I am new to this forum and to the Pernicious Anaemia Society. I joined following a recent diagnosis of B12 deficiency. I have just completed a two week programme of b12 injections - 6 in all.
Pernicious Anaemia runs in my family. My father had it and so did his mother. I also have other autoimmune conditions, including hypothyroidism. I also have iron deficiency anaemia and, pre-menopause, I had endometriosis. I have also been told that I may have fibromyalgia, because of longstanding symptoms of joint pain, fatigue and terrible brain fog that has really affected my productivity at work. I have also recently been diagnosed with diverticular disease.
During the past year I have had two episodes of post menopausal bleeding, which started me on a long journey to discover what has caused it. I have been tested for ovarian, stomach, colon and womb cancer and, thankfully, I have none of them. Along the way I had many blood tests, one of which showed that I have iron deficiency anaemia. I last had this about 10 years ago when I had heavy periods. My ferritin level is currently around 10 but my doctor doesn't think that two short episodes of bleeding would have caused this drop in iron. I tend to agree with her. A few weeks ago, I suggested to my GP that I have my B12 levels tested because of the family link. She was sceptical but agreed. The level came back as 169. I wasn't surprised by this and was pleased that at least I could be treated for it and that the injections might even make me feel better.
Since then I have seen a gastroenterologist for a colonoscopy and endoscopy and he is now concluding that my iron and B12deficiencies are caused by diet. He has written to my doctor to say that he may refer me to a dietitian.
I am deeply disappointed by his diagnosis because I really feel that it is wrong. I eat meat, including red meat and I love fish. I eat eggs and dairy, including natural yoghurt and a fair bit of milk every day. These are all good sources of vitamin B12. I also eat lots of green vegetables and other iron rich foods. On top of this, I have a very similar autoimmune profile to my father and pernicious anaemia runs in my family so I don't understand why the consultant is discounting it.
I am now very concerned that following my loading doses of B12, I won't receive any more injections and that, once again, I will need to embark on a battle to get properly diagnosed and treated.
Any advice that society members could give me on how to tackle this would be very welcome.