I tried taking Vit B12 at the recommendation of my acupuncture therapist. Well within 45 minutes of taking the first dose I got a terrible pounding headache. Has anyone else had this type of reaction to B12?
No, but it's possible. B-vitamins can affect neurotransmitters, vascular relaxation, and a wide variety of other things that might trigger a headache in susceptible people.
I have experienced 'niacin flush' a few times, and it wasn't particularly fun.
Some of those reactions fade over time - the body becomes used to it. Others might require dividing the dose. Could also be an excipient (non-active ingredient).
After reading your respose I went back and read the label. This is what is in the product.
Vit B12 1000 micrograms
Folic acid 400 micrograms
The extra stuff is
Natural Cherry flavor
Stearic acid and
It is the type of pill you take sub linqually
What are you supposed to be taking that much vitamin B12 for (there are suggested uses, including possible help in migraine prevention, but that's lots more than the body's nutritional need for B12)?
The occurrence of the headache is likely coincidental.
Sorbitol can cause diarrhea, by the way.
More on vitamin B12 here.
I did know that sorbitrol can cause diarrhea. The therapist didn't say exactly why I needed the B12. She was treating me for migraine. I am already on Petadolex, Magnesium, Co Q10 and B2. The other supplements were suggested by my neurologist. I had been taking Topamax but came off it because of side effects so now I'm trying other things to prevent them but so far nothing is working. When I actually get the migraines I have Maxalt to treat them and it works pretty good but I get around 8/month..sometimes more.
Have you tried Imitrex? It is the gold standard med for migraines.
Lucy..The imitrex is used to treat a migraine once you have it. I take Maxalt when I get the headaches. They are a second generation drug that works orally. Imitrex works best if you take the injections which I used to do before the newer oral drugs were developed. Imitrex oral didn't work very well. I am trying to prevent the migraines and having no luck. The Topamax worked but had a lot of side effects that I couldn't tolerate. It did help prevent them though. I wish I could still be on it.
Happened to me too... a guy at a vitamin store offered me a free sample of a sublingual B12- very soon after I got a terrible headache, I've been dealing with it ever since. I found this thread while googling to see if anyone else had the same issue.
I just started taking B12 to see if it would help stop me from having constant headaches, its only been 6 days but the mild to severe headaches that I use to always have have gone away, although i am still in denial and that there is no way that it could have been this simply to stop the headaches, but so far it is working, I take a liquid form that i put under my tongue
I found this while googling "Can B12 cause migraines?" I started taking a multivitamin and B12 supplement 500mcg as part of a weightloss plan. I have been having left side migraines. I stopped taking the B12 today to see if it was the cause and so far no migraine.
Yep, same here. I thought it was my imagination and my husband thought I was just trying to get out of wifely duties. Every time I took vitamin B12, I'd get a major headache. I stopped taking them and the headaches stopped. Then I tried the B12 patch. Same thing. You wear it for 24 hours and then take it off. At exactly 24 hours, I get the headache. I guess that's when the meds hit your system. This is crazy!!!!!
Like many of you when I took B-12 I got a MAJOR headache and looked online for an explanation. That's how I got to this thread. I'd experienced sudden weight loss due to extreme stress from a major life change this month. I took sublingual B-12 which I bought at Whole Foods today on the recommendation of the Healthy Living clerk. I took one tablet as I was exiting the store and drove home, a ten minute drive. As soon as I was pulling into my driveway, I said to myself: "My God! Where did this headache come from?" I drew the curtains closed in my room and put myself in bed thinking I had a migraine coming on. Not quite, it turns out, but damn near!
Henry's Market always offers B12 shots at various scheduled times/days. I often thought of trying it, but never happened to be in the store when they were doing it. Today they were there and I got a shot. I have a headache right now, left side. Whenever I take the little pink sublingual B12, I get a headache. I mentioned it to my doctor and he looked at me like I was making it up. I'm so glad I stumbled upon this site. At least I know other people have the same reaction and it's not just me. But now I wonder WHY we would have such a reaction to B12.
I don't know the mechanism that causes us to get headaches after B12 but it sure is interesting. I wonder why no docs seem to know..probably because they don't have much experience with people on B12. It seems like an avenue that would benefit from some clinical testing! For awhile I was actually thinking about getting bariatric surgery but now I realize I would be in misery because you need B12 after those surgeries because the stomach doesn't absorb B12 anymore and you need to take B12 shots..I'm so glad I never actually went through with it!
Yeah that could be overdose of vitamin B 12. Or that doesn't suits you. You should probably change that doctor.
Interesting... my reply is long.. but please read..
I have researched vitamins for personal use for couple years..
I too get headaches from B12. I noticed headaches when I was just a little boy, and I asked my mom to take a centrum vitamin tablet.. I tried this maybe 2-3 times before swearing.. and telling myself never again.. 19 years later
B12 - Cyanocobalamin
is converted to its active forms, first hydroxocobalamin and then methylcobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is the cheap form most all stores sell. I found only 1 methylcobalamin B12 supplement searching Walmart, shoppers drug mart and london drugs.
I eventually found methylcobalamin 1000mcg at a vitamins & minerals pharmacy.
At first I could take a whole capsule without any side effects.. I was very surprised the mental focus and determination I had.. I eventually took B12 with other super foods and supplements.. WOW.. ever tried GliSODin ???
Anyways.. I hit a low point in my life and took a mega dose of B12, SOD ... (2-3 B12 and 2-3 SOD) SOD - Super Oxide Dimutase is an melon extract and is very beneficial..
I dont take any medications... But I do have a long history of head and neck traumas.. When I was a baby 2-4 years old I think I was.. I split my forhead by jumping on a couch and knocking my forhead on a corner of a table.. plus years of crazy snow boarding wipeouts .... and before I took this mega dose.. I hit my head directly in the top forehead region by walking down some very steep stairs into a boat. My head hit a thick steel beam.. and If I had fallen Im sure I could have broke my back.. so I absorbed the pain in an instant and walked on..
