Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Why do the majority of medics assume that B12 injections 'cure' PA. They don't do the same with Diabetes and Insulin?

If you have diabetes then they will continue monitoring to make sure that you don't develop other symptoms even if you are taking insulin and controlling blood sugar levels but for some reason so many of is hear 'it can't be B12 because you are having injections. Does anyone know if there really is something fundamentally different going on here or is it just that people are confusing cure and treatment?

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because monitoring diabetes for doctors is very VERY simple, ie take a blood sugar reading and give more or less insulin/metformin as a result ie: they can go by BLOOD RESULTS and 'not symptoms'

you cannot monitor/treat PA with b12 blood results, it 'has to' be treated by symptoms and they prefer to give you antidepressants or amytriptline as those drugs do not need blood results to be dished out!!!! and they look better as they prescribed a drug and not a vitamin!!!

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Thanks for the response

- to be honest the medics can get it wrong with Diabetes as well - did with my brother - treated him as type 2 when he was actually type 1 (late onset) so he didn't respond to the medication and it was only when he did a bit of research into type 1 (mother's side of the family and recognised because she was involved in some clinical studies) and pointed out that it responded to a different group of drugs and was changed to those that the treatment started to work.

The point I was trying to make was really about the attitude that 'you are on injections so you don't need anything else and you don't need them more frequently' is just the wrong attitude and it has most definitely confused treatment and cure. If you are cured that is it - no further intervention needed. If you are treated then monitoring and adjustment is needed ... and that just doesn't seem to be happening most of the time. There's no recognition at all of the fact that people respond differently to treatments just one size fits all mentality which doesn't really do the profession any favours, either in terms of appearing caring ... or in terms of actually effectively improving the quality of people's lives.


It obviously is different per surgery, but all 3 in our family on B12 injections have yearly blood tests/ monitoring..we are not all at the same surgery/ county..


Thanks Marre. Its good that there are good medics out there.

My own experience however has been rather different and the attitude has so much been we've given you the shots so you are cured. There has been no monitoring, not even any real discussion with me on what B12 deficiency means in terms of symptoms to establish what symptoms I have (blood test done whilst in hospital after a fall). I get the impression that, aside from the circumstances of the diagnosis, I am unfortunately far from alone. I have even had a GP say to me that it couldn't be B12 because I am receiving shots ... and I certainly wouldn't have described him as uncaring - not by a long shot.

Monitoring to me means more than just taking blood samples and doing tests. My family has a long history of diabetes and the degree of monitoring - not just blood tests but regular check-overs to deal with other consequences - is so in contrast the to treatment I have received for B12D, yet a lot of the complications are potentially the same. There is a bit of me that suspects that my Mother may have some B12 issues that aren't being looked at because the symptoms look so like diabetes but it is really difficult for me to raise it with her - partly because she is now quite confused a lot of the time - but also because we have a difficult relationship anyway.


I know what you say is right, many do not get any monitoring, and in my family's case it is most probably because I warned all and have been trough the mill of late diagnoses, its all in your mind etc . Now everyone knows its something that runs in our family and more care is taken. I suppose as with your Mum the patient has to come forward, be educated in PA for the patient to get better treatment and care. In the end its me who started (and paid) for most of the specialists/ investigations, all proving very worthwhile, but not every one knows what to ask for, nor can afford to pay for seeing specialist etc, sadly.


As a point of interest, Metformin (a drug used in treating diabetes), is one of a number of drugs mentioned in the book, "The B12 Deficiency Survival Guide" By Dr Aqsa Ghaza, that depletes vitamin B12.


Thanks for that - will check with my mother what she is on but also note from briefly looking at the details on that it is used for treatment of Type 2 diabetes, whereas both my mother and brother have Type 1 so probably isn't a factor, though that doesn't mean that other medication that they are on couldn't be interfering.


Sorry, just tried to edit my post. The book, "The B12 Deficiency Survival Guide" was written by Dr Aqsa Ghazanfar. I would thoroughly recommend it


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