More on the knee

It’s been a while since I quit my job and began to run the knee tests. A set of blood tests that cost me Rs 8000 *faints*, bone density tests and appointments with the top doctor in the city. Thank you New Mum on the Block. The appointments don’t Β come easy though and I had a one month plus wait but it was worth it.

The problem is simple, the cartilage and bone are wearing out due to the lack of Vitamin D. I also seem to have an excess of Vitamin B 12 which is supposed to be water soluble. He doesn’t know what to do about that. The dermatologist I am seeing for my pimply face was boggled by it too. Excess Vit B 12? Never come across it before. And so I turn to you as usual, wise internetz. Ever been diagnosed with it? What does it do to your system? Which of my ailments can I blame it for?

That said, I’m walking at least once a day for an hour or so. Building up strength in the legs so that the pressure goes off the kneecap. I am avoiding the stairs (which isn’t easy in a duplex). I am not better yet, but getting away from the toxic work atmosphere has helped greatly. I continue to work with the publication along with doing other freelance work so its pretty much win-win. And here I thought that was never possible.

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85 thoughts on “More on the knee

  1. Since B vitamins are water soluble and if my 8th grade biology textbook was not wrong, the excess should flush out of the system. However, the way your body absorbs B12 may be different – so you may need excess to meet your daily requirement…?
    Our pediatrician had me started on Vitamin D since it’s touted to be the “vitamin of the year”. I take a supplement daily…

  2. Ah! Now you atleast have a diagnosis! I have never come across Vit B12 surplus. I am so surprised that you have lack of Vit d…with all the sun in India that is indeed a suprise. Although I have no knowledge in those above areas, as a PT I would suggest you do hip strengthening and not just knee muscle strengthening – talk to your PT if you have one. I suffer from similar knee problems – no diagnosis yet and thats what I have been advised to do (the gluts and hip strengthening). Hope this helps!

    • exactly. and because i am in the sun a LOT. I garden, I walk, I used to spend 4 hours of a commute in the sun. in winter i lie in the sun like a lazy lizard. you’d suggest i get a PT?

      • Yes. A good one who is uptodate with current techniques. Strenghtening your hip and knee will take load off the knee and help it heal itself a little.

  3. I have a low Vit D problem too..Did you have any pills before the test. Excess Vit B12 can show if you took any medicines before the test. Or if you are taking any supplementary vit D, check to see if there is B12 in that. Quite possibly any skin ailments can be blamed on it. Have you had any discoloration or itchy skin recently

  4. “Conditions that can increase B12 levels include:

    * Liver disease (such as cirrhosis or hepatitis)
    * Myeloproliferative disorders (for example, polycythemia vera and chronic myelocytic leukemia)”

    Any oral supplements that you take might have cobalamin or something in the metabolic process…
    Also, since excess Vit B12 should be removed in the urine, maybe get your kidneys tested?
    I would be wary though of finding a cause online- tends to make me paranoid and more often than not, they turn out wrong!

    My dad has too little Vit B12- his body cannot absorb it- pernicious anaemia, but I would think high cobalamin is due to inefficient metabolism by the body. But even so, excess Vit B12 is not believed to be toxic.

    Good luck!

      • Exactly. As far as possible avoid Dr.Google. (Never ever for our lil ones..believe me!) Have done it once when my 1.5 yrs son was running high fever and then had a terrible night till I saw the doc in the morn. I swear, more than help it calls the devil’s mind for a feast.

        Get well soon MM. I don’t like my family unwell. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  5. hi MM,
    have been a silent reader of your blog for some time now. love reading it.
    Vitamin D deficiency is a very serious thing as Vitamin D is helps the body absorb calcium. no matter how much calcium you get, if you don’t have vitamin D the calcium doesn’t get absorbed at all.so if you dont get enough calcium that will mjake your bones weak. calcium and vitamin D both are needed for strong bones. my advice, start taking a vitamin D supplement and try and go out in the sun more, our skin absorbs and synthesises vitamin D when its exposed to the sun. i am assuming you are about my age (33) so you need 800 IUs 9international units)of vitamin D everyday.
    hope this helps.

  6. Glad to hear of some progress! As for the excess B12 – asked the bro, he said, though rare, it isn’t that mind-boggling πŸ™‚ B12 toxocity usually is caused by ingesting too many vitamin supplements – not the case for you, I assume? But skin problems are one of the symptoms, so there ya go. More seriously, B12 excess, seen naturally, is usually due to genetic reasons – so more tests may be called for.