What happened from this mega dose.. was I gave myself a month long headache !! This headache was like being on the edge of a cliff.. If Iam not focused on doing imminent tasks that are in direct relation to my life survival and dreams.. inside my forehead becomes very tense and constricted is how it feels... However years later I have learned to position my neck and head and relax and think certain thoughts which will immediately make the headache disappear.. usually only momentarilly, but the higher the dose the harder it is to do this.. Another thing to do is have a quick sleep or nap ... depending on dose a much longer sleep is required...
These days... I cannot take B12.. although I have not tried smaller doses than 1000mcg.. it is too scary.. and I do take SOD sometimes I can take a 1/4 tablet or about 40-60mg without a side effect which I can easily tolerate or make disappear on my own.. which is kinda a neat excersise... If i do say so ...
Maybe if anyone can describe the headache they get from B12 for other people to reference..
My B12 headache is different than a headache I get when I have a cold or stress.. my eyes are not sensitive to light for example.. B12 makes me super sensitive to EVERYTHING!! the problem with this is their is a very thin middle ground.. peace
Did you only have problems with your megadose of b12 or did you also have it with 1000 mcg?
My problem is i am really low in b12 so I probably should supplement, but I had some very uncomfortable side effects (head crackling, pressure, pain, crackling in ears, etc.) But I wonder if this would go away if my body just got used to it. I will say I felt very sharp and focused while on the B12, and for the first five days or so I felt really great.
I took at the recommendation of my doctor after doing a blood test for B12 levels and mine was not even in the range.
I took it for two weeks and now have been off two weeks and still have the problems. It's been pretty awful, and for some reason the symptoms haven't gone away yet.
Not sure what to do.
Glad I found this thread! After several years of getting bad headaches and not knowing why, a couple years ago I finally figured out that they were happening after ingesting B vitamins. It took a while to discover this because they did not start right away. If I had B vitamins in the evening, a headache would start while I was sleeping, and I would wake up in the morning with a terrible headache (whole head and back of the neck), bad enough to be debilitating. Often it would be accompanied by mild nausea. Once I made the correlation, I started being careful about B vitamins. It turns out B vitamins are added to a lot of foods, from drinks to breakfast cereals to whole grains, etc.! I have not entirely pinned down which B vitamins I'm sensitive to, but I also got the same headache when I ate Brewer's yeast or foods "fortified" with only B12, so I know that B12 is at least one of the culprits.
Many years ago, for a time I took high doses of B vitamins. I wonder if I developed a sensitivity as a result of that.
My secretary discovered that B vitamins were giving her headaches too. I wonder how many people have this problem and don't know it!
It's simple. You have a congested liver and you're overloading it with that stuff. Congested liver causes internal back pressure which, in turn, puts pressure on the inside of your head. Voila! You have headaches.
I also got a bad headache after having popcorn that I had sprinkled Brewers Yeast on. I had no idea the Brewers Yeast would cause such a reaction but after reading the ingredients realized how much B vitamins it container.
As far as "liver congestion" I have no idea what you mean by that...the liver is a large organ and has an huge blood supply because it acts as a filter for toxins in the body. It is full of blood normally and I don't understand what you mean by congestion.
Compare you liver to an oil filter in your car. It's full of oil, yet it gets congested over time.
Liver congestion is a condition where blood builds up in the liver, typically due to heart failure. When the heart isn't pumping properly, blood that would normally freely exit the liver backs up, resulting in pooling in blood vessels in the liver.
Apart from whatever problem is affecting the heart, congestion can damage the liver if it lasts long enough. This will not however cause migraine headaches (migraines have a slew of different possible causes/triggers; liver congestion is not recognized as one of them).
Medscape has a very detailed and useful article on migraines, including possible drug triggers (it doesn't mention vitamin B12, which has been used to prevent migraines; still, seeing that so many different triggers have been found to affect people, it might be a good idea to take supplemental B12 only if there's a compelling medical need for it).
This part of the article describes potential complementary/alternative treatments for migraine.
You have it backwards, Eric. Heart failure is caused from liver congestion first, not the other way around. And before you defend the modern medical view, remember that liver problems are my specialty.
Have noticed headaches after taking B's as well - now I suspect B12. As to liver congestion, years ago, was waking up at 3 a.m. every morning and couldn't go back to sleep. It was a living hell. The naturopath said it was my liver so I did a Hulda Clarke liver cleanse - the next night slept like a baby and thereafter. Have done several of these cleanses over the years. Be sure to follow her directions exactly.
What other chronic health symptoms do you experience?
b12 causes vasodilation (blood vessels dilate/enlarge),,,allows more blood to flow into the head.
headaches can result from increased pressure in the head caused by the blood flowing in faster than it drains back down into the body.
Cool response. I didn't know that about b-12. B-12 isn't exactly herbology, so it's out of my realm of expertise.
I haven't forgotten about our food allergy discussion (or lack thereof. ha, ha)
my certification is both as a clinical herbalist and clinical nutritionist so have extensive training in a & p and nutrition. i practice a style historically called vitalism...so diet and lifestyle are primary therapies and come first even before herbs. many times correcting nutritional deficiencies and eliminating food allergens is all that's needed. hope this info is helpful to someone. cheers, kk
Hello Herbalist, What do you advise me since I have a congested liver (5 liverflushes/clark released over 1000 stones allready) and also having a b12 deficiency.
The B12 suplements result in terrible headaches and heart paltipation. Thanks!
