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B6 Toxicity
This is more of a comment than a question, but I would welcome info from anyone who has any experience with this situation. I took a prescription called Folcaps (which had 25 mgs of pyridoxine in it) for a year. In February of 06 I began experiencing symptoms which have now been diagnosed as Pyridoxine (b6) Toxicity Induced Neuropathy. I did not get this diagnosis until August 15, after four MRIs, several specialists and balance testing. My b6 blood level was 81 - the maximum safe level in this test was 32. When reading about b6 toxicity one reads about tingling hands and feet and being "wobbly on your feet" and things of that nature. It can be much more than that. Be careful with Vitamin b6. It's not known if the neurological damage is reversible. Some studies show it is, some show it is not. The damage I have suffered extends to my thyroid, my blood pressure has been lowered (to an unsafe level - it was healthy before), my balance has been damaged - I don't know where my right foot is in space, I've had insomnia, my symptoms are too lengthy to list here. The fatigue that I have been experiencing for the past several months has started to lift now that I've stopped taking the medication, but it is still profound...another hallmark symptom of b6 poisoning. This is a serious toxic situation and one that is not understood by the medical community. I am waiting to find out how much of my life I will get back. I am rebuilding my stamina & neuropathways with an optimistic outlook. And getting the word out. MD's don't know about vitamins. Work with nutritionists. Don't go it solo
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Wow, this is eye opening.  I thought B was water soluble... i.e. pee it out if you have too much.  I will pay more attention now.
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I have been drinking an OTC "energy drink" with 8333% of B6 in it ( and hight percentages of other vitamins) daily for appx 3 years now.  I know I am addicted because I crave it at 10 am every day.  Am I to understand that this is going to do these horrible things to me?  My body is not washing out this vitamin as it does with the vitamin C and niacin?
lsstressedout
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I had all those electric shock feelings as I was healing and it got much worse rather than better for a few months after quitting the vitamins. And the stabbing, burning pain. Now, it has been almost seven months and the pain is almost gone. I am not myself again yet as I too used to be physically fit and now have lost a lot of muscle strength. I still have twitchy muscles too. But, I know I am healing and your boyfriend will too. For me, I realized I have B12 and Vitamin D deficiency so needed to take those vitamins and avoid B6. I live in the NW with no sunlight and have been breastfeeding a baby so all my nutrients went to him.
I have heard it takes about three years for full recovery. The thing I don't really understand is why this happens. The first time it happened to me (two years ago) I was taking a fairly high dose of B complex. The second time (seven months ago) I was only taking a prenatal vitamin and having a packet of E-C every day.
For some reason, there are some people who just can't tolerate B6 and it becomes like a poison in the system. I have heard that we might not produce the enzyme needed to process it.
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okay...it's been a year since my symptoms have developed and about 6 months since I stopped using the Cerefolin - mega vitamin my neurologist gave to me for low b/12.....which also contained mega doses of b/6....I have atrophy in my feel...have difficulty walking, lost arms/legs strength.  I found a new neurologist that I am going to ...I am going to ask to be tested by something called Charcot Marie Tooth...I have some symptoms of this disease as well as my daughters.  There are a list of medications that you shouldn't take...b/6 is one of them (mega doses).  I suggest that you guys take a look at the symptoms for this disease and see if this why your reaction to b/6 was toxic.  It's a disease that not a lot of doctors know about...in the state of Pennsylvania there are only 8 doctors I've found listed that actually have experience with this specific disease.  The most common symptoms are hammertoes and high arches...but there are so many more.  It is important to know if you have it as there are many medications that are toxic to CMT patients..including penicillian.
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Excessive vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) intake (that is over 100mg/day) causes sensory and peripheral neuropathy. Some symptoms are: unsteady gait, paresthesia (tingling/pricking) and impaired tendon reflexes, and also cause degeneration of the dorsal root ganglia in the spinal cord, loss of myelination, degeneration of the sensory fibers in peripheral nerves.
Tolerable upper limit for adults is 100mg.
1998 RDA ranges for Vitamin B6: 1.1 mg to 2.0 mg day (based on age sex and pregnant and lactating.)
B6 is found in plant foods, animal foods (meat) and whole grains.
B6 is lost when foods are highly processed.