    • hit the nail on the head. very much the case for me i’d think. no one suggested it. i am on some 12 different medications by 12 different doctors for 12 diff problems ranging from PCOS to the knee to back probs. have stopped every single one and am now only taking the knee meds and walking daily.

  7. Glad you are getting to pay some attention to ur knee and health as such. I’m sorry, i dont knwo the answers to any of ur Qs, but i do have one suggestion ..Exercise and Physio Therapy.
    i see that ur already walking, but I’m sure there will be more specific exercises that will help the knee. If u hvnt already tried physical therapy, i highly recommend it.

    Good Luck with getting and feeling better sooon!

  8. Sometimes you discover strange things!

    For my neck problem, the doc and then my therapist told me that I was overly straight! I walk straight, I sit straight, I stand straight…my erect posture was the problem. I was his first patient who he has had to tell to hunch. Now the hunching seems to be helping!

    • ohmygod! I was told that too! that i sit so straight at my desk that it gives me a backache. we’re strange creatures, we human beings. clearly we were not meant to be erect!

  9. Have you tried cutting red meat, chicken and shellfish for a while? I believe that vegetarian diet might help get the Vitamin level back to an equilibrium value. Sorry about the health issues dear mm 😦

  10. Have you tried cutting red meat, chicken and shellfish for a while? I believe that vegetarian diet might help get the Vitamin level back to an equilibrium value. Sorry about the health issues dear mm 😦 Take care!

    • i don’t eat red meat and shell fish is rare. we eat chicken once a week .. but i’m okay with that going too since i am not much of a non-vegetarian. i like it, but i can learn to live without it for a while. let me try it. thank you.

      • Was going to say the same MM. As a veggie I have to work hard to get my family B12 because there are actually no good veggie sources – it is animal based. Before you cut anything out of your diet though make sure you know that’s what’s contributing to it. (this coming from a hard core veggie!)

  11. There are several knee exercises which will help, which involve clenching and relaxing the knee muscles. Also, tie weights to your ankles, sit on something higher than a dining chair so you can swing your feet easily, and raise each foot alternately till it is parallel to the floor, then lower it gently. Even if you don’t have ‘proper’ weights, just put a 1/2 kg packet of dal or salt into a bag which you can tie around your ankle. It may look silly, but it is effective!
    Take care, and keep thinking positive.

  12. sad 😦
    never heard of it before… hope you find a decent solution soon.
    glad you could get out of that ‘toxic’ work atmosphere on time. yay to that. πŸ™‚

      • MM

        I was going thru all the comments and I see a lot of suggestions..which should help you.

        The thing is most docs dismiss services of a physiotherapist very easily and ask us to simply β€œexercise”..if at all. The point is each exercise helps our body in a different way and it is very very important to do what YOUR body needs. No one but a PT has the knowledge to determine that. When I had an arthroscopic biopsy done for my knee in India(2008), the docs did the same with me. Taught me 2 exercises, right after the surgery for strengthening and left it at that. My knees took forever to recover and by the time they did..it was time for the 2nd surgery..that I got done here in the US(in 2009) and the docs here just told me that PT was an option, but not mandatory..V n I decided we are going to try it..and it REALLY HELPED! I went twice a week for over 8 weeks and was pretty good about repeating those exercises at home too. It was amazing to see my knee slowly gain strength. Thanks to my PT..now, I’m addicted to exercise ( a lot different and more than walking, cycling and other regular gym-related workouts). One more important thing to remember is to not stop these exercises once you start feeling better. The key is to keep doing them as, all said n done that part of our body is a li’l weak and will need special attention almost all life-long. so, I really urge you to get a report from ur doc about your knee and what exactly is the issue with it and take it to a PT.

        Ps: Don’t mean to sound preachy, but I know how it feels with a knee problem..so!

          • me too, PV.

            i suffered with one bum knee and then two bum knees for almost six months. then i finally saw a physiotherapist, and within a week, life was back to normal. i have flat feet … so i just walk funny putting pressure on muscles supporting parts of knees that i didn’t know existed. physio helped strengthen those muscles and other so that there would be no pressure on the joint. i admit that i wasn’t very regular with PT but i will surely get back to it as soon as I have some more time. it was EXCELLENT.

            call it coincidence, my doctor called me today with results from bloodwork i had done last week. i am low in vitamin D lol. but i have a reason. been staying indoors a lot because of allergies in the last two months. time to head back out. πŸ™‚

        • Agree with PV. When my knee got really bad, I went in for physio for 2 weeks, and MAN, it felt so great what she did, and the simple exercises she taught.