You won't like my answer.
theherbalist...what an interesting response you made to pieter asking for your help. how's business? happy clients?
many studies show the hulda clark cleanse acts more on the gallbladder than liver and the stones expelled are not really stones, they are balls of bile and olive oil. passing gallsstones thru the bile duct is dangerous, a stuck one constitutes a medical emergency requiring surgery...these flushes are not recommended for those known to have obstructive gallstones. having said that have seen health improvements from them, have done 50+ myself.
a better strategy is to move stagnant liver energy, ie, clear the liver which improves its function. an effective formula for this is to mix equal parts by weight of turmeric and barberry herbs, grind to a powder, mix with honey or maple syrup to form a thick paste, use a teaspoon or so 3x per day stirred into a bit of warm almond milk.
also for best liver health make sure you are asleep by 11 pm each evening as 11pm-3 am is the span in the 24 hour cycle that the liver cleans and repairs itself.
i'd recommend a micro algae supplement and regular but small amounts of red meat including organ meats (free range grass fed animal meat please) to correct b12 deficiency if you know you have one pieter...did blood work reveal the deficiency? in other words how do you know you are deficient?
hope this helps, kk
Thanks for your reply. Yes bloodtest showed low b12 and the supplement causes terrible headache/
As much as I irritate my illustrious colleague, kk, I will say that she's right about the liver flushing. If you're a curezone convert, you may have fallen victim to their philosphy. There's a much better and safer way to remove the cause of a congested liver.
Where I don't agree with kk is her assumption that you need tumeric and barberry. These are cooling to the liver. But from what you've said thus far, it can't be determined if you need cooling or warming liver herbs. Therefore, an herbal regimen can't be accurately determined and you may or may not have side affects from barberry/tumeric. I hope it works, though.
In my form of herbology, I use herbs that will drain, stimulate, relax, restore energy, etc. by way of cooling, warming, drying, moistening, etc. It gets complex. Professionally speaking, more information needs to be provided. Otherwise, I'd be irresponsible to your health needs.
By the way, with proper oversight, passing of true gallstones is no more dangerous than a cold WHEN the proper herbs and regimen is followed. I do it all the time with my clients. Hint: organic form of monosodium phosphate in herbs.
b12 is problematic for many, don't blame you for not wanting to take it considering...no one likes a terrible headache!
intense dietary therapy will boost levels fairly rapidly and doesn't cause bad side effects unless you eat something you're allergic to. here's a link showing some high b12 foods, be sure to incorporate one or more into your daily regimen till levels rise.
microalgae like spirulina or chlorella are also good sources and can be mixed in smoothies and other foods pretty easily, only small amounts are needed.
the herb paste recommended above clears a sluggish liver quickly and promotes normal function...provides other benefits too...its a time honored (millenia) treatment from the ayurvedic medical tradition of india. turmeric is a near panacea so encourage you to make up some and use it for awhile...a few weeks is usually enough to see good results.
feel better! kk
turmeric is energetically warm and dry, take some and see charlie. when combined with barberry the resulting combo is close to energetically neutral, perhaps ever so slightly on the cool side. sluggish gallbladders/livers are invariably a bit warm so this combo works beautifully. a cold liver will exhibit certain very specific symptoms that are not mentioned here.
the only thing that irritates me about you charlie is your irresponsible advice. otherwise, cheers!
There are several matters according to your posts that could be discussed. But, because of the coincidence of your recent posting above, I want to share something regarding your statement "its a time honored (millenia) treatment from the ayurvedic medical tradition of india." It's my belief that we can no longer rely on the time-honored treatments.
It was just last week that I wrote to a friend and colleague who's a professor at one of the acupuncture colleges here in Arizona. Enjoy.
I just received from a customer a copy of The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine (New edition by Ilza Veith). I found it to be pretty much worthless as far as getting practical clinical information.
But one statement caught my attention: ". . . the development of the different cures resulted from the various geographical conditions under which the people lived. The four points of the compass and the region of the center are held to produce anthropological differences and, consequently, susceptibility to different diseases in man; and these, in turn, can be cured only by that method which is supposed to be connected specifically with each particular region." I believe this to be true and puts into words what I felt back in the 1980's. I have seen better results using my western as well as several Chinese herbs to treat conditions according to my understanding of western man and disease while, at the same time, applying the Chinese principles in lieu of the way many people apply western herbology (allopathically). I want to pursue the pulse analyzing because I believe it will be the tool to help me pin-point specifically the conditions that need attention."
Joseph wrote back . . . " I agree that the Veith translation is pretty worthless overall. This person had no training in or any particular comprehension of the medicine. I feel [for instance]that the differing climates in the different regions are what make adjusting treatments crucial."
My response: "There's something else that I was referring to . . . Wasn't the Chinese culture big about rice as opposed to the western reliance on wheat products? I ask you because you know the eastern culture better than me. Once I get your input, I'll share what I feel about it.
Joseph: "Thank you. Yes, most Chinese rely on rice as their starch source. Especially those in southern China. In the colder northern regions, especially Manchuria and around Mongolia, they rely on millet. This is why the southern Chinese are short (and more hot-headed), and the northern Chinese bigger and stronger. Neither of these grains are nearly as prone to produce what the Chinese call dampness in the system as wheat is. But I'm not sure if the Chinese were smarter about that when they set up their agriculture in olden times, or just lucky."
Finally, I wrote: "Joseph:
Your information about millet and rice fits right into what I want to share with you. I don't want this to sound like I'm lecturing you. I'll just share with you what I've learned from a western point of view.
Gluten (wheat and beans) gives us fibrin in the blood. We need fibrin when we cut ourselves or have other kinds of trauma. Fibrin forms the mesh work in the cut that forms the scab and works toward our healing. Two things that will cause an excess of fibrin; too much glutenous floods and/or slow-down with internal workings that process gluten. Excess fibrin will exude through mucous membranes causing catarrh. This catarrh can clog up the tissue of healthy blood flow thereby become counter-productive. In the lungs, we then get pneumonia, bronchitis, etc. (catarrh is the phlegm we cough up during/after the infection). In the throat, people then get tonsilitis (This sometimes shows as white, puss postules or exudate on the tonsils). If it exudes through the bladder mucous membranes, you have cystitis, UTI, etc. The fever is a result of the body trying to dissolve the excess fibrin (catarrh) by infusion. Herbs help to "chemically" (bio-chemistry) dissolve this catarrh thereby assisting the body to restore healthy circulation to the tissue with a resultant healing. * According to Schussler's System of Biochemistry (in principle only) we can use herbs with potassium chloride which is a fibrin solvent. Herbs such as elder flower, boneset, etc. can be applied.
