Vitamin b12 deficiency : Hi I,m just... - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association

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Vitamin b12 deficiency


Hi I,m just wondering if anyone has a vitamin b12 deficiency after there oesphagectomy . I,ve been feeling breathless and I know that can be a symptom I also seem to be getting a lot of anxiety as well. A recent blood test showed some protein but nothing in the urine. Does anyone know if this could be my body not absorbing certain nutrients? My doctor also sent me for a bone marrow test and I,m still waiting for the results .

16 Replies

I was told to take magnesium and b12 because I'm on high dose PPI's as they block nutrient absorption. I would ask your doctor if you take PPI's after your surgery.

Molly6460 in reply to toneman

Hi yes I was taking 60mg of lansaprozole but I,m cutting down to 30mg a day to see how I go on I,ve been taking it for nearly three years now and it does seem to be a high dose I,ve also had back fractures which could have been caused by pi’s so that’s why I,m trying to come down.

toneman in reply to Molly6460

Yes all of us are prone to the side effects or possible side effects of long term PPI use. Which are thinning bones and vitamin absorption etc. On the bright side, vitamin B12 can be supplemented without harm as its one of the vitamins like C that the body can discard what is not needed. I take 5000 mcg a day which is 83,333% of daily requirements with no worry. Unlike vitamins such as D or iodine etc. which the body stores and can be harmful if overdone

Hello there. I am 14 years post oesophagectomy. I have never taken any medications but I do supplement my diet with iron having had one occasion where it was low. This was manifesting as breathlessness. Meanwhile, I have had periodic bloods done and never been low in anything other than the iron. I would ask your GP to do a blood screen just to be sure.

Hi molly I am now 9 years from my Ivor Lewis operation and yes b12 is just one of the side affects we need as our new plumbing system acts differently so I have taken 1 b12 tablet every day , if things change for you ! You will be offered b12 injection after a blood test has shown low levels , so I would start taking them ASAP but also let your support workers know !

Molly6460 in reply to hunsdon

Thanks for your reply does vitamin deficiency show in normal blood tests .

Not in mine. B12 has to be requested in addition to other blood tests - Full Blood Count isn’t exactly as it sounds

Yes as far as I am aware going by my regular blood test

Molly,For what it is worth my surgeon insisted I have a vitamin B12 injection every 12 weeks and that has been the case now for the 16 years since my op. As a consequence I have high readings of B12. Sportsman

Molly6460 in reply to sportsman

Thanks I think I need to speak to the doctor I had some blood tests done which came back normal although another test showed protein in the blood which is possibly caused by not absorbing b12 so I was then sent to have a bone marrow test and i.m still waiting for results 5 weeks now so I think i.ll have to chase them up . I have a phobia now regarding any medical issues so I need to get in the right frame of mind before I can ring up 😟

Mauser1905 in reply to Molly6460


If you had Oesophagectomy, you should be prescribed Creon capsules. The presence of protein in urine or oily stools (oily layer on the water) can be indication of enzyme deficiency.

Danstable in reply to sportsman

I'm also on B12 injections every 12 weeks. Latest bloods (2 years after surgery) show very low vitamin D and Iron, so I will going on to supplements for each of these as well.

I'm surprised B12 supplements aren't standard practice after Ivor Lewis.

Mauser1905 in reply to Danstable


you are correct. there is not a standard protocol which gives "surviorship care" to primary care nor secondary. all are at the mercy of their surgeon/' s team and GP care. Hit and miss. Not all are lucky like yourself and "sportman" for surgeon insisting for such meds.

I even had to fight to get me on the list for yearly flu vaccination.

Same with B12 and all.

Suggest asking fr Forceval prescription from your GP. this should be standard prescription for survivors, Especially for those on the PPI.

I am waiting for blood test results at the moment. I have needed iron in the past and potasium(I think) which was picked up in routine tests when I was rushed to hospital with what turned out to be a large hernia of the diagphram. I am sure absorption is affected by both the loss of some of the digestive system and the lanzoprazol

Herniation of diaphragm or ADH is an emergency and requires immeaite surgical intervention. Hope your case was seen in time.

Yes thanks, survived all the blue lights, hospital transfers etc and was very well looked after. Just try not to have your emergencies on a Saturday night !

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