Pernicious Anaemia Society
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What do my test results mean?

I posted before about my B12 levels and my genetic profile and I have a few questions which I would be very grateful for your help on. Here goes:

My situation:

- My B12 level was 284 - all other bloods except iron good

- My 'iron levels' were 7 (gone up from 4 after taking spatone) and 112 - not sure what these were measuring, but the doctor said the 112 was only just below the 113 low threshold but both were low - she gave me iron tablets but I can't tolerate them (get severe stomach problems and have tried various kinds)

- My genetic report said that I have +/+ genes that restrict the processing of folate and B12

- My mum and grandma have PA

- I've started taking Jarrow methyl B12 1000 micrograms

So my questions are:

What are the 7 and the 112 in my iron test?

With my iron being low, will the Jarrow methyl B12 work?

If my problem is genetic can it be treated the same way as someone who has an intrinsic factor problem and PA?

As I said in my last post my doctor did not diagnose PA despite my mother and grandma having it and my genetic reports, as my B12 level was considered normal at 284. Obviously I cannot change my genetic makeup and if I can't process B12 and folate I will have to accept it and do the best I can - my confusion is around what this 'best' is. My doctor is not helpful at all.

I am not experiencing chronic symptoms but my energy levels were always low and my thinking foggy, but I have coped and got used to it. After supplementing with OTC B complex and spatone following my genetic report my energy levels are already a bit better, but I just want to do the right thing for my body.

If anyone could help I would be grateful. Thank you.

3 Replies

With genetic issues methylocobalamin should work since it is an active form.Also take methylfolate instead folic acid.

About iron i think other people know more :)

How long it took to get the gene test done? Been thinking about buying it too!

I used iron as a spray. No stomach issues. Bad side was that it does taste like metallic yuck but I was happy with it.

1 like

PA is an absorption problem - your body isn't able to take up B12 from your diet - most is absorbed through the ileum.

PA is a genetic problem but is different from the one mentioned in your results, but may also be something that your mother and relatives have, or may have come from the other side of the family. Not sure what the rules are on when that gene expresses itself - may be that it has to come from both sides.

The genetic problem is one that affects the bodies ability to transform B12 into the forms it needs at the cell level, and as Justiina says that means that you really need to be using methyl forms of B12 and also folate as these are much closer to the forms that your body uses at the cellular level. Guess it's a bit like having to have your food liquidised because have lost your molars and can't chew anything.

Sorry that your GP isn't giving you much information - likely that he doesn't really know much about B12 and is struggling to pick things up as he goes along.

Not sure where you are based - if UK then may be difficult as treating the genetic problem with processing B12 and folate isn't something that is really reflected in any of the guidelines.


I used 23andme for my genes Justiina, it took about 6 weeks for the results to come through. Then I ran the raw data through genetic genie (which looks at genes involved in methylation and detox) and some other programmes.

Thank you both so much for your answers, which have reassured me. In particular, noting that it is the cellular level with genetics, this has made things much clearer for me. I'm going to research in that direction now.


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