Why do some B vitamins make me extremely tired?

Jwarrior77

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So this is a puzzle that I'm trying to figure out. Before I got sick I could drink 3 energy drinks full of b vitamins and be totally fine. Now I can't take a low dose b complex without either going into a coma or having some bizarre fight or flight reaction. Literally a couple months after getting struck down with ME/CFS and POTS I drank a low sugar body armour energy drink (full of b vitamins no caffeine) and it feels like I'm being drugged. I become so excessively tired but don't actually fall into any sort of sleep just some place in between. This has repeatedly happened many times. It's so uncomfortable that I learned very quickly that I cannot tolerate certain b vitamins.

Its not all b vitamins only a couple that does this. B1 I seem to have no problem with. It actually seems to give some energy. Same with B12. However it seems that Niacin is very problematic. Either it will give some paradoxical reaction or put me in a coma. Same thing with B2. It seems to also give me fatigue but not as bad. I'm going to have to experiment with folate, B6, B5, and others.

Anyways why does this happen? What has changed in my metabolism that makes this happen? How could I be totally normal before and be able to megadose b vitamins without too many I'll effects yet not be able to tolerate a couple milligrams now? I don't understand and it's really frustrating. Does anyone else experience this or know any answers? Thanks.
 

Wolfcub

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I don't know the reason for this. Others may know.
I get a similar thing with B vitamins. I started taking a very high dose (particularly good) B complex in 2018. I was fine on it for about 3 days then I really crashed. I left it out for a week or more, then tried it again and the same thing happened.
I was fine on the very low dose one.

I took methyl B12 sublingual, and for a while felt pretty benign or non-remarkable results, and even wondered if it might be helping. I stopped it for a while (ran out of supplies), then started again and actually crashed within hours from a medium dose.

Recently I haven't been able to tolerate much fibre as my gut has been a mess, so haven't been able to eat the foods I am used to (really healthy foods) and have had to eat low-fibre. So twice now I doubled the dose of my usual low dose vitamin B to compensate. I felt better....until I started moving. I went for a walk today and was just so horribly drained and exhausted and had to come home.
I can't be sure that was a vitamin B reaction. Too many variables there -not eating as much nutritional food....an unsteady gut which can affect the whole system...or just not enough sleep.
 

Wishful

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Niacin made my ME symptoms much worse too. It also made me feel strongly suicidal. My theory is that my ME is causing elevated levels of the neurotoxic kynurenines, particularly quinolinic acid, which is known to cause suicidal moods. Cells can convert QUIN into niacin, so when I had higher levels of dietary niacin, I was probably reducing the amount of QUIN converted into niacin.

B2 also made my ME symptoms worse, but didn't trigger suicidal moods. B1 seemed to reduce my symptoms the first time I tried it, but then stopped having a noticeable effect. There was also a period when B12 supplements made me feel suicidal; no idea why. The other B vitamins didn't have any noticeable effects.

This seems interesting: http://www.hormonesmatter.com/reducing-brain-inflammation-vitamin-b6/

"When all is working well, tryptophan serves as a substrate for serotonin and melatonin. Excess tryptophan is degraded resulting in the by-products nictonic acid and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) – or as most of us recognize, niacin, vitamin B3. Niacin is an essential nutrient in many physiological functions. Loss of niacin metabolism from this pathway can lead to significant disease, including, Pellagra, a disease characterized by scaly skin lesions, delusions and confusion. In addition to a loss of niacin synthesis, when vitamin B6 is deficient and the tryptophan pathway is disturbed, the incomplete degradation of tryptophan produces several metabolites that are neurotoxic, including one called quinolinic acid.

Quinolinic acid is a potent and self-perpetuating neurotoxin when unopposed in the brain. It generates ROS (reactive oxygen species indicative of mitochondrial oxidative stress and damage) and over-activates NMDA glutamate receptors (the brain’s primary excitatory neurotransmitter) to the point of apoptosis (cell death), all the while inhibiting brain astrocytes’ ability to clean up the excess glutamate. Once that cycle becomes initiated, quinolinic acid potentiates its own release and that of other neurotoxins, ensuring continued brain inflammation and damage.

