Most of us at PN here get tested. I, also, believe it is really important given how common low B12 is becoming. In fact now we have NIH recommendations for all persons over 50 to be taking a B12 supplement.
We have been posting, first rose, and now I have taken up the subject since 2009 when rose decided to take a break from the internet. The use of acid blocking drugs daily for long periods, is a main factor today, compared to a decade ago when we first brought this subject to BT, and now at NT here.
Other drugs will deplete B12 too. But they are not as common as the acid blocking ones which are now OTC in US.
About 30% of people as they age lose acid in the stomach and that is a factor as well. Vegans are at risk.
Those of us taking B12 at PN forum here try to keep our test results at 1000 or more. The US labs commonly only go up to 2000, as that is the ceiling for their calibration for the machines.
Low B12 levels are so common. It is in most peoples' best interests PD or not, who have neurological symptoms to get this evaluated and fixed. It is pennies a day for methylcobalamin oral. Our MG forum members use methylB12, TBI forum, PN, and MS, here.
It is critically important to take oral B12 on an empty stomach, as only a small amount of each dose is absorbed passively in the intestine. This can be ruined by the presence of fiber and food which will act like a sponge and remove the likelihood of absorption. I've been pushing this for many years, because of studies showing other microgram drugs are impaired by food as well. (levothyroxine and digoxin for example). But you will still find supplement makers printing "take with food or a meal" on B12 supplements. Disregard that, as it is basically in error.
This is my B12 informational thread which I started in 2009.
It has had over 90,000+ views since then.
There are many new voices appearing on the net about this subject. This is very good, because that means more people may find help for discouraging chronic medical symptoms.
My first B12 test was 849. After testing out Puritan's new methylB12 it was 1999 after 3 months.
Keep in mind that many other countries report the results of B12 testing in different units. In US it is pg/ml, others are pmol/L. There is a conversion factor for this:
400pg/ml and below are now considered "low" in US. This link explains it for doctors, but it is understandable for all of us:
As you can see this link is from 3-2003... and yet today doctors are ignoring levels of 200 and calling them "normal". So it is really up to YOU to get your test results to see where you are.
Discontinue any vitamins for 7 days before having the tests run.
This will give a more accurate picture of where your level is.
Originally Posted by lurkingforacure
It sure would be interesting to have a newbie have their B12 tested before beginning on sinemet, as I understand those taking levodopa usually have lower/deficient B12...if you are already low in B12 upon dx, and sinemet makes things worse, perhaps that is why we progress? This would have to be done by the correct test, not the test most docs order, as discussed in the "Could it be B12?" book mentioned in another post.
Stress depletes the B vitamins and perhaps it is that chronic assult of cortisol that stress produces, compounded by insufficient B vitamins, that cascade into the demon we know as PD. Not saying it's as simple as that, (or is it? as time goes on, more things happen, but in the beginning, maybe it is as simple as this...), but a few, accurate baselines of B12would be very nice to have in assessing this theory.
Any newbies here want to get tested for B12 and share the results?