Depression & Blood Testing

I saw my GP last week and asked her if I could have a blood screening. This was mostly because my manager had suggested it and it turns out that it was worthwhile.

My results came back showing that I had a low folate level at 3.8ug/L so the GP did me a prescription for Folic Acid 5mg to take for three months. My B12 level was 443ng/L. I don’t think this is considered as low in the UK but I read that in Japan the recommended level is 500-1300pmol/L. I’ve started taking B12 supplements now which was my own decision.

I’ve copied the below information regarding symptoms of B12Β and folate deficiency:

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Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, you could become anemic.Β A mild deficiency may cause no symptoms. But if untreated, it may lead to symptoms such as:

  • Weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness
  • Heart palpitations and shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • A smooth tongue
  • Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
  • Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, and problems walking
  • Vision loss
  • Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes

Symptoms due to anaemia are caused by the reduced amount of oxygen in the body.

  • Common symptoms include tiredness, having little energy (lethargy), feeling faint, and becoming easily breathless.
  • Less common symptoms include headaches, heartbeats suddenly becoming noticeable (palpitations), altered taste and ringing in your ears (tinnitus).
  • You may look pale.

Other symptoms may include numbness is your hands and feet. Some people may also have depression.

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It’s interesting to see that a low B12 or folate can actually give you symptoms of depression so this is something to bear in mind. Hopefully now that we (me & GP) are aware of this I can start to treat the deficiency and hopefully it will resolve some of the tiredness and depressive symptoms. I’m unsure how much of the social anxiety is causing me to be depressed compared to how much the blood deficiency is. As long as I can increase my energy levels I will be much happier or more motivated!

 

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