          And yup, I’ve stopped the exercises and your post and PV’s comment is a good wake-up call!!! πŸ™‚

  13. Hey,

    I had the same problem of drastic lack of Vitamin D. I went to the doctor because it caused me to be too exhausted and depressed. And yes, my bones were weak too. A supplement has worked wonders! Hope you get out of it soon!

  14. take care MM…happy for you about the job and freelancing…I wish I could help some way….But will pray for your knee…..hope the pain disappears soon….

  15. Do you eat your meals on time ?? Do you have a tedency to skip meals and make do with a quick snack ??? Reason is that these lead to a metabolic malfuntion which can cause increased B12 levels.

  16. dear mm,
    agree with parul’s question: where is House M.D.?
    on another note: Happy Diwali (sorry for being late)
    Am back in delhi
    love Armana
    p.s. The Brat does look more like OA….:)

  17. You SAVED my life! I had a blood test around 6 months ago and was diagnosed with a lack of B12. The doc suggested me to take vitamin b12 pills, just the ones over the counter and I have been taking it since. He also asked me to come for a blood test after a few months which I never did. Since the last few weeks I have this crazy body rash and severe lower back pain (I am 25 years old 😐 ) I read your post and called my doctor and apparently I now have an excess which is what is causing this. Had I continued taking those pills, I could have had a heart problem!

    I am SO glad that I read your post and googled it.

    Thanks and much love!

    PS~Check this http://www.ehow.com/list_5994974_dangers-high-b12_.html

  18. MM, AFAIK, walking doesn’t strengthen leg muscles much, it’s a great cardio exercise.

    I had similar knee issues and after spending as much time and money, it was diagnosed a simple muscle weakness. I did isotonic strength exercises for the quadriceps (thigh) and calves, which help the knee to flex and stretch.

    You can google for these, or consult a trainer for beginner exercises for your specific problem. I was advised against lunges and squats for my particular mechanics. The simplest one was to put a thick rolled up towel under both knees and press downwards and hold for many repetitions, 2-3 times a day on a firm surface. It really helped.

    Here’s a link http://www.livestrong.com/article/214431-isotonic-exercises-for-the-knee/

    And yeah, once you get more flexible and less rigid in everything in your life, your knee improves too πŸ™‚

    Hugs.

  19. Hi,

    I agree with “starry” on this. You might want to see a physiotherapist who can show you some simple exercises for the knee. Be careful about cycling. There are issues on how high the seat can be and also if there is asymmetry in the way you cycle. So, its better to go to a gym and get a trainer to check that when you cycle.
    Vit. D supplements need a Vit.E supplement as that is essential for the absorption of Vit.D. The ideal option is to have 2-3 glasses of milk a day along with your vit. E as calcium is absorbed better from natural sources than tablets. Whether you like drinking milk or not is a different matter..:).
    Good luck

    • see this is the funny part. i love milk. i have two mugs a day. i eat cheese. i love the outdoors and spend a lot of time outside. so this whole thing baffles me. thanks for the cycling warning. our building does have a gym but i have no idea how good the instructor is

      • Basically when you cycle, the seat should be forward enough that your knee never hyperextends, there should be s light bend at the most extended leg position. And use those exercise cycles that have a back support and pedals in the front, not the ones on which you perch unsupported!

      • ha ha ha sorry i laugh here but I used to have my two cups of milk everyday from childhood and than my calcium and vit D both came low and I was like what?????????

        my gynae she told me stop drinking milk the only thing it does it cause harmonal imbalance (PCOS???) and fibroids (I have had a surgery myself because what u really get in market is all steriod induced milk etc etc

        curd is a much a safer option, the bacteria is makes it safer as well the calcium easy to absorb

  20. I see lots of folks chiming in on Vit D – recent research shows that autoimmune disorders seriously impair Vit D absorption. L is a golfer – is out in the worst of TX summer days, but was still found to have severe Vit D deficiency – apparently his thyroid disease triggers this. Similarly, the fact that you have an excess of B12, which also (usually) indicates autoimmune/genetic reasons, could be the reason for Vit D deficiency. The other postulated reasons are use of sun-block/sunscreen, pollutants in the air etc. All this to say, Vit D deficiency is commoner than thought, and may need prescription strength Vit D tablets to mitigate. OTC versions may not be strong enough – L needs prescription strength – taken in bursts (two a day for a week, then nothing for 3 weeks etc.)

