Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Hi all,

I have very recently (within the past week) been told I have vitamin B12 deficiency. I was sent for blood tests following chest pains which spread to my back and have not disappeared or even improved for 3 weeks. I'm also feeling very drowsy and 'confused' (starting sentences and not being able to finish them) and quite stiff when walking (all very odd as I am only 28...).

I have started having B12 injections - second one today. Does anyone know if chest pains and the other symptoms above are in anyway linked to this deficiency or to the treatment, or has anyone experienced anything similar?

Any advice / suggestions will be greatly appreciated!



6 Replies


I was diagnosed just over 3 yrs ago and my B12 serum level was very low at 80. Ref range here is between 280-700. Yes, I had severe chest pains, heart palpitations, balance was terrible, couldn't walk for more than 5 minutes as the pain was so bad. Muscle aches, you name it, I had it and really thought that I was going to die. Also had very enlarged painful lymph nodes. Everyone is different but the standard 3 monthly injections after the initial loading injections was not enough for me. You also need to get a copy of your results from the Dr as very often, in nearly every case, you will need folate as B12 and folate need one another to work and some Dr's still don't understand this or will say that your folate levels (folic acid) are fine when they need to be higher. Also check your ferritin (Iron) levels. My Dr allowed me to have injections once a week for 6 months after my loading doses as I was still suffering. I now self inject once a week and need this level for me to remain healthy, although I still have bad days. Mental clarity has returned but the physical symptoms are still present to some degree. Good luck!


You may have other underlying problems , check back in your family for evidence of Auto-Immune problems pain very often comes with hypo thryroid , but absorbsion problems due to digestive issues mean levels of every thing need to be top of the range .


Dont worry the symtoms you have mentioned are all part of the parcel when you are not picking up oxygen properly. I had mild hair thinning, yawning, sleeping without resting etc. It will all go but it takes a few weeks then you wont know there is anything wrong.

Hope you feel better soon. I also take over the counter folic acid one a day pills which help the body absorb B!".



Hi all,

Thank you all for your replies.

My doctor told me that the 'normal' B12 level is 180 upwards and mine is 70 (which he said is OK because he's 'seen a lot lower'...). I've had all five injections now but I don't seem to have improved (still in pain, very drowsy, confused, stiff when walking, voice has practically disappeared, but I think that may be due to returning to work where I do nothing but talk). Going to give it until the end of the week and see how I feel with the intention of going back to see a doctor next week. I'll be sure to ask about all the things you have mentioned above.

Thank you all again... It's good to know I'm not alone / going mad with this!



Hi Kat,

I have just started my B12 today and only diagnosed yesterday, but have been suffering symptoms for a while ( I am ancient ;-) ) - here's hoping you feel better soon, I have read it can take a while to get relief - there is a table somewhere - I am sure I bookmarked it but cannot find it now - if I do I will post it here for you, but everyone is different.

If you have any concerns you should let your doctor know, jsut in case it is something else, they would know your medical history best ( I say that with some self irony as mine have no clue, but most docs are great).

Fingers crossed and wishing you the best,



Hi M,

How are you feeling following your B12? I keep hearing that it takes a while to get relief from this and it would appear that it is very true!!! I've been back to work this week (after almost 5 weeks off) as I thought some 'normality' would make me feel a bit better, however on day 2 the pains were creeping back, voice kept disappearing (difficult as I am a teacher!), I was starting sentences and not being able to finish them.. all very weird. By day 4 the pain was as bad as when I first got signed off work :( So heading back to the doctor's this week as I have tried everything they've suggested and I still feel rubbish. Feel like I've aged about 30 years in the past month.

Hope all is well with you.

Take care,



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