Does Vitamin B-12 help with neuropathy of the feet?

Posted by Carol, Volunteer Mentor @retiredteacher, Thu, Jan 24 7:50pm

I have developed neuropathy in my feet—-especially the soles. When I walk, it's like walking on shards of glass that are on fire. Several articles indicate that B-12 can help. I don't want to take any prescribed meds. I have Diabetes 2. This not being able to walk without intense pain has kept me from even walking the grocery store to buy groceries. Can anyone give me information about B-12 and foot neuropathy?
Thanks,
Carol

@johnbishop

Here are the different models/prices of the Nu-Step cross trainer @elained is using (I think):
https://www.nustep.com/product-category/cross-trainers/

Here's a less expensive hybrid elliptical-recumbent exercise bike that I use. I think the Nu-Step is better but the older model ProForm that I have works for my needs. It does have resistance settings. I use the elliptical every morning for about 10 to 15 minutes to help with the legs. I think any exercise is good. I wished I had an indoor pool for water therapy close by.
https://www.proform.com/hybrid-training

John

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@johnbishop Those look nice, but I certainly couldn't afford one. I'll have to stay with a treadmill, the stairs in my house, and exercising to walking tapes. It would be nice if insurance covered these aids for people with problems, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Carol

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@retiredteacher

@johnbishop Those look nice, but I certainly couldn't afford one. I'll have to stay with a treadmill, the stairs in my house, and exercising to walking tapes. It would be nice if insurance covered these aids for people with problems, but I don't think that's going to happen.
Carol

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Hi Carol @retiredteacher – I only paid a little less than $300 for mine and it's small enough that I can have it in my bedroom and have easy access to it.

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@johnbishop

Hi Carol @retiredteacher – I only paid a little less than $300 for mine and it's small enough that I can have it in my bedroom and have easy access to it.

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@johnbishop The less expensive bike would be doable, but in the thousands—wow; too much for me. For now, I'm going to have to stay with my tread, stairs, and tapes. We had a pool in every house we lived in except the one we own now. Too bad because I could use one for pool exercises. I think they would be really beneficial, but I don't get in public pools. It's just a germ thing I have about public places.
Carol

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@retiredteacher

@johnbishop The less expensive bike would be doable, but in the thousands—wow; too much for me. For now, I'm going to have to stay with my tread, stairs, and tapes. We had a pool in every house we lived in except the one we own now. Too bad because I could use one for pool exercises. I think they would be really beneficial, but I don't get in public pools. It's just a germ thing I have about public places.
Carol

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I use the Nu-Step at my fitness center. I haven't thought at all about buying one! We're moving to a Senior Living Center, and they have both a warm water indoor pool, and at least two Nu-Step machines in the gym.

Regards, ElaineD

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@johnbishop

Hi @fbell330, That's interesting, I've never heard of B12 doing anything to aggrevate the nerves and have never seen any research or data showing it can be harmful. I know each of us are different in how we absorb different vitamins and minerals and that could account for problems or conditions. I am interested in learning more if you can point me to some references on why B12 made things worse for you. Thank you…John

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I have just recently become aware of the need to monitor B12 and since have been taking it occasionally. I have done some enquiries about dosage (Pharmacy, Diabetes nurses, on-line and GP) etc. and have also never seen or heard any cautions about it. Interesting and it may be an individual reaction

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@bulgebattler

I have just recently become aware of the need to monitor B12 and since have been taking it occasionally. I have done some enquiries about dosage (Pharmacy, Diabetes nurses, on-line and GP) etc. and have also never seen or heard any cautions about it. Interesting and it may be an individual reaction

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Hi @bulgebattler, The only information I've seen or read is about B12 deficiency and the need to monitor for it. But I did find an interesting article on the possibility of too much B12. I have no medical training or background but the way I read the article is high levels of B12 are not toxic but if you have high levels it can indicate other health issues.

