Just wondered whether having a B12 deficiency would affect absorption of iron tablets?

Having seen a couple of other posts relating to B12 it's just got me wondering whether low B12 levels could be a reason why my iron store levels aren't improving very much after nearly a year on the tablets. I have never been tested for B12 and folate levels....Just curious although I was orignially diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia so I don't know if this makes any difference.

5 Replies

  • It can do. Many people with B12 deficiency actually have auto immune atrophic gastritis (this often causes Pernicious Anaemia and leads to the B12 deficiency).

    Get yr GP to test you for



    Vit D




    Intrinsic Factor (deficient in Pernicious Anaemia)

    Have you been diagnosed as a Coeliac?

  • Hi Fiona, have been diagnosed coeliac and following the gf diet for just over a year. Just before Xmas a different doctor put me back on iron tablets as my ferritin levels had started to decrease again and he gave me a form for blood testing in April but he has only asked for ferritin, b12 and folate I suppose this is some progress and I'll have to ask for other tests if he thinks it is appropriate when the results come back. Have been on iron for 10 months out of the last year.

  • Odd - has he/she also requested the ttg test to check for your anti-bodies to gluten? If you're not taking in gluten then your villi should be healing (albeit can take 1 yr+) and so you should be absorbing iron. If your B12 comes back as low they need to run further tests for Pernicious Anaemia.

    The other tests are standard check ups for Coeliacs so it's worth asking what your most recent tests for these were and what the levels were. May nudge them to check them!

  • Hi Fiona

    ttg test was done at the beginning of december with results of 1.1. Not expecting to have another ttg test until the end of the year. I think I'm in one of those scenarios where only one thing at a time is addressed this is a real pain especially when I sometimes feel really cr*p. I haven't put on any weight yet even though I eat far more than anyone else in my household and they are all moaning about the excessive portion sizes. As the nhs seems to have cutback so much have been wondering how one knows whether the villi are ok when the policy has been changed so a follow up endoscopy is never done!!!

  • Agree with GFG, you must get your B12,Folate and Vit D tested, and your Intrinsic Factor as if you don't have the Intrinsic Factor you can absorb B12, and this is Pernicious Anaemia and will to start B12 injections as the B12 tablets will be no good. Although you could just be Deficient. Many areas have different Level Guides, Mine is 200 to 900, some have a higher cut off point so you might have to make your case for injections!! Try the PAS website they are a charity support group there other online New Beginnings is another.


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