* (footnote) Here's where I introduce the germ theory. The catarrh becomes a food source in the putrefying process of the tissue for bacteria and viruses. This putrefaction draws the bacteria. When healthy circulation of the tissue is restored, the bacteria merely go away since they can't live on healthy tissue. This is why bacterial/viral presence is merely a symptom, and indicator. But it's never the cause. To use anti-biotics to kills the bacteria is merely treating a symptom and is never as affective as applying the proper herb regimen.
Anyhow, to make a long story longer . . . I feel western man has developed diseases plus secondary and tertiary spin-off diseases that branch off from this primary difference of the eastern civilizations. My greatest clinical experience has had to deal with western conditions. Therefore, I think I understand why the Chinese recipes haven't been successful in helping me with my problem.
But . . . I believe your analysis of my conditions will be useful in developing a more progressive/customized approach."
I know I'm throwing a lot at you, but what do you think?
i'm not even sure what points you were trying to make with your friend or what you're asking me.
i don't treat diseases, i treat people with disharmonious energy patterns. using an energetic approach means the treatment is fitted exactly to what is going on in the individual person...which by extension means that any treatment (east, west, old, new) can work if appropriate in the context of the whole person and their condition.
hope that's what you wanted to know.
My tendency is to educate. I just gave you a glimpse into some of the deepest thinking in the realm of herbology in modern times. You mean it completely went over your head?
Yes, I understand all the jargon about not treating disease, treat disharmonies, etc., etc., etc. It's all been said before. But some of the things you say lead me to believe that you'll acquire greater understanding and wisdom with a few more years of clinical experience.
You take care.
By the way, does anyone get what I was saying in the previous post? Please, tell me I'm not losing it.
i understood what you wrote... i just didn't agree with most of it. i was trying to be polite by not criticizing you anymore than i already have. bit my tongue.
but since you bring it up...your smugness is lost on me, you consider this letter a scholarly piece of work, i consider it a mess of jumbled words and incorrect concepts and was frankly embarassed for you at the thot of you representing yourself to a professor of an acupuncture college in this way.
a couple of examples....your understanding of fibrin is all wrong. fibrin is a protein, proteins are made from amino acids which can come from any food containing them. the body makes proteins as needed, gluten certainly is not required to make fibrin, fibrin doesn't come from gluten altho gluten may contain the aa's required to make it. lots of folks strictly avoid gluten yet have plenty of fibrin.
your understanding of the inflammatory process is way off too.
i do agree in basic principle with what you had to say about the germ theory.
there are many reasons why a certain therapy doesn't work and suspect one of these is at play in your case. the remedies do work if the diagnosis is right and the therapy appropriate. the idea that old time honored or eastern remedies don't work in the west is ludicrous since they can and do work every day. diseases are not different in different places but they are viewed differently. its hard for us to see ourselves clearly and be our own herbalist, if you are having trouble finding what works for you maybe ask someone to help you puzzle out your patterns? most of us get better results that way.
its stating the obvious and excusing your attempt at condescension but i will and agree that yes! i'll definitely benefit from as much clinical experience i can get. but then of course, we all do.
you're taking the fun out of this forum for me. i have nothing to prove and came here to exchange info about remedies with folks. not arm wrestle with you....if i wanted to hang out with a passive aggressive super ego i'd spend more time with my mother.
One last scenario (There will be a test.):
A 5 year old boy has eczema around the knees, neck and elbows so bad that they're covered with dark, oozing, bleeding scabs. And he never drinks water. How long would it take for him to get totally well with your approach? (No vague answers, please. Looking for specific time period.)
the fact that you're asking for a specific time frame proves to me you are ignorant of the basic tenets of holistic healing.
holistic practitioners work with individuals, individuals are unique, individual uniqueness implies many many variables. for a practitioner to state or promise a time is not only irresponsible but its illegal dr. charlie. like calling yourself a doctor is illegal, yeah, just like that.
much more info is needed like...what does he eat? what's his sleep cycle like? what is the emotional environ of his home, school? other health issues? family history? what does his tongue look like? how about his pulses? what's his constitution from birth, what energetic patterns are operating in him now, etc.
i hold by my original statements that you are dangerous and give well trained and knowledgable herbalists a bad name. please leave me alone. no amount of your teasing, testing or condescesion would entice me to engage you further.
its no wonder you got ran out of those other forums.
Go ahead and just take a guess. Consider all those variables that you mentioned and give it your best shot. Don't worry, no one can hold you to anything. But if I'm to see that your system or approach is better than what I've developed, I would like to know the bottom line. How long do you think it would take for the person to get well?
'Don't worry, no one can hold you to anything.' charlie the herbalist
again, you miss the point entirely. I hold MYSELF to a standard of responsible and professional conduct. engaging in this guess test of yours would violate that standard, i won't go there with you and explained why in detail in the previous post.
i frankly don't care or have any interest in what you see or don't see, what approaches you approve of, etc.
I have nothing to prove to you and want nothing to do with the games you play. again, i'm asking nicely for you to please leave me alone.
I see. You don't mind making disparaging remarks about me on a public forum. But when you're required to validate yourself, you hide behind your attitude. If you're so certified at this and that, why can't you answer a simple question? You can have all the certification you want, but it has nothing to do with your skill level. You need more education and experience before you can reach a professional level. I wouldn't give two cents for those certifications or membership in some self-serving guild.
