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Miriam3

Hooked On B-vitamins?

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What do you all do about supplements while you're recovering at the start of your gluten-free diet?

I've been taking a B-complex supplement (B-1, B-2, Niacin, B-6, Folic Acid, B-12, Biotin and Pantothenic Acid) for almost a year now. I've only been Gluten-free Casein-free for 2 months. I was taking it before I got diagnosed because I was feeling tired, stressed and losing exercise endurance. It was a suggestion from a coach I know.

I've felt a little better since starting it, but nothing dramatic. Then I found out about the celiac and the level of malabsorption. And no wonder I needed an extra kick of vitamins since my gut wasn't helping me. But should I really keep taking these? My doctor hates these questions because he doesn't like to test or treat people unless they seem sick enough to him. I guess I don't qualify anymore since I seem to be on the mend. I got him to test me for B-12 and Folic Acid, and he says my levels are fine.

Problem is, I tried to stop taking them and it makes me feel like crap. If I forget to take them in the morning, I know by afternoon because my mood drops, I start feeling melancholy or anxious and I just don't have much energy. A couple of hours after taking them, I seem to recover some. This is not in my head, it happens when I totally don't expect or believe in any magical effect of B-vitamins!!

Doc is pretty much done with vitamin tests-- should I find some nutritionist or alternative medicine doc and try to get more tests? Or is there a particular amount of time anyone would recommend taking them while my stomach heals? Any suggestions or experience appreciated!!!

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Keep taking them! Why stop a good thing. Doctors are not always right. Some doctors do not thing much of vitamins, but that doesn't mean vitamins are not needed. Celiacs especially need extra vitamins. I just had this discussion with my PCP on Wednesday night. I take probably a lot more B12 than you do and he agrees with many of his associates--they feel that taking additional B12 only makes a person have "rich urine". He says there is no harm in taking extra B12 because your body can't store it---I will add here, be very careful with B6, you can take too much of it. If you are taking a multiple B complex, then I am sure you are safe though. I want to try B12 shots and my doc is agreeable, if I want to try. He doesn't necessarily agree that it helps, yet he has 50-70 patients who come in weekly for B12 shots and they swear by them. I feel that many people know something! My doc thinks I look very healthy, says my heart is strong, my lungs sound good, yet I asked him to explain my unexplainable neuropathy, my fatigue, my low body temp, severe exhaustion, headaches--how I can be so healthy on the very limited foods I can now eat? He agrees, there is something going on. They tell me it's not thyroid, it's not B12 deficiency because my B12 level is too good (well, of course it's good, I take 2400 mcg daily for over 2 yrs now and finally I have good reflexes again, but that's not good enough, I want more back)---they keep telling me what it's not, and they keep saying, "Are you sure you are celiac?" Well, I don't need them to tell me what I already know, I need them to tell me what we do not know!

Take the vitamins--you feel good now, don't stop that which is working!

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As long as those vitamins are for sure gluten free you definately are not having drug withdrawl symptoms from them. I agree with the previous poster that you need to stay on a good supplement. I would even go so far as to suggest that you get a seperate sublingual B12, until we have healed we do not absorb and utilize this vitamin in our guts like most people do. You will get the most benefit in the B12 area from a sublingual. Also keep in mind that the levels for 'normal' for vitamins is very wide. Some doctors will consider the levels normal even if you are just a couple of points into the normal range. Especially with B12 that is often too low and also if you are taking supplements they can throw those ranges into a false positive. Be very careful with Iron supplements though, they can be dangerous if you are taking to much and that level should be checked regularly IMHO if you are supplementing in higher levels.

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