1

votes

My B12 and MMA levels - am I B12 deficient?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 19, 2012 at 4:20 AM

It's been probably 3 years now that I've been trying to figure out what's causing my chronic fatigue, low energy, IBS and some other health issues. So far, I've received little help from doctors. I recently saw a hematologist who couldn't find anything wrong, besides confirming that my Thalassemia Minor diagnosis (at birth) is correct. He recommended I take folic acid, but doesn't think it'll improve my symptoms.

Since last year I've been getting copies of all of my blood labs to educate myself and see if there's anything the docs could have missed.

Most of my levels are in range, but some are borderline or out of range which is a bit concerning.

My Methylmalonic Acid (MMA) is 570 nmol/L (Reference range: 73 - 376). So it's elevated!

My Vitamin B12 is 211 pg/mL (Reference range: 180 - 914). On the low end.

After reading Chris Kresser's articles on B12 (http://chriskresser.com/b12-deficiency-a-silent-epidemic-with-serious-consequences) my levels sure don't seem optimal.

Also my memory is terrible! I think it was better a few years back, but ughh can't remember back that far.

Something else (and this could just be related to my job since I'm physically active most of the day), but my arms and hands have been "falling asleep" at night. They feel numb until they decide to wake up.

I'm hoping to find a practitioner in integrative/functional medicine to work with, but I'm wondering if any of you have had similar issues related to B12 deficiency.

Thanks!

**Thyroid and Testosterone Results

T3 - 1.54 ng/mL (Reference Range) 0.87-1.78

TSH - 1.71 uIU/mL (Reference Range) 0.35-5.50

FT4 - 0.86 ng/dL (Reference Range) 0.58-1.60

Reverse T3 - 26.8 ng/dL (Reference Range) 13.5-34.2

Triiodothyronine - 4.2 pg/mL (Reference Range) 2.0-4.4

Testosterone, Serum - 546 ng/d (Reference Range) 348-1197

Free Testosterone - 10.8 pg/mL (Reference Range) 9.3-26.5

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Namby, yea I think there's probably a difference between the "falling asleep" and "tingling" (typical in B12 deficiency) symptoms that people describe.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Thanks for the input tony, I'll look into calcium folinate.

Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on May 20, 2012
at 04:41 AM

You may not even need a prescription - at least in my country hydroxy-cobalamin is available over the counter, methylcobalamin is not available at all.

2a80e1ce6ddda9e4e65f78d867320524

(103)

on May 19, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Jackie - unfortunately, he can't prescribe the shots. I live in the SF bay area, so he referred me to a local doctor who he shares patients with. Overall, the process wasn't too bad - the doctor agreed that the conventional reference range for b12 is too low, and she was happy to go with Chris' recommendations for the type of b12 (methylcobalamin). After giving me the shot a few times, she showed me how to self-inject, and then ordered all the supplies I needed to do it at home.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:51 PM

@Korion, I laugh about it...especially when my little sister remembers more about my life than I do.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Yea, I've been thinking about it. I would prefer to consult with someone locally though (mid-Atlantic). If Chris came down on his rates, I would be first in line...I really trust his opinion and research. Thanks for your comment & glad you got your B12 levels up!

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:40 PM

On my first visit, the hematologist suspected that I could have an autoimmune condition...but after further testing he didn't find anything to indicate it. I'm still trying to figure out and understand the blood tests he conducted. He tested ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) which was in range --> <=1:40 & Reference Range <=1:40. No clue what that means!?

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Can he prescribe the shots or did he refer you to a local physician who could prescribe the shots? I am also looking to increase my B12 which is on the low end.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:37 PM

My hands still fall asleep and my B12 is around 1600. Hands going to sleep may be a separate issue. Mine seems to be really due to carpal

Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Your thyroid values don't paint a clear picture, but if you have hypo symptoms you could check thyroid antibodies to see if you have Hashimoto's. The jury is out on iodine for Hashimoto, so get tested and educate yourself before you take any. As far as I remember, pregnenolone is checked in 24h urine.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:52 PM

*"Also my memory is terrible! I think it was better a few years back, but ughh can't remember back that far."* lol...