With the appropriate vitamin B6, quinolinic acid is not the final product of tryptophan catabolism, NAD+ or niacin is, and any damage initiated by quinolinic acid as a natural by-product within this pathway is offset by two neuroprotective factors, kynurenine and picolinic acid. Vitamin B6 is critical for the kynurenine aminotransferase and kynurinase enzymes; enzymes that lead to neuroprotective compounds, kynurenine or picolinic acid. Kynurenine blocks the cytotoxic effects of quinolinic acid by blocking the NMDA receptor, making it unavailable to quinolinic acid, while picolinic acid is the primary metal chelator (remover) in the brain (likely critically important in post vaccine reactions). In other words, vitamin B6 controls the balance between inflammation and anti-inflammation within the brain and the body."


It sounds good, but I'll add that B6 never had a noticeable effect on my symptoms. :meh:


BTW, has your cat been stealing some of your B vitamins? Looks tired to me. :sleep:
 
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@Wishful
Terrific post !!! So much information to process ..... arrrrgghgghhhhggh ..... can't handle it today, weak focus and cog, but it's worth chewing over when I'm better..... thank you for posting this, it's really really good !!!!
I don't understand and it's really frustrating. Does anyone else experience this or know any answers? Thanks.
It's odd. It seems a lot of us have very peculiar reactions to B vits. One theory is that it's a genetic SNP, present in a lot of us, tho possibly dormant til the ME presents. A SNP is a single nucleotide polymorphism, a strand of DNA genetic code with the building blocks, represented by the letters C, G, A, T, a sugar, and a phosphate group, out of order, like a re-written word that may or may not make sense. This is sometimes referenced as a MTHRF polymorphism, and blamed for any number of things, including an inability to completely metabolize B-vits.


For whatever reason, a lot of us have problems with them. I'd taken B vits all my life, usually as an additional B-Complex, until ME hit. It took me a while to figure out what was causing that strand of distress (there were multiple others), and after trying all kinds of substitutions and adjustments in both type of B vit (methyl folate vs folate or folinic acid, etc) and amount, I just gave up and stopped taking B-12 with folate and B-Complex entirely, relying on the small amount in my good-quality multi-vit.

I still haven't had the courage to try adding them in, a little at a time, to see if I continue to be hyper-sensitive to them, so I haven't been of much help to you here, beyond assuring you that what you're dealing with isn;t unusual in this community, and you're not alone.

Cold comfort.
I can't be sure that was a vitamin B reaction. Too many variables there -not eating as much nutritional food....an unsteady gut which can affect the whole system...or just not enough sleep.
That's one of the particular joys of this flucking little flogger of an illness ... it's almost impossible to narrow down any one response to any one thing.


You seem to be dealing with a real pile-up of Very Bad Things, from nutritional issues, to sleep deprivation, to disturbed gut microbiome .... sending you affection and positive vibes, for whatever they're worth, and the suggestion that you might want to look into info re gut microbiome rebalancing :hug::hug: .....
 
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PatJ

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Now I can't take a low dose b complex without either going into a coma or having some bizarre fight or flight reaction.
However it seems that Niacin is very problematic.
If you have low blood pressure then niacin can lower it even more by dilating blood vessels. B6 can lower blood pressure too.

Niacin is a problem for me as well. I don't get a fight-or-flight reaction but I do get much more tired and can feel as if I've taken a strong sedative.
 

Wolfcub

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It's odd. It seems a lot of us have very peculiar reactions to B vits. One theory is that it's a genetic SNP, present in a lot of us, tho possibly dormant til the ME presents. A SNP is a single nucleotide polymorphism, a strand of DNA genetic code with the building blocks, represented by the letters C, G, A, T, a sugar, and a phosphate group, out of order, like a re-written word that may or may not make sense. This is sometimes referenced as a MTHRF polymorphism, and blamed for any number of things, including an inability to completely metabolize B-vits.

