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Metformin and B12 deficiency

Discussion in 'Type 2 Diabetes' started by Davie boy, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I have just been diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency and having a nose online I note it can be an effect of Metformin use, and getting older along with a few others. It was discovered while I had tests at the hospital. I now have to have 3 injections for two weeks then one every three months for life. I am aware it is fairly common (more in women apparently). I'd be interested to hear from others in a similar situation...
     
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  2. Arsenal79

    Arsenal79 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi what sort of symptoms are you getting from the b12 deficiency I'm getting nerve problems and my hba1c are in pre diabetic ranges have been to my docs but all I get is the same sorry excuse that it can't be the diabetes has I'm pre diabetic would love to back from you and I'm sorry to hear about your situation at least it's been discovered and can be sorted best of luck for the future
     
  3. DJC3

    DJC3 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hi @Davie boy I’d also read that metformin can cause vitamin B12 deficiency, so started taking a daily vitamin B complex pill ( includes B12) Nothing fancy or expensive - just Tesco own brand. I’m only on 1x500 metformin a day though so I’m hoping the vit B pill will be enough to compensate.
    I’d no idea that you’d need injections for life once diagnosed though, thats really rough, I’m sorry to hear that.
    I do wonder why it isn’t mentioned when people are first started on metformin though.
     
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  4. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    What kind of diet do you follow? Some ways of eating can lead to B12 deficiency too.
     
  5. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    I’ve done the same as @DJC3 , I take the Tesco B complex. I also eat beef, tuna and eggs and drink almond milk they all contain B12. Is there any way you can avoid injections by oral supplements in food and /or tablet form?
     
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  6. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Arsenal79! The only major symptom I had/have is exhaustion and a few headaches.

    I have had nerve pain but not through this illness, rather some years ago. I was put on a low dose of the anti-depressant Amytriptiline, which worked wonders for me. I have tried to come of it twice in the past but the pain has come back on both occasions.

    I wonder, could you ask to see another doctor for a second opinion regarding your nerve pain? I guess it could be a few medical things but Vitamin B12 deficiency is marked (in the long term) by nerve pain (which is why it is important to treat it). You also get some heart pounding (although I haven't had this, just a few pains in the chest). I
     
  7. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    I have had B12 Deficiency long before I started taking metformin. Some people just dont metabolize it well from food so tablets wouldn’t help.
    I’ve always ate beef and green vegetables.
    Here in Canada you can get vials and syringes to self inject. But some clinics will do it as well.
     
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  8. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    Hi there, I am on four metformin a day and never heard about the link to Vit B12 deficiency until being diagnosed. I must confess I was somewhat shocked when she said the jabs would be for life. Had I had the insight like you I could have started a B12 Vit tablet. Thanks for replying
     
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  9. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I eat a varied diet, but am a vegetable dodger I admit. Although I do eat them but more fruit and tinned pulses and beans etc.
     
  10. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    Thanks Hotpepper20000! I read you inject into a muscle, I bet that hurts? Do you start to get symptoms near the end of the three months? I think I will be getting to do it at home, as it is on my repeat prescription list after the initial six injections.
     
  11. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    Hi Rachbox, apparently once diagnosed with it there is no option apart from the injections. On hindsight and with the knowledge I would have taken a vit B12 tablet too.
     
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  12. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    I injected into my thigh muscles. It wasn’t too bad. I noticed a difference in a month Less tired and a clearer head.
    I tried the tablets for a while but it didn’t help for the long term.
     
    #12 Hotpepper20000, Nov 14, 2018 at 4:07 PM
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
  13. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    As long as I keep up with the injections once a month I don’t notice the symptoms coming back.
     
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  14. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I'm glad you're feeling better Hotpepper 20000, my first injection is next week, and then it'll be a juggle to get the next appointment I guess.
     
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  15. Hotpepper20000

    Hotpepper20000 · Well-Known Member

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    I do hope it works quickly for you.
    I know I was amazed how much better I felt.
     
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  16. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    The thing about Metformin use causing malabsorption of B12 is that they say it comes with long term use but finding out how long is considered long term has escaped all my investigations.
     
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  17. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I have been on Metformin for years, then progressed to insulin (along with metformin). I guess its like asking how long is a piece of string.
     
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  18. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    And meats? Organ meats and fish and shellfish are good sources of B12 too I believe..
     
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  19. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I love nothing more than grilled mackerel or sea bass, Or the smoked mackerel for breakfast I eat meat too
     
  20. Davie boy

    Davie boy Type 2 · Member

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    I have had half the initial treatment, and actually am surprised at how rough I actually did feel (without realising it and putting it down to other things). I still get some tiredness though
     
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