Plasma PLP concentrations are thought to be the best indicator of vitamin B6 tissue stores. 24 hour urinary test over 1-3 week period is recommended to more accurately assess vitamin B6 status.

Eating a balance whole diet is best; if you take multiple supplements - make sure you are not exceeding the RDA and if you are taking medications - check with your pharmacist and MD about Drug Nutrient Interactions. Some meds may interfere with those supplements or vice versa.

Hope this helps! Stay Healthy

(Referenced from S.Gropper: Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 4th ed, 2005)
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I recently took about 200mg/day B6 in addition to a B-Complex at about 30mg/day.  I took this to help with menstral issues.  I have taken a B-Complex for a long time, with no issues, but not this high of dose.  Within 10 days of adding the extra 200mg/day, I had some mild dizziness and maybe a little tingling.  I stopped taking it right away but in the days following, I mostly noticed problems with my vission - well dizziness but feeling like it was harder to focus.  About the same time I had gotten a new high quality food based multi supplement from my acupuncturist, and after a week or so after my B6 symptoms subsided (although not totally gone) I started the new food based supplement which included 100mg/day of B6.  Within a few days, similar symptoms were back - not as intense and mostly related to dizziness, blurry vision.  So I stopped the multi and I also stopped a green drink which I had been consuming for a long time b/c it has a food form of B6 (it's kind of like a multi too).  So then again after a week or two with nothing and things improved, I just went back to my green drink.  After a few days, I seems to be worsening again.  I can't understand how maybe 10 days of this non-food based 200mg B6 has made it so that now I can't tolerate food source supplements, especially the green drink which I've used for years and is basically just food.  I'm hoping someone can tell me if my symptoms sound like B6 toxicity - they're hard to explain - I don't have the pain some of you mention - but it seems that I have a harder time seeing and focusing - and sometimes that's mixed with mild dizziness and slight loss of balance.  Also, does anyone know if I'm now not going to be able to tolerate food based B6 just b/c of this one short incident.  Should I wait a certain amount of time b/4 I take anything, and then I'll be able to tolerate it.  Or will this always be an issue for me?  I need other things in the green drink and multi - again they are food based, but it sure seems like when I take them I get a little worse again.  I'm having a really hard time knowing what to do and how can I ever explain this to a doctor - its hard to describe my symptoms. I appreciate any help anyone can give me!!!  Thanks!!!
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i'm feeling encouraged by many of the comments. one thing i'm interested in knowing from those who have healed within three years, does the pain gradually go away or somewhat instantly go away? does year one feel more painful than year two?
zapper 11
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I'm breastfeeding now. and just recently I found I'm toxic with B6. I taking B6(50mg) for several month, everything was fine, baby and myself. and just around two month ago, I took a Calcium & Magnesuim pill with B6, then problem happened, I feel pain, numbness from my fingers and toes. Then I stoped it. However, my baby has problem, first she show up skin problem, the temper, the red eye, sweating, coughing, weight lossing, night cry ... I talked with baby's pediatrician about that, he had no clue. just gave us infantol for that. first few days, baby was ok, problems almost dispeared,however, then I found she start overexited after the dose. (Infantol also has B6 in it) Then, I decided stop it. She looks ok. However, just few days ago, I suffer the B6 toxicity again from the food, this time a little bit serious. She also respond serious, she had so overexitation for 2 days, insomina again, weight loss 1.5 lbs in 2 days. Now myself, feel ok. However, I do really worry about her.