For whatever reason, a lot of us have problems with them.
Thank you so much for this clear, wonderful, easy-to-understand explanation @YippeeKi YOW !! :thumbsup:
I honestly didn't have a clue about all this. You are fantastic. :nerd:

Just for the heck of it I took a double dose B complex today (only the mild little understated supermarket supplement) just because my nutritional intake has been a bit lacking the last week.
All was quite well until mid afternoon when I felt VERY psychologically unbalanced, like I had a crushing weight on my chest that I desperately wanted to run away from. Terrible jitters, restlessness, literally shaking whle I was trying to sew something.
The only thing that helped was moving about, particularly outside, like a headless chicken. But the more I did that, the more seriously weary I also got
 
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Wolfcub

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You seem to be dealing with a real pile-up of Very Bad Things, from nutritional issues, to sleep deprivation, to disturbed gut microbiome .... sending you affection and positive vibes, for whatever they're worth, and the suggestion that you might want to look into info re gut microbiome rebalancing :hug::hug: .
Thank you. I need those vibes :) Much appreciated.
I wish I had the "guts" to just throw probiotics at this like so many basically healthy people seem to do so blithely. I am now gently graduating to miso soup, basically because I seriously can't abide kefir, yogurt or anything similar, and my gut doesn't even like steamed greens right now so can't imagine what it would do with sauerkraut. Though I used to adore sauerkraut.
Sadly also, the polish sauerkraut available in the local stores, though very nice (I ate it years ago) has been pasteurised I think.
 
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All was quite well until mid afternoon when I felt VERY psychologically unbalanced, like I had a crushing weight on my chest that I desperately wanted to run away from. Terrible jitters, restlessness, literally shaking whle I was trying to sew something.
Beautifully clear description. It mimics my responses, as well ....
I wish I had the "guts" to just throw probiotics at this like so many basically healthy people seem to do so blithely
They'll have to learn the hard way. Probiotics have to be carefully researched an considered, and the wrong ones can really play havoc with your gut. They disrupt your natural flora, and everything breaks down into warring factions, creating all sorts of unpleasantness and doing nothing positiive.


One of the safest ..... oh damn, I'll have to go back to my notes and get back to you. Not a great brain day ..... but basically, all of us are born with the same commensural element, from which all others slowly grow as we graduate from breast-milk or formula, to solid foods, to a wider range of them.

I'll get back to and let you know what that is, it would be almost impeccably safe and ight be a way to nudge your system back into normality ....

If I forget tag me and remind me. Like I said, not a great brain day ....
Though I used to adore sauerkraut.
 

Wolfcub

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One of the safest ..... oh damn, I'll have to go back to my notes and get back to you. Not a great brain day ..... but basically, all of us are born with the same commensural element, from which all others slowly grow as we graduate from breast-milk or formula, to solid foods, to a wider range of them.

I'll get back to and let you know what that is, it would be almost impeccably safe and ight be a way to nudge your system back into normality ....
Wow....that would be quite precious knowledge and would be very much appreciated. No rush, and I mean it !

And I am a little better today, and ate my own garden-grown peas in a potato and nettle stew! Yay for me! And certainly no double-dose B-vits :nervous:

Don't even think of pushing that brain. It will come around given its own time. :hug:
 
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All was quite well until mid afternoon when I felt VERY psychologically unbalanced, like I had a crushing weight on my chest that I desperately wanted to run away from. Terrible jitters, restlessness, literally shaking whle I was trying to sew something.

The only thing that helped was moving about, particularly outside, like a headless chicken. But the more I did that, the more seriously weary I also got
This is a spot on description of what I've been dealing w/ the last few days after starting some b's. I crashed so hard after the emotional/psychologically unbalanced feelings left. I'm not looking forward to going back to my functional med doc to report these strange symptoms. I think she really felt like these were going to answer a lot of my fatigue issues. I was hopeful as well as they did seem to help for a couple of weeks (I was taking lower dosages every few days). My body is sore too.
 
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Wolfcub

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I'm not looking forward to going back to my functional med doc to report these strange symptoms. I think she really felt like these were going to answer a lot of my fatigue issues.
That's the problem. Many people, and many doctors just can't understand the strange things that happen with ME/CFS. How we can sometimes have a bad reaction or a paradoxical reaction to a supplement that -say -is "good for you" or "helps tiredness" etc.
ME/CFS is not straightforward in any way.

Honestly, there's very little I can take any more without it either: making no difference, or making me feel worse.
 

percyval577

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@Jwarrior77

My experiences with B´s may sound strange. After having suffered for almost 20 years now, I often have been listening into my brain. Since two years I am getting these impressions:

Some metals and B´s change the geometrical shape of feelings, and therefore should well do so for synaptical actions (I think, in the basal ganglia and the non-specific thalamus). There is little support from research so far. Again the warning, it´s only my impression, like when having drunken too much alcohol and the world is turning around.