B12 deficiency related:

Indicators for assessing folate and vitamin B-12 status and for monitoring the efficacy of intervention strategies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142735/
Expert recommends annual monitoring, injections of vitamin B12 for long-term metformin users
https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/news/print/hemonc-today/%7B01b7451f-5f04-4de5-a97d-aac607bc3f21%7D/expert-recommends-annual-monitoring-injections-of-vitamin-b12-for-long-term-metformin-users

And there's this one that talks about the possibility of too much B12 and why:
Are You Overdoing It On The B12?
http://www.phlabs.com/are-you-overdoing-it-on-the-b12

Liked by Dee, Lisa Lucier

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Much appreciated. I will read those articles as well as continue to research

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@johnbishop

Hi @bulgebattler, The only information I've seen or read is about B12 deficiency and the need to monitor for it. But I did find an interesting article on the possibility of too much B12. I have no medical training or background but the way I read the article is high levels of B12 are not toxic but if you have high levels it can indicate other health issues.

B12 deficiency related:

Indicators for assessing folate and vitamin B-12 status and for monitoring the efficacy of intervention strategies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3142735/
Expert recommends annual monitoring, injections of vitamin B12 for long-term metformin users
https://www.healio.com/hematology-oncology/news/print/hemonc-today/%7B01b7451f-5f04-4de5-a97d-aac607bc3f21%7D/expert-recommends-annual-monitoring-injections-of-vitamin-b12-for-long-term-metformin-users

And there's this one that talks about the possibility of too much B12 and why:
Are You Overdoing It On The B12?
http://www.phlabs.com/are-you-overdoing-it-on-the-b12

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My B12 level was greater than 1500 on a scale of 123-720 in 2012. At that time I was taking very large doses of the Vitamin B12 called Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12).

I was hoping Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) would cause healing of my damaged nerves. I took a very large dose several times a day for nearly two years. I had no improvement. And I had no negative side effects from the large dose.

However, I understand that there can be problems for people who also have kidney problems, particularly diabetic neuropathic kidney disease, (since excess Vitamin B is excreted through the kidneys). By the way, I had NO idea neuropathic kidney disease existed!
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/too-much-vitamin-b12
My neuropathies aren't caused by a Vitamin deficiency, so it makes sense that extra Vitamins can't really help.

I have hated my neuropathy, I have struggled against it, I have sorrow and I have grieved. Now I have some level of acceptance (I hope), and fortunately I have reasonable relief of pain. But I must take my medication (gabapentin) regularly or the burning returns.

Thank goodness for the medications that give me relief.

Regards, ElaineD

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You can set the 'resistance' level, and adjust the seat and arm levers to fit your body.

The monitor displays your 'speed' and other measurements, like distance and calories, consumed.

There is a tray below the monitor, where I place my large iPad. Using the wifi at the gym, and my cordless earphones, I can watch movies while I exercise.

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@elained

Interesting, John. I cannot 'walk' in the normal sense, but I spend about an hour on the NU-STEP several times a week. I also exercise in the water, tho' i know that won't affect the atrophy.

I believe that my muscle atrophy is primarily caused by denervation. Two of the primary nerves in my lowers legs are completely non-responsive in an EMG and the third is severely damaged.

First EMG 2010:

INTERPRETATION:
1. PROFOUND AXONAL NEUROPATHY: RIGHT AND LEFT PERONEAL AND TIBIAL NERVES.
2. PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: RIGHT AND LEFT PERONEAL AND TIBIAL NERVES.
3. RIGHT AND LEFT SURAL NERVE NEUROPATHY

QUOTE Denervated muscles atrophy rapidly. Neurogenic atrophy is faster and more complete than disuse atrophy, although these types may be difficult to differentiate in some patients.

This quote is from Science Direct. Because I'm new I cannot include links in my posts.