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Ok, I'll see if my GP will test Holo-Transcobalamine, he's usually pretty open to suggestions. I do have hypo symptoms too but all of my levels are within range (not sure if optimal though). I posted my results above in my question. What is the test for Pregnenlone? Thanks for the help!

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 19, 2012
at 06:55 AM

Please write to me - I will recommend a herbal doctor who really really helped me.

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4 Answers

2
2a80e1ce6ddda9e4e65f78d867320524

(103)

on May 19, 2012
at 05:57 PM

I would consult with Chris Kresser on this. I started working with him last year, and he felt my B12 levels were low at 384 pg/mL. I started doing injections, and now my levels are at 1550 pg/mL. It's not like I felt horrible before, so the improvement has been subtle, but I trust Chris' research on this subject. Good luck, and feel free to ask me any additional questions!

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:36 PM

Can he prescribe the shots or did he refer you to a local physician who could prescribe the shots? I am also looking to increase my B12 which is on the low end.

Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on May 20, 2012
at 04:41 AM

You may not even need a prescription - at least in my country hydroxy-cobalamin is available over the counter, methylcobalamin is not available at all.

2a80e1ce6ddda9e4e65f78d867320524

(103)

on May 19, 2012
at 10:26 PM

Jackie - unfortunately, he can't prescribe the shots. I live in the SF bay area, so he referred me to a local doctor who he shares patients with. Overall, the process wasn't too bad - the doctor agreed that the conventional reference range for b12 is too low, and she was happy to go with Chris' recommendations for the type of b12 (methylcobalamin). After giving me the shot a few times, she showed me how to self-inject, and then ordered all the supplies I needed to do it at home.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Yea, I've been thinking about it. I would prefer to consult with someone locally though (mid-Atlantic). If Chris came down on his rates, I would be first in line...I really trust his opinion and research. Thanks for your comment & glad you got your B12 levels up!

1
Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:54 AM

You could get a test for Holo-Transcobalamine, which is the storage form of B12. If this is low, you certainly have a functional B12 deficiency.

Subcutaneous injection of Hydroxy-Cobalamine is probably the easiest way to correct this.

Memory problems can also be due to hypothyroidism, which again seems to often appear in tandem with B12 deficiency, so when you get your blood drawn, have your thyroid hormones checked as well. Pregnenolone deficiency is another likely culprit.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 08:40 PM

On my first visit, the hematologist suspected that I could have an autoimmune condition...but after further testing he didn't find anything to indicate it. I'm still trying to figure out and understand the blood tests he conducted. He tested ANA (Antinuclear Antibody) which was in range --> <=1:40 & Reference Range <=1:40. No clue what that means!?

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:06 PM

Ok, I'll see if my GP will test Holo-Transcobalamine, he's usually pretty open to suggestions. I do have hypo symptoms too but all of my levels are within range (not sure if optimal though). I posted my results above in my question. What is the test for Pregnenlone? Thanks for the help!

Ff1dbd6cecad1e69a8234fb2c2c5c5ed

(1409)

on May 19, 2012
at 04:57 PM

Your thyroid values don't paint a clear picture, but if you have hypo symptoms you could check thyroid antibodies to see if you have Hashimoto's. The jury is out on iodine for Hashimoto, so get tested and educate yourself before you take any. As far as I remember, pregnenolone is checked in 24h urine.

0
9d107e2ba91b03058eb3becb578b2e36

on February 26, 2013
at 06:42 PM

Other countries consider under 500 seriously low, Japan for instance. There is an epidemic of vitamin deficiency in this country but its not just b12, it's also D. Go to grassrootsheath.net and do some research, also to naturehaditfirst.com and read the article on b12 supplements. I have autoimmune vasculitis and got no answers whatever from my medical army yet my b12 and D were dangerously low. I'm curing myself, not treating symptoms anymore. Good luck and God bless- Shawna

0
59e818af2184847f09c8a63a45adcdbb

on May 20, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Id avoid folic acid and use another form, calcium folinate is what i take. There are 1-2 Thalassemia threads on this forum too.

D460f31ffa93f2b244ee66ba966574b9

(153)

on May 21, 2012
at 01:59 AM

Thanks for the input tony, I'll look into calcium folinate.

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