B2 makes a movement forward round, in a small diameter
B1 same, but in a bigger one
B7 same, in the biggest one.
B5 makes a movement like a hurricane
B6 seems to make a movement sidewards (very bad)
B3 I have different impressions from, seems to be a counter to B5 or the three forward ones, needs to be done very carefully, as it seems so far.

Upon this impressions, I think that MECFS is a disruption of a geometrical shape codified in synaptical actions. Instead of a nice pattern it´s a complete muddle. The trick might be, to build it up again by supporting the different, single actions at single time points through very small dosages.

With some metals I have the same, though they doesn´t seems to be that strong, so I only take them together in form of chocolate (which also contains oxal-acid, a manganese chelator).

zinc makes a horizontal forward movement
aluminium (drinking from such a cup is already far too much, then) makes a plane outward movement in the same direction and supports a movement like focusing eyes, I found it two times easily overdone.
Nickle, like B5
Chromium had been like B7 but has lost any effect.
Manganese like B6

There is literature in respect of nickle and zinc which might support these impressions, phoenixrising.me/threads/nickel-in-the-nervous-system.78595/#post-2249336 and the two posts before,
phoenixrising.me/threads/zinc-in-the-nervous-system.78594/#post-2248350 (I am not that sure here)

Of course it will not be possible to show this for the next 10 years minimum. The mentioned B´s have a place in the TCA cycle, and as some amino acids have too, there might be such effects from amino acids as well.

However, most important, in my experience, seems to be avoidances of some of this stuff and other one. Maybe this is the main clue, I am going to see better. Hope it doesn´t sound too strange.
 
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Don't even think of pushing that brain. It will come around given its own time. :hug:
OK. This is going to come in instalments, becasue that's just the way my brain is working right now ...

Bifidus infantis .... one of the, if not THE, first friendly bacteria to take up residence in the guts of infants. It's good for IBS, IBD, and mood balancing, and very gentle and non-intrusive in terms of the other friendly flora ij your gut..

The difficulty is that while the genus, like bifidus infantis, is important, the strain is just as critical, and I can;t remember what strain of b. infantis is the best. It' usually expressed in a sting of letters and numbers, like FG426-d (I just made that up, so dont expect anything sensical if you google it)


Bifidus bifidum ..... helps generate vitamins like Vit K and B-12, which can also influence mood ....

Lactobacillus plantarum...... another extremely gentle and non-intrusive genus is L. plantarum, which, among other benefits, significantly increased serotonin and dopamine in mice, and reduced anxious behaviour when they were stressed during problem solving, like running a maze ....


More will follow when my brain manages to cough it up, or direct me to further notes ....
 
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Terrible jitters, restlessness, literally shaking whle I was trying
This is a near-perfect description of what B-vits, in fact pretty much all the vits and supps I'd taken successfully for years, started doing to me. It took me forever to figure out what was causing it because, you know, that's good for me ....

I finally gave up and just cut everything out completely, including ost of the foods I'd eatn for donkey's years. I've been slowly adding things back in for the last 18 months with reassuring success. Started low and went slow, which is the only approach to anything potentially dangerous or unpleasant, which, for us, is pretty much everything ....
 
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Hiya @Leah_Heisel .....
I noticed that you had to copy and paste the quote from @Wolfcub that you wanted to respond to.

Here's the easy way to quote someone else's post so that you dont have to do that, and so that it appears in your reply in the pink 'Quote' box, making it clear that it isnt something you said, but rather something you're responding to ...

  • Highlight the portion of a post you want to respond to ....
  • A little pop-up box will appear underneath that, giving you the choice of 'Quote' or 'Reply' ...
  • Click on 'Reply'
  • The portion that you highlighted will appear in your personal reply box at the bottom of the page, and you'll be shifted down to that immediately....
  • Type in your response or comment below that, hit 'Post reply', and bingo !!! Done !!!
Hope this helps, and that I’m not being intrusive or pushy ….
 

Learner1

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Ok, folks. We have to realize that these vitamins do not work individually. They work in pathways, and you have to understand what the pathways are doing and how the vitamins and their cofactors interact.

If you add a vitamin without the applicable cofactors that vitamin will not be able to be used. Or if that vitamin was the missing thing in that pathway, you'll get that pathway moving and then hit the next bottleneck of the thing that you're missing.