QUOTE: Axonal degenerative polyneuropathies tend to produce weakness along with muscle atrophy, but atrophy is much less conspicuous in segmental demyelinating polyneuropathies because in these disorders the axon remains in continuity with the muscle, preventing denervation atrophy. The most common symptom in polyneuropathy is weakness in dorsiflexion of the feet at the ankles. This can result in a partial or complete foot drop that typically causes the feet to slap while walking and predisposes the patient to stumble and fall when the toes catch on an uneven surface.

This quote is from the Cleveland Clinic. I cannot post the link.

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The foot drop symptoms you mentioned are new to me.. I didn't know that was affecting me, just that when I get tired from walking my feet sorta slap along and I find myself taking small steps.. Guess I'd better mention this to my doctor next time.. Thanks for including the information about it.. I'll check out the Cleveland Clinic's info, too..

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My Dr. prescribed me B12, Bcomplex. But I also take lyrica 75mg 3 times a day plus a tramadol at night. Try B12 and B Complex nothing to loose. I also purchase neurophaty / diabetic socks from OrthoFeet , They are very soft, 3 pairs for $21 dollars. I wish you well.

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A few years ago my doctor suggested I take a B12 supplement because my levels were a bit low. Nothing to worry about, he said, he just didn't want to see it get lower. So I purchased some B12 supplements off the shelf at a drug store and took 2 tablets per day (of a possible maximum of 4).

About 3 months ago another blood test showed my B12 levels at 1176, which is almost twice the highest value within range. Dr. Google took me to some very dark places when I looked that up, but both my GP and my Neurologist were completely disinterested in my concerns and told me not to worry about it – but to discontinue the B12 supplements.

My B12 levels – from 'a bit low' to 'above normal' – made zero difference in the amount of pain I have experienced or in the steady progress of my SFN.

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@iceblue

A few years ago my doctor suggested I take a B12 supplement because my levels were a bit low. Nothing to worry about, he said, he just didn't want to see it get lower. So I purchased some B12 supplements off the shelf at a drug store and took 2 tablets per day (of a possible maximum of 4).

About 3 months ago another blood test showed my B12 levels at 1176, which is almost twice the highest value within range. Dr. Google took me to some very dark places when I looked that up, but both my GP and my Neurologist were completely disinterested in my concerns and told me not to worry about it – but to discontinue the B12 supplements.

My B12 levels – from 'a bit low' to 'above normal' – made zero difference in the amount of pain I have experienced or in the steady progress of my SFN.

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Just wondered if you tried Bishop's Facebook protocol. It would be nice to know how many people have shown improvements on the protocol. It recommends high doses of a lot of supplements.

I thought B-12 was water soluble and not a problem if you ingested too much. B-6 creates problems but I have not read about adverse reactions to too much B-12.

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@jager5210

Just wondered if you tried Bishop's Facebook protocol. It would be nice to know how many people have shown improvements on the protocol. It recommends high doses of a lot of supplements.

I thought B-12 was water soluble and not a problem if you ingested too much. B-6 creates problems but I have not read about adverse reactions to too much B-12.

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As a new member I am unable to post links here, but if you do a Google search you will find info about high levels of B12. I must admit – it caused me some degree of angst, and I was not comforted by my doctors' casual denial of anything to be concerned about.

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@jager5210

Just wondered if you tried Bishop's Facebook protocol. It would be nice to know how many people have shown improvements on the protocol. It recommends high doses of a lot of supplements.

I thought B-12 was water soluble and not a problem if you ingested too much. B-6 creates problems but I have not read about adverse reactions to too much B-12.

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@jager5210 — minor correction to "…tried Bishop's Facebook protocol." It's really not my protocol but rather the protocol from the Facebook group Solutions to the Pain & Discomfort of Peripheral Neuropathy – http://www.facebook.com/groups/spnpd that I take. ☺ I just didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea that I created this list of supplements because I didn't.

My B12 levels have been way up there also with zero ill effects since I've been taking the protocol (3+ years) but I have no medical training or background and there could be certain conditions where high levels of B12 could be a problem. If I had a concern, I would definitely discuss it with my doctor.

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