I'll tell you my experience. That little boy's mother brought him to me about 10 years ago. He was totally well in 3 weeks. It was a simple customized herb tonic. And yes, it was basically a customized liver tonic.
Quit making yourself out to be something you're not. Oh, ya. You can dish it out, but you can't take it.
theherbalist and herbal physician
To The Herbalist2012 and KK1515 you have taken my perfectly good message thread about migraines and turned it into a shouting match between children. Please go write each other hateful e-mails and get off this message thread!
But mom, she started it.
i'm with you ghoghunter!
Your problem is that you're not humble enough to learn from a professional who has more knowledge and experience than you.
Shame on you.
Ghoghunter, please let us know how kk's information helped your migraines. Be careful. Her suggestion is not a balanced formula. The energies may damn up and create other problems.
i apologize to all on this forum for my part in this mess with dr. charlie. i should have known better to engage him based on his history on other forums.
i reported the problem yesterday morning to tracey, this forum adminisitrator.
it could have been fun, lots of nice folks here with good info to share, thanks for the good reads.
Really? Wow, I found this thread because I was actually trying to figure out if b12 was giving me headaches. Instead I wasted time reading through some stupid arguments.
To "the herbalist, the herbal physician, Charlie, or what ever you want to be called... Shut up!!! This thread was supposed to answer questions and help people who are seeking answers to a problem, not your ego boosting battleground! I feel very bad for KK, who was simply trying to help out Joann, others, and I and give us some answers instead of "You wont like my answer" wtf kind of response is that??? How do you know he won't like it? Their is no reason for you to be asking KK questions regarding individual paitients and treatment options and healing times, that is very irresponsible. Yes your paItient got better in 3 weeks, apparently ( I really wouldn't believe a whole lot you say anyways) but those are individual results. As KK was trying to to say, everyone is different and has different responses to various treatments. I really don't want to waste anymore time and brain power on you and this subject, it's not worth it. Simply keep ur comments to yourself next time and focus on the questions and helping people find the answers, and remember not every question or problem has one right answer.
Back to the subject, I started taking b12 supplements 4 or 5 ago, they are 1000 mcg. I took them to help boost my energy, due to the fact that I have had a lack of it lately. Yesterday shortly after I took the b12 I started to get a sharp headache right behind my left eye, and it got worse through out the day. It was. Dry sensitive to light and movement (when I moved my yes) I also wear glasses and I took them off for most of the day, but it kept getting worse. I then took a nap but It was still there after the nap. I then went to bed last night thinking it would be gone, but upon waking up, it is still there. It is very weird because I very rarely get headaches. Almost never, i can't even remember the last one I had! I tried to think of anything I did different and the only thing I did was start the b12.
I don't know if the type of headache is similar to anyone else's (behind the eye) but its very painful and annoying. The reason I took it is for lack of energy and motivation. I am taking anti-depressants, I also take a multi vitamin every day.If anyone has any insight (other than "the herbalist, the herbal physician, and/or Charlie") on how to help increase my energy and motivation, it would be greatly appreciated.
Well it sounds to me like you are sensitive to the B12 like I was and should not take it. I'm not sure about taking B12 for an energy boost either but having such a painful headache will surely not improve your energy level! Sure hope you feel better soon.
I've been searching for a cyanocobalamin B12 supplement without sugars and magnesium stearate or stearic acid. My wife is very ill and she is sensitive to these ingredients.
If you have knowledge of such a product please post a link or any information that could help.
These are the ingredients my wife is allergic to:
magnesium stearate (all forms)
stearic acid (all forms)
Rice based fillers
Milk/Dairy based fillers
My wife's B-12 deficiency is exhibiting symptoms so any help is greatly appreciated.
If there's a B12 deficiency confirmed by blood tests and it can't be fixed through diet, vitamin supplements can help. Make sure they have GMP certification (many vitamin products don't meet standards for potency).
BTW, the odds of being allergic to everything you describe is extremely low.
My wife suffers from a gastrointestinal sensitivity that makes her sensitive to most medications and additives and very many foods.
I have searched the internet and found that the GNC brand of B-12 supplements contain no stearic acid or magnesium stearate however they do contain calcium carbonate which is unacceptable for my wife's sensitivities (however, most normal healthy people can tolerate it.)
GNC products are the purest I have found so far. My search continues and I will keep you updated.
Infinitus..there are so many delicious foods that are high in B12 maybe your wife should try eating more of them...then she wouldn't have the worry about artificial additives and such. Things like clams , mussells , oysters,caviar and even lobster and crab are all foods high in B12. If she can't tolerate seafood then all the meats are good as well.
your wife can certainly display allergenic symptoms to everything you mentioned and more if she has a leaky gut. in fact, these folks usually do present with an overwhelming number of apparent allergens. the good news is there is a lot that can be done about it. herbal teas containing mild vulnerary (wound healing) and nervine herbs, probiotic therapy, an amended diet for awhile, soothing of systemic inflammation, certain supplements etc. can all be helpful. my suggestion would be for her to see a naturopath or herbalist trained in nutrition and digestive disorders.
by chance does your wife have a history of antibiotic use?
best wishes for her healing, kali
If you truly want to get healthy, check out "Dr Robert Morse N.D" YouTube.
He is a naturopathic doctor in port Charlotte florida. He saved hundreds of thousands of peoples lifes through raw foods.. Alkalization is the key to detoxification! Stay healthy
Your body maintains pH in a very narrow range through normal homeostatic mechanisms which primarily involve lung and kidney function. Normal blood/organ pH is slightly alkaline at about 7.4. You can't "alkalize" your body through diet, raw or cooked, and significant changes in acidity/alkalinity are seen only in serious illness.