Many of the Bs that you're talking about, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, and B12 are used in methylation, which is a detoxification process. However, they are not used in that order, the order is more like folate, then B2, then B6, then methylB12, then more B6, and then B1. You might want to look at the folate cycle, the methionine cycle, glutathione production, and the transulation pathway. You'll note that B3 or niacin was not a part of this. In fact, adding niacin can reverse all of what I've just described, So reacting badly to niacin is a clue.

Now, it's not just about B vitamins. For all of this to work, one also needs minerals and amino acids. Specifically, one needs magnesium, potassium, selenium, molybdenum and zinc for these two work, and one needs glycine, cysteine, glutamine, and methionine.

So, if you don't have anyone or even a few of these, you could have a problem.

The other thing one has to realize is that many of these nutrients have other uses in the body, and this process is in competition with those for use of these nutrients. For example, B6 is used in over a hundred reactions in the body.

I highly recommend educating yourself on methylation, because it is essential for proper immune function, neurotransmitter production, and proper DNA copying. in addition to detoxing toxic things that may be sequestered in your body. Additionally, if you do have a bit of all of these things and it is working to some degree, you may be mobilizing a particular toxin that fully can't get out of you because you're missing molybdenum for the trans operation pathway, or your gut is not in good shape and doing its job, or you're not eating enough fiber or drinking enough water. In that case the toxin may be redeposited in a more prominent place in your body and causing more symptoms than it did before.

Additionally, as glutathione production is so essential to this, if you make it and then are unable to recycle it due to lack of other antioxidants, you will quickly run out, and again you will suffer from symptoms of toxicity and oxidative and likely nitrousative stress, which include fatigue due to impaired complex one of your mitochondria as well as damage to mitochondrial membranes.

The only way to figure out what you need, is not to get hints from other people on a web forum who may have totally different biochemistry and genes than you do, and who may have been exposed to an entirely different batch of toxins than you, but to do a comprehensive nutrient test, or a batch of single nutrient tests, to figure out what your status is of each one of these nutrients.

The best test I know of to do it is the Genova diagnostics NutrEval test. When I do this, I typically will add a plasma amino acid panel and a doctor's data essential minerals test. A second choice might be a.great plains OAT test, again with plasma as well as urine amino acids, and the essential minerals, though it doesn't take care of the lipids for cell membranes or antioxidants aside from vitamin C and glutathione. Other labs including the European lab of nutrients, HDRI, LabCorp, and Quest Diagnostics also order bits and pieces of these.

Not having the right balance of all these nutrients can really cause the body to suffer, can cause all sorts of mood abnormalities, lead to cancer, as well as all sorts of immune system problems.
 
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Wishful

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Many people, and many doctors just can't understand the strange things that happen with ME/CFS.
Yes, I had one doctor tell me to take B12 to reduce fatigue. When I reported that it made me feel very strongly suicidal, he refused to accept that, because that's not a textbook response for B12 (for normal people). I think it's important to tell doctors that PWME may have unusual responses to treatments because some processes in our bodies are not functioning normally.
 

Pyrrhus

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Yes, I had one doctor tell me to take B12 to reduce fatigue. When I reported that it made me feel very strongly suicidal, he refused to accept that, because that's not a textbook response for B12 (for normal people). I think it's important to tell doctors that PWME may have unusual responses to treatments because some processes in our bodies are not functioning normally.
I got the same response from a well-respected ME/CFS doctor. When I told the doctor that I had strong negative reactions to B12, and could only tolerate 250mcg per week, he told me "That's not normal for ME/CFS." I was a bit taken aback, since I personally knew many ME patients who get the exact same effects as I get from B12. I only understood what he meant when I conducted this poll:
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/threads/b12-a-simple-5-second-poll-for-everyone.80150/
 
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Learner1

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I got the same response from a well-respected ME/CFS doctor. When I told Dr. Kaufman that I had strong negative reactions to B12, and could only tolerate 250mcg per week, he told me "That's not normal for ME/CFS." I was a bit taken aback, since I personally knew many ME patients who get the exact same effects as I get from B12. I only understood what he meant when I conducted this poll:
https://forums.phoenixrising.me/threads/b12-a-simple-5-second-poll-for-everyone.80150/
So, what is your status for:
  • B1
  • Molybdenum
  • Glutathione
  • B6
  • Heavy Metals
  • Mycotoxins
These can all greatly affect one's ability to tolerate B12.