Fibromyalgia - all over body pain and a painful sensitivity to pressure (touch) - is an awful condition. Even worse, it's often accompanied by other conditions such as extreme fatigue, trouble sleeping, 'fibro-fog' (memory and concentration problems), Lupus, ME and CFS, Migrines, yeast infections, more frequent in women than men. Readers of this blog will instanty recognise many of these symptoms as they sound a lot like Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Well, that got me thinking - I wonder if B12 can help?
From 1 May 2015; https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2015/05/01/vitamin-b12-folic-acid-can-improve-health-conditions-fibromyalgia-myalgic-encephalomyelitis-patients/ - people on regular doses of B12 and folate reported less pain and less of a struggle to control it.
More rencently, 10 Feb 2017; https://fibromyalgianewstoday.com/2017/02/10/vitamin-b12-deficiency-affect-fibromyalgia/ - it seemed to help for this person
And an undated article http://www.fightingfatigue.org/vitamin-b-12-and-its-relationship-to-cfs-fibromyalgia/
My reading of the symptoms of fibromyalgia are that they sound a lot like nerve degeneration - "pain all over the body" could be cross-talk between nerves or extra sensitivity in the sensory nerves. Explaining it doesn't reduce the pain, but it does suggest a way to address it.
The other symptoms that commonly occur alongside fibromyalgia seem to reinforce this, since most of them are neuronal degeneration symptoms in the main.
Vitamin B12 is vital for the proper formation of cell membranes, and therefore for the proper function of nerve cells (the Schwann cell, which forms an insulating layer around each nerve cell so it's specific in its sensitivity and there's no cross-talk, is essentailly hundreds of layers of cell membrane).
On the basis of this theory, taking B12 supplements (or if they won't absorb, then injections) will allow the body to rebuild the cell membranes and restore the nerve axon function. At first people might think they are going to feel more pain, as the nerves work better, but it's more likely that the pain will start to decrease quickly, and of course since B12 helps with the other symptoms (sleep problems, brain fog, fatigue, etc) then it could be just the tonic you need.
Wrong word there - tonic. B12 is not a tonic. It's a vitamin that is needed in huge quantities in the body, however most people's bodies are very efficient at recycling it and keeping the huge quantities working. About 1 in 5 people aren't so efficient (more women than men), and they need regular supplies from their diet. Sadly, we think there's a lot less B12 in your diet, because of new agricultural techniques and new food processing methods, both of which dramatically reduce the B12 in the diet.
Anyway, the research says that it has worked for lots of people, and the longer and more regularly you take B12, the better the effect (which ties in with my theory that the nerves need time to repair themselves). It's harmless and recognised to be very helpful. It won't feel like the boost you get from a cup of coffee, but over days, weeks and months, you should get naturally better and able to live life to the fullest.
As the saying goes - "More years in the life, and more life in the years"
Frankie tells of how she suffered, the tests she had to endure until doctors worked out what was wrong, and what a difference it has made.
The local MP (Grahame Morris MP for Easington - who was a BMS (BioMedical Scientist) in the labs at Sunderland Royal Infirmary) interviews people with B12 deficiency to hear their story (August 27 2010). Here Jane describes the symptoms, and how she can't wait for her next B12 injection (in fact, she knows that she needs injections every 2 weeks because she's keeping a diary of the symptoms). We're restricted how often the GP can give injections, which is why we want to raise awareness.
Donna, like so many women, wants to live a normal life. Vitamin B12 could give her that chance.
Dr Chandy was nominated for the North East Local Heroes award. The interviewer was at first surprised - people don't get awards for doing what they are paid to do - but she persisted.
Janette first appeared in the BBC InsideOut documentary in October 2006. Since then the NHS has forced her doctor to withdraw B12 replacement therapy on a number of occasions, and she tells of her struggles with having B12 and then having it taken away.
She has bravely agreed to be filmed without her usual wig, but her memory is playing up because it is so long since her last injection.
Susan gets very tired, which isn't much fun especially as she has so much to do. Here she tells her story.
June describes her suffering when doctors didn't follow the standard protocol after any stomach or intestinal operation - to offer B12 replacement therapy
The Scottish Parliament discusses Pernicious Anaemia and vitamin B12 deficiency on Wednesday 7 March 2012.
This video is over 1 hour long and represents real political change - we are at last on our way.
Julia found her eyesight going as her eyes refused to focus on the same things as each other. She's been for all sorts of tests and treatment, but now that she's on B12 replacement therapy she's starting to see an improvement.
The definitive and original guide to B12 deficiency, Dr Chandy interviewed by Chris Jackson of UK BBC Inside Out Team broadcast 31 Oct 2008.
Dr Joseph Chandy explains symptoms and shows the restorative effect on one patient (other patients' families have asked that we edit out their stories unfortunately)