As for "detoxification", anyone promoting this concept is apt to be selling some kind of useless product. Questions to ask are 1) what are the "toxins" that are supposedly causing harm, 2) are these substances present in amounts sufficient to cause disease, 3) what's the evidence that the product (or diet) reduces levels of these substances in the body, and 4) if so, what evidence is there that you'll be healthier as a result.
I've yet to see a naturopath or other "detoxification" promoter willing and able to answer these questions.
Here is a link that might be useful: acid-base balance explained
Blood is only a quarter of the fluid in our body, the other 75% is lymphatic fluid... Before you jump conclusions why don't you research this man I'm talking about, everyone so used to snake oil that everyone is so closed minded nobody listens to the truth! Our body is made up if cells and two major fluids blood and lymphatic fluid. The blood feeds the cells the lymphatic fluid cleans the cells, this waste is called metabolic interstitial waste, this waste is eliminated via urination,defication,persperation, and respiration. Our body is alkaline by design and acidic by function. You are correct in that are blood is slightly alkaline, so is the rest of our body. But, our waste whether it be from activity(lactic acid,etc) or from eating(metabolic,etc) is acidic. If the lymphatic system gets clogged(from poor diet, antibiotics,etc, don't have time to get into that now...) this acid byproduct(waste) is stuck in our body(interstitial lymphatic constipation). When you pop a pimple, you see 25% blood and 75% lymph fluid.... To say you cannot alkalize through diet is ridiculous. Research Dr Morse, Arnold arhet, tc fri, dr shelton. That is when the first true naturopathy started... Hope u find the truth.
That's one heck of a lot of misunderstanding of human physiology for a single post.
Lymphatic fluid does not "clean cells" in the manner you suggest, it does not get clogged by diet or antibiotics, and its acid-base balance is maintained by natural buffering mechanisms similar to those at work in blood plasma - you don't need special diets or supplements to maintain a healthy pH in lymph, plasma or other extracellular fluids..
What this has to do with possible association between vitamin B12 and headaches is a mystery.
Here is a link that might be useful: Lymphatics and immune system function
Hopefully this link would clear up any misconceptions...
Here is a link that might be useful: Understanding the Lymphatic system
Morse can make any claims he wants (like curing 95% of cancers). He can italicize lots of words and underline for emphasis, while conjuring up fantasies about human physiology, but he still doesn't know what he's talking about.
The bogus miracle cure promoters and supplement salesmen could benefit tremendously from a simple community college course in human physiology, if they were willing to give up their cherished misconceptions.
He has multiple degrees other than naturopathy... His bogus claims seems to be working... What dont you agree with in his article? Does it not make sense? To much sense you dont want to believe it? Truth will always come out on top...
Well, I did a Google search on "Vitamin B12" and "overdose" and "headache" -- guess why? Yep: I got a splitting headache RIGHT AFTER I took about 2.4mg (2,400 mcg) of Cyanocobalamin. (It was sub-lingual liquid, and I put it under my tongue, but for 2 minutes (120-seconds), instead of the 30-second time suggested on the package.) However, since this was not the methylated version of B12 (just the regular type), --and because I have ALWAYS read that there is NO known overdoes (including my own doctor's advice), I took some because a friend told me that HE had a great increase in energy.
-- I see this thread was started on Tue, Jan 29, 08 at 10:03, and it is now about 12:53am EST, Friday, 06 September 2013 -- and the thread is STILL GOING! Wow! Lot's of people got surprised... Anyhow, it was about 10:48m, when I took this B12 supplement --
I think that the methylated version can cross the brain-blood barrier better (or perhaps some barrier in the stomach) -- In any case, I've read that the methylated version is absorbed better (not sure exactly how, but the methyl group is non-polar, making it more easily dissolved & mixed into fatty & other non-polar liquids.)
From 10:48pm, until 12:56am, is about 2 hours and 8 minutes, so far --- my headache seems to be getting a little bit better -but, after having read the other comments that the headache can last like a day or so more, I am "concerned," and hope to bookmark this thread on GardenWeb and check back for more input.
Also, cyanocobalamin is the "slightly" toxic (cyanide) version of the molecule. The methylated version is better, as you don't tax your liver to remove the cyanide anion (using up methyl groups as well). I've linked one 'Natural News' article -you can Google the rest -or take my word on it.
Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamin B-12 warning: Avoid cyanocobalamin, take only methylcobalamin Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032766_cyanocobalamin_vitamin_B-12.html
This post was edited by GordonWayneWatts on Fri, Sep 6, 13 at 1:18
Update: Nearly 24 hours (and several NSAID's) later(*), I am feeling better -and much wiser!
(*) It's about 8:28pm, Friday 06 September 2013, as I write, and I had a bad (but not horrible) headache after I woke up, and decided to take 1 Goody's powder (Acetaminophen 260mg, which is about half of your 500mg standard tablet; Aspirin 520mg, which is a little bigger than your 'standard' 325mg Aspirin tablet; Caffeine 32.5 mg, about the same amount of caffeine as a 12-oz Coca Cola, which has 34mg) --and 1 Advil (200mg of Ibuprofen), and 1 Equate (220mg of Naproxen Sodium).
Oh, and I had a lot of liquids and bed-rest. (Liquids, especially water, are often touted as a 'natural' cure for headaches, and bed-rest goes without saying.)
Moral of the Story: Chill out on the B-12, especially sub-lingual type. Also, methyl version of cobalamin (V-B12) is a little bit better than Cyano version.
Still a bit sluggish, but not nearly as bad as last night.
PS: I linked 1 of my research mirrors below - here is the other: http://GordonWayneWatts.com/consumer.html
Here is a link that might be useful: My NON-PROFIT health/diet/cancer research page
one question - I have been taking 1000 mcg B12 for 4 weeks now (due to low level) and for 2 weeks I have had strong and very strange headache (forehead, but also neck). I usually never have headaches so really disturbing.
I now learned I am not alone with this.
