tottori-u.ac.jp


The usual dietary sources of vitamin B(12) are animal foods, meat, milk, egg, fish, and shellfish. As the intrinsic factor-mediated intestinal absorption system is estimated to be saturated at about 1.5-2.0 microg per meal under physiologic conditions, vitamin B(12) bioavailability significantly decreases with increasing intake of vitamin B(12) per meal. The bioavailability of vitamin B(12) in healthy humans from fish meat, sheep meat, and chicken meat averaged 42%, 56%-89%, and 61%-66%, respectively. Vitamin B(12) in eggs seems to be poorly absorbed (< 9%) relative to other animal food products. In the Dietary Reference Intakes in the United States and Japan, it is assumed that 50% of dietary vitamin B(12) is absorbed by healthy adults with normal gastro-intestinal function. Some plant foods, dried green and purple lavers (nori) contain substantial amounts of vitamin B(12), although other edible algae contained none or only traces of vitamin B(12). Most of the edible blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) used for human supplements predominantly contain pseudovitamin B(12), which is inactive in humans. The edible cyanobacteria are not suitable for use as vitamin B(12) sources, especially in vegans. Fortified breakfast cereals are a particularly valuable source of vitamin B(12) for vegans and elderly people. Production of some vitamin B(12)-enriched vegetables is also being devised.

PMID: 17959839

DOI: 10.3181/0703-MR-67



Thank you very much for this information....done a bit of quick googling and it's clearly not a good source for B12. Guess it was the supplements that have helped my feet after all then. Luckily I've been taking the spirulina well away from my supps. I won't be replacing it when I've finished it.


Further, it seems possible that the effect of some spirulina on histamine could be significant. And histamine can cause burning feet issues. This is a review paper and I don't see much point grabbing a small section to quote:


By the way, how much spirulina do you take? And which form is it?


naturya.com/products/spirul... This one, taking a teaspoonful in the morning in my kefir.

Thanks for the paper. I'm glad you interjected. It's a minefield!

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Most certainly a minefield - especially where there are large profits to be made.

I have a feeling this issue will swirl around for many years. :-(

Thanks for your information.


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