Think a little vitamin won't have any bearing on your Migraines? You might be surprised at the right answer to this question...
Finding out I had a long standing B12 deficiency and correcting that issue was paramount to my chronic Migraine improvement.
This research points to the fact that identifying a B12 deficiency can be difficult. Most doctors who think to test B12 will not know how to do it properly, and many patients with deficiency problems will be missed as a result.
B12 testing itself is insufficient.
- To learn your B12 status, 3 tests must be performed. B12 should be above 400 for neurological health. Numbers below 400 result in neurologic damage which can be permanent if not caught and treated early.
- Methylmalonic Acid. This test may be high in B12 deficient states and is much more sensitive in reflecting the actual status of the patient.
- Homocysteine. This test can be high in B12 and Folic Acid deficiencies. High homocysteine has been found in a larger percent of Migraineurs than control groups.
If homocysteine and methylmalonic acid are both high, it is usually B12 deficiency, especially if B12 testing is below 400.
If homocysteine alone is raised, this usually indicates a folic acid deficiency.
In my case, I had been tested in the mid 1990's and even earlier. Results of B12 testing came back in the 100's - a very good reason for me to be notified of a problem and treated. Because I was not notified nor treated, it is very likely at this point, that my damage is not going to improve. The numbness in hands and feet as well as other areas have not gone away in several years of supplementation. My cognition definitely improved, but I will likely always have problems I have largely learned to work around, but nevertheless am discouraged by.
Research showed deficiency led to decreased brain size and other complications. B12 deficiency is often seen in the elderly and mis-identified as dementia. Sad, since this condition is very treatable.
Source: C.C. Tangney, PhD; N.T. Aggarwal, MD; H. Li, MS; R.S. Wilson, PhD; C. DeCarli, MD; D.A. Evans, MD and M.C. Morris, ScD. "Vitamin B12, cognition, and brain MRI measures; A cross-sectional examination." The journal Neurology. Copyright © 2011 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.