'I have a lot of scary B12 deficiency symptoms but what's happening to my feet is the most alarming'

Woman holding her foot

A woman battling B12 deficiency has revealed how her nightmare began with a burning sensation in her feet

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Adam Chapman

By Adam Chapman

Published: 15/05/2024

- 15:08

Updated: 16/05/2024

- 11:36

A 35-year-old woman has documented her gruelling journey with B12 deficiency

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A woman battling B12 deficiency has revealed how her nightmare began with a burning sensation in her feet. The patient's story provides a window into a condition that remains somewhat shrouded in mystery.

Taking to Reddit, the 35-year-old woman from Canada wrote: "I am currently having a lot of those scary B12-deficiency symptoms. Besides killer fatigue, sore joints, slow thinking, vision disturbances, the most alarming has been the neuropathy symptoms."

The unnamed user says she experiences burning sensations in her hands and feet.

The patient also experiences episodes of numbness and pins and needles in feet

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Her other neuropathy symptoms include:

  • Episodes of numbness and pins and needles in feet, hands and limbs, and up neck to face
  • Poor circulation (mottling in palms of hands, cold hands and feet, toes and fingers that when cold start to turn white and resemble Raynaud’s- never happened to me previous to all these other symptoms)
"It must have been happening for the last couple months but I shrugged it off as I also recently got my gallbladder removed so thought the symptoms were related," she explained.

The patient continued: "However after surgery these symptoms were getting progressively worse so I finally went to see my doctor.

"My doctor did some blood tests and then prescribed B12 injections weekly than monthly for the next seven months. I was also borderline iron deficient and am now supplementing."

At the time of writing, she has just had her second round of B12 shots.

Most people can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.

Unfortunately, these treatments have not resolved the woman's neuropathic symptoms and she's growing increasingly desperate.


Injections or tablets are usually recommended to replace B12 but the results are mixed

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"I'm looking for some good news stories about folks who had neuropathic symptoms from B12 deficiency whose symptoms eventually resolved after treatment?

"Did circulation in your hands and feet improve? Did pain go away? Just need some hope and reassurance. Since I just started my second week of treatment, I’ve noticed some improvement but I’ve been reading that it could take a while to really feel a difference."

She could be waiting a long time. A BMJ review of patient experiences and surveys involving more than 2200 patients with B12 deficiency in the UK indicate that many patients have concerns related to healthcare quality, safety, and treatment, with nearly two thirds of respondents reporting that their treatment is insufficient to manage symptoms.

Some patients experience recurrence or worsening of symptoms when the interval between injections is extended or extended too quickly, and report that continuation of frequent intramuscular hydroxocobalamin injections - one of the main treatments - is needed to remain asymptomatic.

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