Friday, October 6th, 2017

darkoshi: (Default)
I've been having weird nerve problems for a while. The thigh problems started about 2 years ago, and abated about half a year ago.

I had wondered if I might be deficient in some nutrient, possibly B12. But I take B12 supplements, and typical symptoms of deficiency include nerve problems in the extremities, not the thighs.

Since then, though, I've also started having nerve problems in my feet. My toes start to feel tingly, half-asleep. Sometimes it feels like there's a swollen bump in the center of my foot when I walk, even though when I inspect my foot, it's perfectly normal. I am very sensitive to my shoe laces being too tight, even when I tie them as loosely as possible.

So I've gotten more worried. I finally got some blood tests and a urinary MMA test done. Now I am waiting for the results. Once I get them, if they show any problems, I suppose I'll go to a doctor.

I've been reading several interesting things in relation to B12 and other deficiencies. But all the information available is quite confusing. Even if I'm deficient, I'm not sure that simply getting high dose B12 will fix it. Apparently, there are interactions/dependencies on other nutrients. The other B vitamins, vitamin D, folate, etc etc. If you take the wrong things, it may make the problem worse instead of better.

There are genetic polymorphisms that affect things. Based on my 23andme results, I am double heterozygous for the MTHFR gene (I love that name, even though I now call it the wrong thing in my head). It's a common mutation. 23andme doesn't think it is significant. But it makes sense... maybe for a typical person, those polymorphisms wouldn't make much difference, but for a vegan it might.

From what I read, with those MTHFR polymorphisms, your B12 blood level may be high, even if you're deficient. That's why it's good to get the urine MMA test too.

But I dunno. It's complex and confusing.

There are different forms of B12 supplements - cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin are the most common. Some pages say the latter may be better for people who can't break down the 1st one. But other pages contradict that, saying that both forms have to be broken down the same way. That document mentions another polymorphism, MMACHC, which affects things.

Some more interesting things:
Nitrous oxide can worsen B12 deficiency - good to know if you're planning to have surgery
Birth control can significantly decrease B12 levels