Blood test results B12 deficiency

Discussion in 'Memory concerns and seeking a diagnosis' started by Dayperson, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Mum got her blood test results back and it says her B12 count is low (255). I googled B12 and it says anything between 200 and 500 is a deficiency.

    My question is what do they do to treat this and are the memory problems she is suffering from permenant or will we get the old mum back after treatment?
     
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,696
    Female
    London
    Didn't they tell her what they were going to do? There are tablets but the quickest way to combat a Vitamin B12 deficiency is with an injection. Some people get them at regular intervals.
     
  3. Tin

    Tin Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    4,829
    UK
    #3 Tin, Jun 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2016
    Usually one or two shots of B12 and vitamins, check on diet, they love recommending Liver, lots of red meats. and then another blood test. Think that's how it goes, been a while since mum was diagnosed with B12 deficiency.

    Its ongoing for my mum, so still taking B12 vitamins and I've started taking a B12 compound
     
  4. mary2000

    mary2000 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2016
    355
    Female
    West Sussex
    My husband has low Vitamin B12 and has to have an injection every three months to combat it. This has been ongoing for a few years now.
     
  5. Not so Rosy

    Not so Rosy Registered User

    Nov 30, 2013
    580
    Dad was diagnosed with low B12 a few years ago. It was the first time he had been tested for years. For the first 3 months he had regular injections done by the District Nurses then it went to once every three months.

    I then remembered when Dad was in his 40's he used to have a supply of vitamin B injection vials in the fridge. Who knows what might have happened if they had been prescribed on a permanent basis. :(
     
  6. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    There are some people who cannot absorb vitamin B12 from food which is how most of us get our daily requirements. A relative of mine has been having B12 injections for about 25 years as a consequence of exhibiting some dementia like behaviours. He is now 81 years old and occasionally shows a few odd little things but generally copes very well with everyday living.

    OH takes vitamin B12 everyday on the recommendations of his geriatrician.
     
  7. teetoe

    teetoe Registered User

    Mar 10, 2016
    78
    NSW, Australia
    Do you know how much B12 per day is required? I am giving my OH a Mega-B daily but am now wondering if he is getting enough B12 in that? Thanks.
     
  8. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    OH is taking 1000 micrograms of Vitamin B12 a day and takes rivastigmine as well for his AD.
     
  9. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Thanks for all the replies. We've not had the appointment with the specialist yet, mum is due to have memory tests tomorrow morning.

    It's interesting that it's seems to be treated by injections rather than a pill supplement. It seems incredible to think a deficiency of one vitamin can make you crazy. I wish they routinely checked for it in the elderly given that they know it could be a problem.

    As for how much meat, how can you tell what a portion is. I wonder if we've been eating too little meat because we would make 3 chicken breasts do 6 meal portions and now I'm wondering if that is too little. Mum eats very little red meat, the occasional beef, bacon or ham and no liver. She does take cod liver oil and glycosamine as supplements for arithritis.

    I am so glad I pestered the doctor now because I've noticed mums behaviour has been strange for at least a year, my dad recons longer. If mum had had a B12 test in with her regular blood test, they may have picked it up sooner. I dread to think what she would have been like if we'd left it any longer. I just hope its not done too much damage. I do occasionally seem glimpses of the old mum even on her bad days.
     
  10. nicoise

    nicoise Registered User

    Jun 29, 2010
    1,807
    Vitamin B12 deficiency, along with thyroid hormone levels should be tested for by a medical professional if a person is presenting with symptoms of dementia, as there can be similarities in the symptoms of abnormal levels,

    My mum had B12 injections to treat that alongside her Lewy Body dementia. It was noticeable that she improved mentally after the injection, but it in no way took her back to her state prior to her dementia.
     
  11. mary2000

    mary2000 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2016
    355
    Female
    West Sussex
    I hope things go ok for your mother tomorrow x
     
  12. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Just got back from the appointment, we are all very exhausted. They think she has dementia but want her to go back for another MRI scan. Nothing said about the blood test despite my concerns at the B12 result but that may be because they need to do more tests first. The memory tests she found difficult, she could not remember the date etc and was tearful.

    If we want it we can have help to get her washed but dad is reluctant to get people in to help.

    She was given Zyprexa for her behaviour, not sure if it will help, but it may make her drowsy and looking on the internet it says not recommended for people with dementia.

    https://www.drugs.com/zyprexa.html
     
  13. chris53

    chris53 Registered User

    Nov 9, 2009
    2,930
    London
    Hope you manage to rest a bit now,yes they are very exhausting, have a chat with mums GP regarding this medication am sure they will reassure you, the B12 injections can be done by the practice nurse at the surgery,so mayhaps an appointment at least to discuss this.
    Take care
    Chris
     
  14. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Just an update, we are stuck in limbo at the moment. Mum has an initial diagnosis of dementia after the memory tests and scan last month but she has an appointment for another brain scan (with dye) and blood test. I hope this may provide some answers and we're waiting for the drugs to work or increase the dosage.

    I am only just starting to come to terms with mums illness and how it affects us all and dad is in denial refusing help.
     
  15. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,093
    Toronto, Canada
    Has anything been done about your Mum's B12 deficiency? As a person ages, the body becomes less efficient in obtaining B12 also. I've been taking B12 tablets for a while now, a simple over the counter vitamin supplement.
     
  16. Dayperson

    Dayperson Registered User

    Feb 18, 2015
    277
    Female
    Shropshire
    Nothing has been done yet, maybe I should buy her some B12 pills incase they don't give her injections. It's a month to wait for the scan plus longer to go back to see the specialist or doctor.
     
  17. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,085
    Brazil
    I would do that too. Just remember to say it to doctors (avoid misdiagnosis ).

    I think it is important help your parents to sort POA and wills.
     
  18. s_gunn

    s_gunn Registered User

    Jul 24, 2016
    3
    Pernicious Anaemia

    The doctors need to check whether she has antibodies present that would give a diagnosis of pernicious anaemia due to a lack of something called instrinsic factor. If these antibodies are found it means there is an immune disorder meaning there is no point at all in oral medication as the body will never be able to absorb B12 through the stomach which is why injections (3 monthly intervals) are the only treatment.

    I am 36 and was diagnosed around 6 months ago, for the year or two previous to this, I was getting loads of nerve pains and memory loss was becoming a real issue. I went through memory tests and have had MRI scans and there is no permanent damage so you shouldn't worry too much about that. I still have some pains and dementia like issues but they have improved since starting treatment and my doctor says it can take about a year for levels to stay consistent.

    I have read that some doctors don't understand this immune disorder fully and I haven't managed to get all the answers I would like yet myself so my advice is to keep pushing for them to test for the antibodies and get the deficiency sorted as the longer you are deficient the more likely permanent nerve damage can occur.

    Good luck with it all!
     
  19. pseudonym

    pseudonym Registered User

    Sep 3, 2015
    45
    Maybe they don't give injections on the basis of one blood test which is low but not below. Maybe another blood test? I know from my own experience that the local hospital lab won't do B12/Folate tests within a certain time (three months I think).

    My wife (who does not have dementia or anything like) needs B12 injections every 3 months. This is due to being unable to eat normal foods like red meat or vegetables (due to radiotherapy damage to her bowel). Unsure whether her B12 was low or below, but it was not always so following radiotherapy. Her folic acid is fine with no supplement.

    On the other hand, my mother, who is living in a nursing home due to several psychiatric problems (including a questionable diagnosis of Alzheimer's dementia) now has folate deficiency and is being supplemented. And low vit D which is low being supplemented with a short run of high dose vit D to boost it.
     

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