serum folate 4.4ug/L, serum vit B12 67ng/L

My daughter's (age 22) 1st blood test results came back with the above readings. (reason for blood test, tiredness, tingling of limbs, mouth ulcers, bumping into walls) 

Note on sheet of results stated "low B12 deficiency very likely, treat as necessary, suggest Intrinsic factor antibody test" which she had results for a week later  "Normal 1.04 U/ml    <1.20"

Notes:b12 low

Daughter rang up surgery and was told nothing was needed doing. I, having had b12 injections for past 3 years am not happy with the outcome. My intrinsic factor had come back normal but I was given the injections upon my family history of a cousin diagnosed with Pern. Anaemia and my great grandmother dying of the same Anaemia. Would I be right in thinking that I believe my daughter should have the injections or am I over-reacting.

10 Replies

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  • Unless your daughter is vegan and studiously avoids all meat and dairy products, I'd say you are right that she will need injections. At the very least a doctor should acknowledge the deficiency and agree to do injections to at least get her level up into the normal range. After that, battling to get ongoing injections will probably be a separate fight. Her immediate needs should not be ignored just because she didn't test positive on an unreliable intrinsic factor antibody test.

  • yes.  oh dear how easily gp's dismiss symptoms - will your daughter let you go along with her to see the gp?

  • The anti-IF test gives a false negative half the time.

    Try reading through this summary and the documents linked to therein...

    frankhollis.com/temp/Summar...

  • Your daughter has a very low level and her symptoms would go along with B12 and folate deficiency. Ideally she would get treatment with hydroxocobalamin 1mg alternate days until no further improvement for neurological symptoms and folic acid, then 2 monthly minimum maintenance injections. Read the BCSH guidelines and contact PAS for support, then go back with her to the GP. That, along with the family history, will hopefully sway it. If these symptoms are due to B12/folate deficiency there is a risk of permanent neurological damage. IF antibodies being negative do not rule out pernicious anaemic- a common misconception. Even if your daughter is vegan, these symptoms require treatment.

    Good luck!

  • She really does need injections. That is ridiculously low b12. See the cobalamin guidelines and get the gp to do some homework before damsge is caused to your daughter. With such a family history it is likely genetic.

  • Hi shaz29 

    I think you know the answer - you are "right in thinking that I believe my daughter should have the injections"

    I'm not a medically qualified person but unless it's her diet causing her deficiency (in which case she'll need immediate supplementation of b12 & Folates)  I think that it may well be an "inherited" thing,

    I wish you both well and hope you get her doctor to see sense.

  • My son is also 22 and at age 20, started having all neuro symptoms that you mention, he was absent from work for 7 weeks because he could not stand up without having balance issues, he also had severe numbness and tingling in  his hands arms and feet. his b12 was at 240 and we were told he was not deficient, he was sent to hospital for various tests which all came back negative, meanwhile I did a lot of research on B12, and concluded that this could in fact be the cause. So armed with all my info we went back to GP and I insisted that he be put on loading doses, after 3 injections the symptoms started to subside and at the end of the 2 weeks they were gone! He is now on an injection once a month, he has suffered a bit from Panic Attacks over the last couple of years , think this could be due to the nerve damage. In the last couple of months he has also been supplementing with magnesium, copper, zinc, vit D and Vit E and i can honestly say i have seen a massive difference in his well being, his palor is a healthier shade of pink ( he was normally chalk white!) he is a lot less tired and just generally looking and feeling a lot healthier. I hope this has helped, i know how worrying it is when our children are ill, especially when you are searching for answers.

  • No, you are definitely not over-reacting. You must fight for your daughter to be treated. I was 22 when I first went to doctors with similar symptoms and 8 yrs later, when I was given 3 days to live, I was given b12 injections. It also runs in my family - sister, brother, niece, nephew. All the very best.

  • Thank you all ever so much for your rapid replies, I will go with my daughter to the doctors armed with the above info. I shall let you know how she get's on.

  • I went with the same symptoms and no known cause of b12 def has been found (initial test 147).  I was treated with a trial dose (2 weeks - 6 injections) and monitoring for a year before given more b12.  Given the family history, hopefully you can push for injections.

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