I rang my GP surgery this morning as I've been feeling quite tired recently and it is 3 months since I last had a B12 shot. I welled up with tears which was actually about something completely different and I think the receptionist must have felt really sorry for me as the GP called back almost immediately. He was very nice and I got more sense out of him on B12 deficiency than I have from anyone else so far. I was diagnosed with the deficiency when I was in hospital last December after breaking my ankle falling down the stairs and twisting them in the trainers left lying at the bottom in the middle of the night. It needed pinning and I ended up in hospital for 10 days - 7 waiting for the operation and then a couple recovering afterwards.
I've tried looking at the symptoms and understanding what it is before but there isn't that much out there on the web that I could find that made sense. The only things I could really relate to were feeling tired, depression and bowel movements varying from constipated to definitely not constipated. However, from what the GP said today it sounds as if it's really something that causes other problems and I'm lucky that it was caught before the other problems started - mainly nerve damage and anaemia - makes the red blood vessels enlarge and then you get anaemic and apparently my red blood cells are still a little on the diddy side - bit like me ... my dentist once told me I had diddy teeth - about 30 years ago ... still have a few of them left but a number have succumbed to the ravages of time - one at the front died as a result of banging it on a side in the kitchen a month or so after the accident above when I was confined to the house and having to hop everywhere.
I've had depression for years and, from what the GP was saying B12 deficiency causes all the other problems - anaemia and nerve damage within about 5 years ... and usually isn't picked up for 5 years at which point damage is done, so guess I was rather lucky ... though I'm still struggling with the ankle and I think I'll probably have to have an operation at some point to have the metalwork taken out, though it's also possible that everything could just settle itself down.
Doctor also said that a number of his patients say that the injections actually wear off after about 2.5 months and they start to notice themselves feeling really tired - which is how I've been feeling for the last couple of weeks so I seem to be on the 2.5 month cycle as well. He said that there wasn't much point in getting the B12 levels checked again as the injections amount to about 3 years worth of B12 so a drop in levels wouldn't show up whilst I was on the shots ... and I don't think he'd recommend leaving it 3 years for it all to dissipate.
The picture is my jar of marmite - a good source of B12 - and I do try getting as much B12 as I can but it sounds as if the problem is digesting the B12 through the gut which is why I need the injections. I'm a vegetarian which can be a problem with B12 as it only comes from animal products ... works with marmite because strictly speaking yeast is an animal! However, I eat cheese and egg so it probably wasn't my diet that was causing the problem, particularly as I'm recognising the process of getting really tired in the days after about 2.5 months since the last shot - which makes me think 'time for another shot'.
Will do another post, may be about the thing that was making me burst into tears but think I need to go for a shower now.