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B12?
Mar 16, 2009
hi everyone...
ive been feeling ill for years now and have been visiting all sorts of doctors and specialists over the last year and still havnt found an answer.

symptoms:
severe digestive problems - very noisey/gurgly stomach/ bloating/ mucus in stool /always hungry /food cravings

always exhausted... no energy, feel like im going to fall asleep (worst; in the afteroon normally) cant walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. cant get up in the mornings, sleep for hours and still wake up tired

anxiety/panic attacks and depression (caused by all of the health problems)
easliy embarrassed, difficulty talking to people/social anxiety

dizzyness/ my balance isnt so good/ feeling 'out of it' all the time... strange vision; like the contrast of light is turned up.

chronic post nasal drip

cold hands & feet... i get hot or cold very easliy, if its a little bit cold or a little bit hot. i sweat a lot and when i get a bit cold my hands and feet go white/purple like theyre draingin of blood.

used to have very heavy painful periods, which was solved by going on the pill a couple of years ago, but for the last 6 months ive been spotting in between periods... doctor wants to do an internal exam.


now... ive been diagnosed with 'functional bowel disorder' to explain my digestive problems... im doing a series of food eliminations and then there are several tablets i have to try to see if i can get rid of it... but i dont think its as simple of that.

my question really is what is casuing all the other symtoms.. in particular the fatigue. im just so tired all the time, it isnt right.

ive had sinus xrays, digestive ultrasound, stool tests, urine tests
full blood count, ferretin, b12, glucose, h pylori, ceoliacs, basic thyroid, liver function, and a blood test for something to do with muscle inflamtion.
they all came back normal.

the only one im concerned about is b12 as it was 272 (this was 6 months ago) which i think is too low from everything ive read. but seeing as its in the normal range that doctors give, my doctor is dismissing it and disagrees with eveything i say about it. she says that because my FBC was normal and i my red blood cells are the right size i cant have b12 deficiency. but my symptoms do fit it, and id like to have more b12 related tests.

id also like to get my hormone levels tested becasue of the period problems and becasue i have other symptoms pf hormon imbalance like excess hair and spots. but my doctor says my hormones will be balanced becasue im on the pill.

ive seen 2 doctors now and they just seem to think its all down to the depression and just give me more anti-depressants and treat it like a therapy sessions, rather than talking about more tests or my physical symptoms.

i dont know what to do now... could it be b12? should i push for more tests? is there anything else i should try and get tested?

i'm desperate fro some input, thanks.
Re: B12?
May 22, 2009
Hi help wanted - wow, i truly feel for you, but i'm another who went through years (9yrs in fact) before i got help for an existing thyroid condition which i was told repeatedly did not exist, and by an Endo of all people!! I wish i knew way back then that there were Healthboards on the net!!

As your doctor feels giving you a further B12 test was like cutting her right arm off, i'm a bit worried she will refuse you other tests. For your Thyroid it would be helpful to get: TSH, FT4, FT3 and Thyroid Antobies to rule out Auto Immune thyroid disorders like Graves and Hashimoto's. I have Hashimoto's myself and we believe it runs on my dad's side of the family.

Common with thyroid issues are digestive disorders, but just having a digestive disroder does not mean you do have a thyroid problem. The thing is, there are thyroid receptors in our stomach, ovaries, liver and one other place (i think it's at the adrenals?) The problem is, you could be affected by health issues from one or all of these receptor sites.

I myself had digestive issues. I would bloat, was constantly hungry and could eat more than any of the men at work and not put on weight, i'd be tired after eating, had no energy and about 15 mins after eating lunch i was thinking of food again. After lunch at about 3pm i'd be craving something sweet or more food, then when i finished work at 5pm i could eat a horse. People at work were astonished how i only thought of food and ate so much.

Last year i had a stool analysis test, which also checks for various digestive disorders and it was found that although i digested fats and carbs well, i wasn't digesting protein foods well at all due to lack of pancreatic enzymes. When you don't digest certain foods well they will ferment and particles will float around which can cause inflammation at various locations of the body eg: thyroid and can also contribute/cause allergies, arthritis among other things. Once i began taking digestive enzymes (by prescription) i began eating what would be considered 'normal' meals. I was no longer hungry all the time. My bloating and stomach issues disappeared.

