Does Vitamin B-12 help with neuropathy?

Posted by Retired Teacher @retiredteacher, Jan 24, 2019

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

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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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I wonder what your "a bit low" level was? I too was on the low side but only found out after skin biopsy was done and I was diagnosed with SFN.

A 4 month work up ruled everything else out and B12 deficiency was my underlying cause.

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My Doctor prescribed me B-12. I do not know if this B Vitamin help, but is worth trying. I also take Lyrica 100mg twice a day. Plus Tramadol 50 mg 3 times a day. I wish well.

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Has another tried Vitamin B to help with their neuropathy?

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@greeneyes55

Has another tried Vitamin B to help with their neuropathy?

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Hi @greeneyes55 – You will notice that we moved your post to an existing discussion "Does Vitamin B-12 help with neuropathy?". If you click the VIEW & REPLY button at the bottom of the email notification it will take you to this post in the discussion. B12 is just one of the supplements I take to help with my neuropathy. I shared what helps me in the Member Neuropathy Journey Stories: What's Yours? discussion here https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/member-neuoropathy-journey-stories-whats-yours/?pg=1#comment-394729

Did your doctor or neurologist suggest Vitamin B supplements or have you had any bloodwork to test for any vitamin deficiencies?

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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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"elained," it sounds like we could be twins.

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@greeneyes55

Has another tried Vitamin B to help with their neuropathy?

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Low B6 will cause nerve pain.

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@fbell330

For me b-12 made things worse. Make sure you have your levels checked. To much b-12 can aggravate the nerves.

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Were you b12 deficient, insufficient or have pernicious anemia? Reversing out or startup symptom are common when one is deficient , especially if there’s neurological symptoms, therefore making you feel worse before you feel better.

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A caution about supplementing with a B complex rather than isolated B12. Too much vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage.

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@pacer3702

A caution about supplementing with a B complex rather than isolated B12. Too much vitamin B6 can cause nerve damage.

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My nurse practitioner told me the same thing.

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To: Retired Teacher
I am a diabetic and had no problems with my feet until 2014 when I had breast cancer. Chemo brought it on in my hands and feet. In 2018 had chemo again and got worse. The doctor put me on vitamin B 12, the prescription. It never helped me at all and now I’m on chemo again and I can feel my hands and feet getting worst again. The only thing is that mine doesn’t hurt. It feels like I’m walking on soft lumps and like my feet are swollen. They aren’t swollen. I wish I could help you.

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