Changes in Pernicious Anaemia symptoms

My husband was diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia 2 1/2 years ago. We initially joined the Pernicious Anaemia Society to get help, which was very beneficial by other members and greatly appreciated. We live in Australia where we can purchase B12 over the counter which wonderful as our local doctor does not understand Pernicious Anaemia, and was the reason my husband went undiagnosed for several years. We have now been self injecting as often as needed which can be anywhere from every 3 weeks to 2-4 days more recently. Having jumped back on here again to get some more information I am just realising that alcohol intake may be the reason my husband has commenced more frequent injections and the fatigue has come back pretty bad aswell as other symptoms (restless sleep, sore feet in the morning etc).

My question is, are there supporting viatimins he should be taking to assist with B12 absorption? I have read a few comments that include vitamin B, iron? and folate may be helpful. I just want to make sure these vitamins are safe to be taking together with B12.

We have an appointment with a Chinese Medicine Doctor next week and are hoping that he may understand and be a bit more helpful.

Thanks for listening!

5 Replies

  • Hi,

    I was told by a haematologist just to take an OTC multi vitamin, as most vitamins need each other and its best to have all in balance. But it would be wise for your husband top have a blood test to see if he has not now become say folate def and or iron def etc. Also thyroid conditions are common with PA so best is to see a Dr and have some bloods taken I think. I became folate def after 5 years on B12 treatment. Mind you drinking a lot of alcohol will not help your husband.

    I hope this helps,

    Kind regards,


  • Thanks Marre, we were coasting along quite fine for a while but the sudden changes have made us both stop and do a bit more research.

  • Body needs B9 (folate) to metabolise B12 and they are used together for some key processes. B9 is related to B6 - and the body can convert one to the other so you can end up low in B6 if body is using a lot of B9.

    In terms of dosages I tend to refer to this - bit old now but believe it is still current - in relation to vitamins etc. It's a BIG document

    Best forms of B6 and B9 are definitely diet but if you have an absorption problem with one vitamin/mineral then it isn't surprising that you can experience problems with others - D vitamins are quite common problem areas, and may need to supplement more.

    Alcohol is probably a bad move so if you can get your husband to cut down that would be good.

    Best thing might be to try to get your GP to do a full blood and see if there are any other deficiencies or anything else going on - there is a lot of overlap with other conditions and unfortunately having problems with B12 doesn't make you immune to others ... in fact it often seems to mean that the %-ages are against you.

    Best think

  • Thank you for the useful information! My husband will be cutting out his alcohol intake. Now that we know that it is one of the reasons the systoms are getting worse, it is something that needs to change.

  • I recently read that Sally Pachlok, author of "Could it be B12", believes in covering all bases - injections and tablets - when there is severe deficiency.

    As others have already mentioned, other vitamins and minerals would help, as alcohol probably depletes them all (I'm finding it hard to give up my glass of wine).

    If it's any help, my relative and I are finding good results supplementing with Jarrow B12 5000 mcg sublingually. Others have good results with sprays and patches.

You may also like...