  21. Hi MM,

    Yohaan also suffers from a severe defficiency of vit-D and calcium. In babies it causes convulsions if not treated, and can cause terrible aches and pains and cramps in adults…you might need to take prescription vit-d and cal supplements. Also, your pcos could be in some way responsible for all the problems since essentially everything boils down to our hormones.

    I feel you should drink tons of water and try pranayama apart from your usual recommended excercise. I see a lot of folks doing this and in general keeping well. Sorry, dont quite know about the specifics about your condition but just the pediatric case studies coz of Yo. I hope you feel better soon. Much love.

    h
    dubai

  22. Hmm..I’m really confused by this “walk a lot” advice. I’ve been told walking puts pressure on the knee and causes wear and tear. My dad was recently asked to stop using the treadmill for the same reason. (full disclosure – he is 57) Exercise is lazy prescription that fits most urban adults who lead a sedentary lifestyle. But guess thats not applicable in your case.
    I see that heaps of people have recommended you see a physio…that sounds like a good idea. Those guys can get you to do more targeted exercises while avoiding any potential damage from exercising by yourself.

  23. Dunno abt yr excessive issues (typical!) but my old team leader had a gimpy knee and had them both operated upon a few years earlier. He played football regularly and wore the cartilage out. Seems to be a common occurrence.

  24. ok last comment I promise πŸ™‚ (I have blasted this post with comments havent I)

    whatever u do please please please take extra effort and care of the knee…I know the damn knee pain and I know how much it hurts though I know u have been suffering much longer than me but my doc other day gave me the same lecture that if is any other joint in ur body I wont be so worried but because its the knee I want u to think of it as the prime importance in life…

    hugs MM

  25. don’t know much about the deficiency/excess of vitamins, but i *do* know about bones and joints πŸ™‚ been there, injured them all! and all this talk of walking, cycling and running/walking on the treadmill is scary. I would think you need no/low impact exercise; most physiotherapists and sports med specialists recommend swimming. In fact, even walking around in the pool is supposed to be good. there. my 2 bits to this online medical convention πŸ™‚

  26. Hope you get better soon MM. My cousin had been diagnosed with excess Vit B12 many years ago (she’s fully recovered now, although her husband may disagree- he insists she’s still wonky in the head πŸ™‚ and it had been attributed to too much dried fish in her diet. Once she cut that out she recovered fully, she’d also taken some physio for a few months.
    Good to hear that you’ve found the win win work wise, there’s hope for me yet.

  27. hi mm,

    make sure that the vitamin d you are taking is from natural sources. synthetic vitamins cause more problems. you need to water using the following formula. 1/2 of your body weight in ounces. if you are 140pounds, you need to drink 70 oz water. this would flush out the toxins.

    the water you drink needs to filtered water. check for good brands like espring or some nsf certified water filters with carbon filters and uv rays. check consumer labs for water filters. water with heavy metals could also impair the absorption of nutrients.
    check for a digestive and liver cleanse system. go for a 1. digestive enzyme + prodigest cleanse followed by a liver cleanse. your body may not be producing enough enzyme to digest vitamin b. you would need to detox.

    one of the best things todo would be to consult the kerala ayurvedic treatment and massage.

    i have been a silent reader for yours for ages and have been reading about your knee problems with concern.

    take care MM! Enjoy the plants from mom n dad. They are my fav. in your home. πŸ™‚

      • MM,

        That’s exactly what I was asking myself when i was writing to you. I used to wonder about this. But knee pain could be because of so many things.

        If you could, get these two books.

        1.The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps – Brenda Watson

        2. The Wonder of Probiotics: A 30-Day Plan to Boost Energy, Enhance Weight Loss, Heal GI Problems, Prevent Disease, and Slow Aging – John R. Taylor N.D.

        I am sure you are doing a thorough research on the subject. Do update us with a post.

        If you have any questions, you have my email id above.

        TC

        • MM,

          Yoghurt is so much better than milk. I am not sure about the milk production in India now. But in North America we have rBGH in milk. Yoghurt has so many good probiotic bacteria in it. But that alone is not enough. If you see, all the ancient cultures have fermented foods. The idly plus curd combo recommended by doctors for sick children calms down their stomuch. There is something to the old grandmothers’ tales (like we used to joke around before we became wise).

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