Does anyone know how long it takes to get rid of the pain? I stopped taking the pills yesterday but still no improvement.
it's common for b12 to cause headaches. this vitamin is a vaso dilator so improves blood flow to the head considerably. when the blood is flowing to the head more quickly than it drains headache can ensue. see kk1515's post on this above for recommendations. and good luck.
Actually, the B vitamin that has a marked vasodilator effect is niacin (vitamin B3). Vitamin B12 doesn't significantly affect blood flow.
In a small minority of people B12 can be a cause of headache, like many other supplements and drugs, but this is uncommon and shouldn't occur after stopping the vitamin (note that B12 deficiency can cause headache, as well as other neurologic signs and symptoms).
Here is a link that might be useful: fact sheet on B12
This post was edited by eric_oh on Tue, Apr 8, 14 at 13:24
eric_oh's post demonstrates perfectly the poorly inadequate level of nutritional training physicians in this country receive. only an average of 19 hours during their years in med school per harvard medical school's website. i say let's cut him some slack, he really doesn't know any better.
b12 is a vasodilator, headaches with it are common. kk1515 gave the best recommendations further up in this thread. hope you figure this out and feel better soon!
Why are you taking medical advice from your acupuncturist?
Regarding your question, "Does anyone know how long it takes to get rid of the pain? I stopped taking the pills yesterday but still no improvement."
#1 - B12 (like most or all B-vitamins) is water-soluble, which means it passes through the system more quickly(probably hours or days) than fat-soluble stuff.
#2 - Seeing my old post above, I seem to have felt "somewhat" better after about 24-hours, and some over-the-counter NSAID's (painkillers, like Aspirin, Acetaminophen, --and a few others - scroll above to see details).
Conclusion: You're lucky (or, to be more accurate, blesses), and you'll probably feel better by the time you come across our replies (or shortly thereafter), but as you've been taking them for a few weeks (and not a "one-time" instance like myself), then it may take a little longer.
Best luck, skill, blessings, and success!
Gordon Wayne Watts in Lakeland (between Tampa & Orlando)
Here is a link that might be useful: A reprise of my prior link: Very useful -and ACTUAL science on a non-B12, but still related, topic
Vitamin B12-is-a-vasodilator-because-I-say-it-is fails at being convincing.
And all too often, the spiel about doctors having "an inadequate level of nutritional training" really means "doctors don't buy into my mistaken beliefs about nutrition".
B12 has important functions in the body (including red blood cell production and neurologic function) but unfortunately, dosing people to improve blood flow through vasodilatation hasn't worked out.
Headaches after taking B12 (cyanocobalamin) are likely due to your body not dealing well with the preservative in this form of B12 which is cyanide.
I was found to be B12 deficient a few years ago (was tired all the time, brain fogs, tremors, slight headaches, etc). My doctor gave me weekly B12 injections for 10 weeks. Over those 10 weeks I developed migraines- something I had never had before. I thought it was due to the B12 deficiency. My B12 levels went up, but only slightly - barely making it above the minimum threshold.
After researching online and speaking to various pharmacists, I discovered B12 methylcobalamin which is the pure form of B12 (the one used in Asia and parts of Europe). Since I started on that, my headaches disappeared.
I recently drank a flavored water and got that old headache back (although not as intense). I looked at the label and sure enough - B12 cynacobolamin. Unfortunately, most oral forms of B12 have the cyanide preservative.
It's extremely unlikely that any side effects from B12 supplementation are due to the cyano group in cyanocobalamin (the most common and stable form of B12 available commercially). The amount of cyanide produced in the body is very tiny (actually, there is a tiny amount of cyanide at all times in everyone's body as a byproduct of metabolism) and shouldn't cause symptoms.
The only supplement I'm aware of that does pose a cyanide poisoning risk is laetrile, a long-debunked cancer remedy that is still sold over the Internet.
Actually headaches can be a rare side effect of this form of B12. It is not "poisoning" per se, it is just an allergic reaction that some people have. I don't know how else to explain the difference in my reactions to cynacobalamin vs methylcobalamin shots. Once, very recently, my husband mistakenly gave me the wrong shot (he takes the regular B12) without either of us realizing it. Within 30 minutes I had a horrible migraine which I couldn't figure out until we walked through what bottle he used to give me the shot from. I had to call off work, it was so bad. I do not get any headaches from methylcobalamin which I now take monthly.
I love forums. Why? Because you get real people talking about actual experiences they have had or are having. It's like product ratings.
As a registered nurse for almost 15 years in the intensive care I can tell you that doctors certainly do NOT know everything even though they like to think they do. Nutrition is certainly not one of their strong points. Why do you think hospitals hire full time registered dieticians?
I'm not doctor bashing by the way, just saying that we are all human and don't know everything.
Anyway, forums are a wonderful repository of first hand experiences, which is why I'm writing on this forum now. Once you get so many people together who are describing the exact same things then it should be obvious that it is an actual problem at least for some poeple. The human body is so incredibly complex that we can't even begin to pretend that we know all of its workings and how things will effect each individual. It just irks me when so called "medical professionals" like doctors try to tell people that their personal experiences are wrong.
So... with that being said, I will share my personal experience with taking Vit B12. I am a very healthy and fit vegan. I have never had any health problems what-so-ever. I have never had any typical symptoms of B12 deficiency. Recently I watched a very in depth and informative video about B12 deficiency and how vegans are some of the most affected by it. So naturally I decided to start taking B12 supplement since they say that you can't overdose on it. The very day I took the first supplement (small pink sublingual pill) I started having a tension type headache mostly located in my temples, behind my eyes and towards the top of my head. The next day of taking the B12 it got even worse to where I was slightly nauseated. Some people might wright this off as a coincidence but I know my body better than that. I NEVER get headaches unless I am sick...NEVER. I stopped taking the B12 and the headaches went away. So to answer the original question: YES, B12 CAN GIVE PEOPLE HEADACHES. It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a doctor to figure it out.