You might want to also check for a gluten intolerance test. This can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and some people will get symptoms while others wont.

Have you tried going off dairy incase you have a lactose problem? Lactose intolerance is linked to problems digesting carbs.

My doctor also did a liver detox test and my phase 2 liver detox is not the best. This isn't good, in particular when it comes to excess estrogen, as the liver can't get rid of it and the last thing you want is excess estrogen as it will mess with your monthly cycles and can results in growth of fibroids.

My periods were also a mess for a number of years and doctor simply told me to go on birth control. If you have a hormone imbalance, particularly estrogen excess, birth control can cause even bigger problems down the track as they are a synthetic hormone and often the hormones in these pills are numerous times more than what our body needs. If you already have excess estrogen, then birth control which is often high in estrogen or estrogen only is adding to your excess. Estrogen excess is linked to breast, head and neck cancers in women and prostate cancer in men.

Being low in ferritin, B12 and Vit D can cause symptoms of their own and can make other health conditions even worse. Ferritin, B12 and Vit D ought to be in the upper ranges of your lab report and they also help a great many things, including your thyroid.

In your case, you are likely low in one or more things and you could be suffering from a thyroid condition in conjunction with a hormone imbalance. Until someone does the relevant tests it wont be easy to help you with sufficient information.

With the B12, you can buy supplements in the healthfood store. I wouldn't be looking from approval from your doctor. Can you change doctors as i truly don't feel she is going to genuinly be caring or helpful enough to get you back on track and feel good again. I've changed a number of doctors until i found a good one who looks at symptoms and lab results. There is no point in staying with someone and feeling ill.

Take care and i hope you feel better soon :)
Re: B12?
Jun 10, 2009
thanks guys, im not happy about either if these levels so ill *try* to talk to my doctor about them, and also try and get a more comprehensive thyroid test.

Flowergirl, what you are saying about the b12/ferretin makes sense, although im wondering if my i saw no improvement in my symptoms when my ferretin was higher becasue my b12 was still low, and i need both to be raised at the same time to see any improvement. Im hoping that the appedicitis has something to do with my stomach problems but im not holding my breath.. im not sure why i would have low b12/ferretin, im thinking maybe absorption problems related to my stomach symptoms... but then surely id be low in everything else too?
Re: B12?
Jun 27, 2009
thanks guys.
im still on the b12 and iron pills and will be getting the levels retested in a few months. i will also be getting my thyroid retested but i dont know how much of an indepth test that will be.

im going to book for an internal exam next week as im still having the period problems.
Audrey its interesting that you mention the pancreas, as my pancriatic function was a little low on my last blood test, but this was when i was in hopsital with appendicitis so it may have something to do with that.
The only other abnormal result ive had is antibodies in the gut but i hsave to wait to see the gastro doctor about this as the doctor didnt know if it meant anything.

so my plan of action at the moment is to get the internal exam to rule out anything there... if they dont find anything im guessing it has to be hormones casuing my period problems so ill push to get them tested even tho my doc is adament they will be normal becasue im on the pill.

i will see what my b12 and feretin levels are and discuss the folate level although im sure shell say its fine as it must be within range.

i need to see the gastro doctor about the abormal blood result. at least when i was in hospital i had xrays and a ct scan and ive also had an ultrsound, so i know now that there is nothing physically wrong with my digestive system.

untill then its struggling through each day as it comes.

if i cant get any answers from this i really am out of suggestions as to whats caused me to be ill all these years and i may well have to give up on life
Re: B12?
Oct 1, 2009
Hi guys, me again!

time for an update as im still getting nowhere and am really sick of it now.

ok so my ferretin went from 67 last year to 20 this May. Doctor wasnt bothered as it was within the normal range. but i pursuaded her to prescribe me iron tablets which i took for a few months... and my latest test result (18th Sept) my ferretin had gone up to 37, still not great. as for the b12, it started off at 272, then 280 and has gone up to 301 (18th Sept) after a few months of b12 tablets . Someone mentioned earlier in the thread about my folate level... that was 6 in may and is now 4.3 ( range 2-20)

Ive also talked about the possiblity of thyroid problems with some of you. i dont know what my last test results were as i was just told they were normal, but i asked for a full thyroid panel at my last blood test, and all thats in the results is serum TSH which is 2.3 (range 0.10 - 5). So this is normal aswell.

