Vitamin B12 Deficiency Could Affect Your Fibromyalgia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Could Affect Your Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog
In a recent visit to my doctor, one of the tests she ordered was a blood test to determine my vitamin B12 level. It was low, which means my body wasn’t able to process it from the foods I was eating. I now take liquid B12 and that seems to be helping with my energy and mental clarity issues. Not all B12 is created equal, so be sure you speak to your doctor and get one that is pharmaceutical grade. (You can find B12 on Amazon.)

According to an article in Pharmacy Times: “Because B12 must follow a complex pathway of several steps for proper absorption and assimilation, there are numerous causes of deficiency. These include malabsorption syndromes, autoimmune disease, diet, drugs, chemotherapy, radiation, eating disorders, Helicobacter pylori, gastrointestinal surgeries, nitrous oxide, hepatic disease, and genetic defects. Other groups at risk include vegans, vegetarians, alcoholics, and individuals with Crohn’s disease, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, celiac disease, gastric bypass, and AIDS.”

A book that also might prove helpful to you is Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Chronic Illness by Mike Newman

Some symptoms of B12 deficiency include, but are not limited to:

1. Dizziness (including vertigo)
2. Pins and needles
3. Pale complexion
4. Forgetfulness
5. Unexplained fatigue
6. Vision issues
7. Muscle weakness
8. Iron deficiency
9. Anxiety or depression
10. Unexplained aches and pains
11. Burning and soreness in the back of the tongue
12. Heart palpitations
13. Intermittent constipation or diarrhea
14. Difficulty with coordination and balance

Although this is by no means an exhaustive list, it may be something you should discuss with your medical provider if you’re concerned about it. Vegetarians and vegans are particularly susceptible because they eliminate B12-containing foods such as meat and eggs from their diet.

As you can see, a lack of vitamin B12 can wreak havoc in your body and make your FM symptoms worse. If you think you may have low vitamin B12 levels, be sure to ask your doctor to order a blood test to check your vitamin levels. I’m so thankful that my functional medicine doctor ordered more tests than my previous primary care doctor did. I’m finally getting some clearer answers and a positive direction to move in. I’ve not had vertigo since taking it, and my mental clarity is improving.

Knowledge is a powerful thing!

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts ?

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


    • Robin Dix says:

      Julie, I loved my rheumatologist that I had in Boston. But the functional medicine doctor I have now is hands down the best I’ve had. Her goal is to get to the root of the issues I have and use food and natural supplements as much as possible while also using regular meds as necessary. Does that answer your question?

      • Debbie Oliver says:

        How do you go about finding a functional medicine doctor? I have an HMO Medicare Advantage plan and not sure if this is the kind of doctor that even takes insurance or would have to pay out-of-pocket to even see. I’m 63 and suffer from fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and severe peripheral neuropathy. I seek treatment through rheumatologist and Pain Management specialist but I’m still not finding any relief through any of the treatments that they provide. I have heard about functional medicine doctors but don’t know too much about them and would like to find out more. I probably should call my insurance company and just ask them but I always like to find out from people who have had direct interaction and have had success with treatments other treatments from other doctors besides the rheumatoligists, pain management specialists and ortho doctors. Im not getting any better with treatments im receiving. I havent had any kind of blood work to test for vitamin deficiencies. My PCP doesn’t even want to order these kinds of tests .He tells me its my age!! Im constantly at battle with him and feel like i get passed from doctor to doctor and still don’t get treatment. Its like pulling teeth. The suggestion by my insurance co. to change doctors but they dont help you do this. So to hear that someone has had success and is feeling better with another kind of doctor is so encouraging to me and that makes me feel hopeful.

  1. Karen says:

    I am a 70 year old vegan with fibro. I have been having more memory problems & pain in my legs & feet. I take several prescription meds & supplements. I ask my rheumy dr to have my vitamin D & B levels tested. She does not think that is my problem but agreed to order the test. I live in a small community so not aware of functional medicine dr. Does medicare pay for this kind of dr?

  2. Mike Newman/Karen Thompson says:

    Hi Robin

    I wrote last week requesting you disassociate my book with your comments about vegans and vegetarians and B12 deficiency – as the book clearly states, when it comes to vegetarians, the opposite is the case. And vegans don’t eat animal products anyway so the point is moot.
    If you could get back to me because I am currently working on a project for a client regarding fibromyalgia and I don’t want to have to mention that your column is wrong to try and put the record straight.

    Best regards.

  3. Mike Newman/Karen Thompson says:

    Hi Robin and many thanks for responding. It’s given me chance to write to the site owners and ask for a slight amendment.

    Apologies if I seemed terse, but I am very concerned that many vegetarians are having a B12 deficiency put down to diet and receiving minimal treatment, when it’s likely that they have an underlying malabsorption problem.

    The site is very interesting and I note that recent research regarding Fibromyalgia and reflux gets a mention. This is very interesting but, unfortunately, again scientists are putting reflux down as being caused by high stomach acid rather than one which is low or more alkaline – and this is where the problem lies and which leads to gut dysbiosis and myriad other problems resulting in illness.

    Again, thank you – and I’m sorry for sounding snippy!


  4. James milne says:

    I am a border line Vegan as I do consume some dairy, I have had to get a B12 injection every three months since I became a Veggie, whether that is down to the F/M or not I don’t know but what I have learned is that supplements are not good enough to put the B12 back into my body and that I definitely need the injection to supplement, I have heard of healthy vegetarians taking chicken every now and again to supplement their B12. My doctor also insists that I take Omeprozole for reflux I am not happy about that and she insists, saying that the side effects are very uncommon, maybe our drugs in the U.K are different to the U.S not sure. I hope this post helps 🙂

  5. Jean nightingale says:

    I have vertigo and recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia,I was interested to hear that b12 vitamins can help with vertigo,I am now taking it -would give anything a try to get rid of balance and dizziness issues ,I could put up with fm but the vertigo attacks are truly awful,the last one I had I was sitting watching tv came out of the blue hate it!!!always pleased to hear others findings.thank everyone

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