I found many other forums with people describing this. I also found several medical websites that listed headache as one of the main side effects of the medication. We may not know the physiological causes behind the headache, but we do know that taking a B12 supplement can cause headaches. As I'm pretty sure I have a very healthy liver (been vegetarian all my life, never done any substances or drank a beer in my life), a "congested liver" probably has absolutely nothing to do with it.
My guess (just a stab in the dark) would be that the headache is caused by a neurotransmitter imbalance that occurs when the body is flooded with B12 all of the sudden.
So, that's my two bits. Hopefully somebody will find it helpful as I have found reading about other peoples experiences very helpful.
""Anyway, forums are a wonderful repository of first hand experiences, which is why I'm writing on this forum now. Once you get so many people together who are describing the exact same things then it should be obvious that it is an actual problem at least for some poeple."
You can also find many people sharing experiences on the Internet about being abducted by aliens, or how chemtrails made them ill, or any number of demonstrably ludicrous and false things. So, "people shared their anecdotes online" is not a good indicator of validity.
As I mentioned before, vitamin B12 can cause headaches in some people. Lack of vitamin B12 can also cause headaches in some people. The number of substances and other environmental factors that can cause headaches is encyclopedic. The number of headaches that occur coincidentally in people who do a variety of things is also voluminous. There may seem to be a correlation, but demonstrating cause-and-effect is often a different matter.
Not falling into the error of assuming correlation = causation is (or at least should be) part of the training of every good health care professional.
Scientific studies, which most of us depend upon, frequently do rely on statistical results.
Well conducted scientific studies rely on carefully chosen random samples, however.
There is also a proviso that, minus a hypothesis PRIOR to collecting the random sample, any unanticipated correlations not in support of the hypothesis would need a new study in order to be properly supported.
"You can also find many people sharing experiences on the Internet about being abducted by aliens, or how chemtrails made them ill, or any number of demonstrably ludicrous and false things. So, "people shared their anecdotes online" is not a good indicator of validity."
Eric- Yes, but the many candid reportings of headache experienced soon after taking a specific substance is a far different matter than the lies and fanciful make-believe satire (such as alien abductions and chem trails) that people make up to get attention or because they're just plain crazy or strung out. Aren't chem trails real by the way ;)
Your trying to compare apples and oranges. Two completely different types of data.
Anyway, we both know that the medical profession has been highly corrupted by the big money of the pharmaceutical industries. Scientific medical pharmaceutical studies are unfortunately not immune to their influences either. If you don't believe it you are either very nieve or have either been under a rock.
It's nice to have some untampered-real-people-data, non-biased for the most part, thats all I'm saying.
It never fails to amaze me that some people will express profound skepticism of mainstream medical sources, but eagerly and unquestioningly believe random strangers on the Internet.*
*not to mention having profound faith in alt med sites which profit from the sales of herbs and supplements they recommend.
All that skepticism seems to go out the window when claims appeal to one's firmly held beliefs.
3 weekends ago, I did 2 half marathons back to back, one Saturday and one Sunday. I was so wiped out and I have had an excruciating headache ever since. It's on the left backside of my head where it meets the top of neck. Chronic. I thought maybe it wasn’t a headache and I had pulled something in my neck from runs.
Well, i knew the races would have worn me down, so I took a b-12 shot on Monday. I had a wicked headache the whole week. I lived on ibuprofen every 4 hours. Over the weekend, it would let up. I had wine over the weekend and even thought maybe alcohol was helping it. lol. And Monday, take the shot again. Chronic headache all week long, exact same place. I bought huge bottle of ibuprofen and started getting concerned I should have it looked at. I went to party this past Friday night and drank wine, no headache all weekend. Came to work today (Monday) and was a little afraid the headache would come back & thought maybe it was something in my office. because they are so bad all work week.
So an hour ago, took my b-12 shot, tasted it in my mouth, and within 10 minutes, pounding headache. Always the same place - left, back of head/top of neck, almost radiates to the back of left eye.
So the light went off and I googled it and found this forum of people claiming they get terrible headaches, and many of you mentioned left side of head, many the back head/neck area too. I am now whole heartedly convinced that this is NOT a coincidence. I am positive it's the B-12 (mine is cyanocobalamin, 1,000mcg/ml)
And to clarify, I don't think the wine was "helping it" but i think by Friday, it had all cleared my system and I was in good shape for the weekend. I just happened to also drink wine. And then gave myself the shot, and the headache, again on Mondays.
While some people think vitamin B12 is effective against "fatigue" or as an energy booster, that belief is not borne out by good evidence. Even if you're deficient in vitamin B12 for one of several reasons (such as malabsorption, diet (i.e. in strict vegans) or certain diseases), taking B12 is not going to give you a quick energy boost.
Someone suggested to take potassium supplements in case of "b12 causing headaches", which also happened to me.
Tried potassium supplements, they are working fine right now. I keep popping some low-dose potassium pills during the day and i feel fine. No headaches.
If you don't want to buy supplements, bananas are a natural source of potassium. I think it has more potassium than the pills themselves.
Also: i don't intend to take high doses of B12 every single day, i'll cycle them.
I started a b12 for anxiety! Was on the first week felt awesome! The second week,started having headaches that turned into a severe migraine,with partial vision loss! So done!
I'm definitively do the pottasium,I always seem to get low pottasium! Working out with anxiety and staying stressed doesn't help!
I wouldn't start taking anything without consulting with a physician first. My blood test showed that I was deficient in B vitamins so I have to get a B12 shot every 3 weeks, else I get migraines and occular auras, numb/tingling fingers, and fatigue. I also have to take a time-released B-100 pill every day. But that's because my body doesn't hold onto any of it, causing me to have to put it in constantly. If this isn't the case with you, then you might not need to be taking it. Always check with the doctor, and have them give your bloodwork an annual physical - that means every year!