Pernicious Anaemia Society

Help! Result interpretation

How would you interpret the results below of someone who has been supplementing with folic acid and Borocca for months?

- Serum vitamin B12 325 pg/mL

- Serum folate >20.0 ng/mL

GP said results are normal and that apparent B12 deficiency symptoms are not related. I interpret these as concerning when the use of supplements is considered.

Some of the reported Symptoms;

- Fatigue

- Shortness of breath on mild exertion

- Cold extremities

- Ridged and brittle nails

- Low mood

- Inability to concentrate

- Acne

- Weight gain


- Headaches

- Pins and needles in hands/arms when waking in the morning

- Waking up feeling tired

Symptoms have been worsening over 3 years.

3 Replies

It is really difficult to say as supplementing messes up the picture. It might be expected that results for B12 would have been higher than that though. To prove deficiency then the only way I can think of is to stop supplements for a number of months then retest, but that risks potentially feeling worse in the short-term. I think that is why many people decide to self-treat.



Has the GP seen the following?

Perhaps the person concerned could talk to the PAS? Head office: 01656 769 717


results are in the grey range.

Worrying about the pins and needles in the morning ...

You could try waving around the UKneqas warning on interpreting the B12 serum test that sleepy bunny provided.

Also the BCSH guidelines clearly state that treatment should be based on symptoms not test results because of the risk of permanent neuro damage

A lot of GPs have a tendency to think that B12D means anaemia but this is a symptom that often manifests itself later rather than earlier in the pathology of B12D, particularly if folate levels are high - as is the case for your daughter.

Really hope that you can get through to your doctors GP - or that she manages to find another GP who actually knows something about B12D or is open to learning about B12D


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