Would mind share your experience with me about your baby's treatment? Please give me some suggestion from your experience. I will be really appreciat for your help.
and also thanks god, i have chance to get so useful information, thanks veryone here for sharing your experience.
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I'm breastfeeding now. and just recently I found I'm toxic with B6. I taking B6(50mg) for several month, everything was fine, baby and myself. and just around two month ago, I took a Calcium & Magnesuim pill with B6, then problem happened, I feel pain, numbness from my fingers and toes. Then I stoped it. However, my baby has problem, first she show up skin problem, the temper, the red eye, sweating, coughing, weight lossing, night cry ... I talked with baby's pediatrician about that, he had no clue. just gave us infantol for that. first few days, baby was ok, problems almost dispeared,however, then I found she start overexited after the dose. (Infantol also has B6 in it) Then, I decided stop it. She looks ok. However, just few days ago, I suffer the B6 toxicity again from the food, this time a little bit serious. She also respond serious, she had so overexitation for 2 days, insomina again, weight loss 1.5 lbs in 2 days. Now myself, feel ok. However, I do really worry about her.

Would mind share your experience with me about your baby's treatment? Please give me some suggestion from your experience. I will be really appreciat for your help.
and also thanks god, i have chance to get so useful information, thanks veryone here for sharing your experience.
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I am new to this post but have found it so helpful. I have what I believe to be B6 toxicity: it has been a long 4 year story - a lot of ups and downs while taking 25-50mg / day...mainly severe fatigue, pins and needles, etc. I have seen so many doctors... I stopped taking my multiviatmin about 6 weeks ago and my experience has pretty much mirrored those above. "Total nightmare" sums it up best. I'll save you the medical side of the story since its pretty much useless....

I would welcome any feedback on this concept of getting worse initially. Could anyone tell me how long the detox process intensified before they felt a sense of improvement? Do symptoms change as you go through it? (Initially I was more fatigued, now the heavy neuro symptoms seem to be evolving, difficulty walking, nerves feel raw, muscle weekness and hands etc....) Has anyone else experienced severe "crashes" of profound weakness? At times I seem to experience these rapid, extreme declines, I wind up feeling inexplicably horrible, barely able to move or even speak. I notice that I become extremely thirsty and drinking a lot of water seems to help. It could be associated with increased activity or eating, but I really try to keep the B6 in my diet to a minimum. Last question -any practical advice on how to deal with B6 foods, aside from small meals and avoiding the high B6 foods. Right now I can't seem to tolerate them at all (except in small quantities with some wine at dinner as the alcohol seems to block B6 absorption) - is it best to really try hard to avoid them for a while or to try to tolerate small quantities? Thank you for any feedback...wish you all peace and comfort.
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Can anyone recommend a physician in the New York / Long Island area who is knowledgeable about B6 toxicity?
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Just a quick follow up since my last post....seems I have turned the corner and feel a definite sense of improvement. Have experimented and done a ton of research, and thought I'd share what helped most:

No supplements of any kind, lots of water, no formal excersise, just gentle stretching and getting back slowly to normal activity, 1-2 glasses of wine with dinner (reduces B6 levels... in moderation...never on an empty somach), eating very small & frequent meals, eating foods containing natural estrogens. B6 absorbtion seems to be reduced in the presence of estrogen foods. (While avoiding estrogen inhibiting foods) Apples help a lot, along with a few spoonfuls of olive oil each day.  Lists of other estrogen foods can easily be found online. I now believe many of the toxicity symptoms are not directly caused by the b6, but by the severe depression in estrogen levels and resulting hormone imbalance. (At least in women) I think getting estrogen levels back up helps tremendously with energy. Also - absolutely NO aspartame, phenylalanine, nutrasweet (all the same & in many diet/ sugar free foods). I stumbled upon "aspertame toxicity" in my research. It is not only horrible for healty people but seriously contraindicated for anyone with any type of existing nerve damage or anyone who is predisposed to it (such as diabetics). I had been using Trident gum - did not realize it is loaded with aspertame. My nerve symptoms improved dramatically almost immediately upon removing the aspertame from my diet. Read labels & learn the different names it is listed under - it can even be found in some non diet foods such as lemonade and jams. If you need to avoid sugar for any reason - check into stevia - natural and safe for diabetics. Hope this helps....
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Also want to add that you still need B12 and even more so when healing nerves. The b12 rebuilds myelin. This was my mistake after B6 toxicity: I cut out all vitamins. AFter a few months, my symptoms were worse and my blood work showed my B12 had gone down significantly. Also, even though the standards in the US are low for B12 (300 is considered normal) you really need to have higher levels (around 1000) to be healthy neurologically, especially when healing. Taking high doses of methlycobalimin sublingual has changed my life!
You can NOT get toxicity to B12.
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I've been struggling with this pain for a year and a half now and have seen 15 Drs, including neurologists, who have no clue what I have. I'm pretty sure it's B6 toxicity. Anytime I eat any foods with B1, B3 or B6 in them, I'm in extreme pain for the next 6 or so hours. My hands and feet are always tingly, but by far and away is the extreme breast pain. It feels like someone's driving nails into my breasts with a hammer. Compression, a very very tight sports bra over my regular bra, is the only thing that lessens the pain. I haven't been able to find an explanation for this anywhere, but I think one of the posts here explains that wherever the most nerve damage occurred seems to be where the pain is greatest. I started taking B6 before I got pregnant and I think it reached toxic levels during pregnancy. Now, I'm only eating apples, celery, lettuce, sugar and a few other foods that don't contain vitamin B in them because I'm trying to lessen my pain and get the vitamin B out of my system.
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That compression, known as the "MS hug", is the compression of the nerves in the chest. It does NOT mean you have MS but does go a long with nerve damage. Often people with B12 deficiency get that feeling. I feel concerned about your current diet in terms of being well nourished. I have never heard of someone having toxicity symptoms just from foods...
Of course, listen to your body and if something makes you sick, avoid it. But you do need to get enough nutrition and if you are healing from nerve damage, you really need B12 as it restores the mylien on the nerves. Visit this forum for more info: http://forums.wrongdiagnosis.com/showthread.php?p=128623#post128623

Get well!
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Hi Savmay,

Thanks for your quick reply. I, too, am concerned about my current diet because there's not much that I can eat that doesn't cause extreme pain. Based on your Oct 29 post above, I did buy some B12 and have taken a small amount of that and will continue to do so.

Thanks!

Megan
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Megan,

Do you live in an area that has access to Naturopathic Doctors? They are Doctors who are trained in alternative therapies and also nutrition. YOu might find good support right now from someone who can guide you in this process. I want to make sure you are taking sublingual Methylcobalimin? Other forms of B12 are not as easily absorbed and can cause problems. A "small" amount may not be enough if some of your symtoms are due to B12 deficiency. I would recommend getting a full panel of bloodwork and checking all your vitamin and mineral levels so you will know what is truly going on. With such a limited diet, you could be making your symtoms worse through vitamin deficiencies. I was.

Sav
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Savmay,
  
  Thanks for letting me know about the kind of B12. I actually set that one back down at the store because I figured just taking a B12 pill would be easier than sublingual. Ooops.

  I happened to talk to a friend on Thursday who had seen a naturopathic Dr who helped her with a problem that she had. Thanks for the suggestion! I got the Dr's name and will definitely book and appointment.

Megan
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Megan,

Great! NDs are so skilled with these kinds of problems and it can be hard to figure it all out alone. the sublingual should be left in the mouth (best between gum and lip) for as long as possible to dissolve slowly. that is how you absorb it best! I can tell you that it will help so much in healing your nerve issues!

S
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Just had to put in my 2 cents. My mother & I both registered as toxic on Vitamin B 6 - she was taking 50 mg per day for carpal tunnel, I was taking 50 mg per day with Folic & B12 for High homocysteine levels. Apparently, some of us have a much lower tolerance level. I've been mis-diagnosed on this issue for so long!  After my mother tested toxic on B6, I spent over a year arguing with my doctors to test my B6 levels, before they finally did - and sure enough I was toxic as well.  I was told it was virtually impossible to become toxic by taking only 1 OTC supplement a day.  NOT TRUE!

Recently my doctor had me start taking a daily multi-vitamin and I started having neuropathy issues!  I never even thought about the fact that the multivitamin contains B6. How much you want to bet I stop taking it and things get better? Thank you so much for all these posts - it's very helpful to read everyone's experience.
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