I dont really know what to do now..
my b12 and ferretin levels still arnt at a high enough level for me to know if they are casuing my fatigue.
I dont know whats causing the levels to be low. The last time i went to the doc she said that everything was normal and asked me 'what else i thought it mite be'.. basically trying to convinve me theres nothing wrong.
Im still having period problems.. havnt been for an exam yet, but she doesnt seem very interested in investigating that.
Only benefit i got from the apendix removal is not having the odd day of diabling stomach pain that i used to get. but still get all the other digestive problems, fatigue, temperature sensitivity, vision disturbances etc. Ive been on anti depressents for several months now which help control my anxiety a bit, but im getting more and more depressed each month of not getting better.

HELP! what should i do now?
thanks guys x
Re: B12?
Apr 16, 2010
Hi everyone...
Sorry but im going to have to drag this thread up again as things have still not improved for me, infact, they are worse. My anxiety and depression is worse than ever becasue i cannot get answers for why i feel so ill. I am really on my last legs, if i dont get well soon, well... theres no point me being here.

Ive had all the basic tests - everything is always normal.
The only thing that shows up to me is that ferretin and b12 are always low normal. I took iron and b12 tablets and they levels went up a bit but i felt no different. My b12 seems to flutuate between mid 200s to low 300s wether im taking pills or not.

Tried every IBS med theyve thrown at me and nothing has worked. Had all sorts of xrays, ultrasounds, nothing was found.

My doctor keeps implying its in my head and basically just asks me what i think it is when i go in... wont even suggest any new avenues to try. she also tries to say i have health anxiety.

I have been on anti depressants for around 18 months now, and apart from taking the edge off the panic attacks, they havnt done anything. Surely if that doesnt prove my problems arnt DUE TO the anxiety or all in my mind then what will? There has to be something else casuing it. Doc has only done fairly basic tests and becasue these were 'normal' i apparently feel like hell for no reason? Whatever she says... i know this isnt right.

Im 22 years old i should be out having fun living life.. instead i spend everyday on this constant foogy dream depressed anxious state feeling so tired i could die.

Things im still considering from all my research...
- Thyroid - she still has only tested TSH (which is always normal) and says becasue this is fine my thyroid is fine... i know i need T3, T4 etc tested!!

- Auto immine diseases

- Dysautonomia

- CANDIDA (she refuses to ackowledge this exists)

- mitochondrial diease

- CFS - this seems to be what theyre leaning towards but when i saw the specialist she was wary of diagnosing it bcasue she thought it could be more of a digestive problem. im going back to see her soon.
- also need to consider viruses that could cause CFS such as epstein bar, hhv6 etc (as they dont really know what casues CFS yet or how it works) - it ould just be the symptoms of something else.

- Adrenal fatigue,lyme disease have been suggested to me.

- hormone imbalances (she wont test this as im on the pill so she says they should be balanced..rubbish!!)

- some other digestive problem they havnt found... maybe something to do with absorption.
...and i dont know how much the b12/ferretin is conributing to my problems.
Does anyone have any thoughts on that?
My latest b12 was 335 which is better (havnt taken pills for ages) and ferretin was 23 which still isnt great.

I have ruled out..
ceoliacs, whaeat and dairy intolerance, chrons, blood count, calcium, blood glucose and liver and kidney function is fine. Rheumatoid factor was normal.

Would love some support and suggestions from you guys.. i've got nowhere else to go.
Re: B12?
Apr 21, 2010
help wanted - why do you persist with a doctor who isn't interested or doesn't have the knowledge and has tunnel vision?? If i had stuck with my same old doctor i would never have gotten the help which i ended up getting, mind you it took 9 years. I regret wasting 9 years, but at the time i didn't have the help from people on healthboards and so simply kept taking my doctor's word for everything.

In the end i found a great doctor who discovered that i did have adrenal problems and did have a thyroid autoimmune disease. Absolutely all my range of symptoms stemmed from these issues eg: my tiredness, low/difficult to raise ferritin, hormone problems, menstrual problems, digestive problems, low vitamin D.

I would encourage you to keep searching for the right doctor for you. There are good doctors out there, i know they are far and few between, but they are out there. So take the knowledge you have gained and you will know when you have found the righ doctor. Good luck :)





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