Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Bels health at 37

Hi,I'm 37,married to a wonderful man and we have 4 kids(3 boys,1 girl) their ages are 20,18,13 and 11.ive got mild astma and depression which are both under control.ive just been diagnosed with b12 deficiancy which I had my first injection for on the 15/6/16.i also recently had an mri which came back with white matter which the doc told me is of a much older person so is quite rare so im now on a waiting list to See a neurologist.

8 Replies

Hi Bel_barnes welcome to this community. It's good that you have a diagnosis of B12 Deficiency and that you are getting treatment for it.

I am not a medically qualified person but am interested to know why you have become B12D. what physical symptoms you have and how many and when are your injections scheduled.

On page 23 in the book “Could it be B12? – an epidemic of misdiagnoses” by Sally M. Pacholok R.N., B.S.N. & Jeffrey J. Stuart, D.O. there is a list showing:-

Who’s at greatest risk for B12 Deficiency?

Anyone at any age, can become B12 deficient. Thus you need to be tested immediately if you develop the symptoms described in this chapter. However, certain people are at an elevated risk. They include the following:

Vegetarians, vegans and people eating macrobiotic diets.

People aged sixty and over

People who’ve undergone any gastric and/or intestinal surgery, including bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes (Gastric bypass).

People who regularly use proton-pump- inhibitors. H2 blockers, antacids, Metformin, and related diabetes drugs, or other medications that can interfere with B12 absorption.

People who undergo surgeries or dental procedures involving nitrous oxide, or who use the drug recreationally.

People with a history of eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia).

People with a history of alcoholism.

People with a family history of pernicious anaemia.

People diagnosed with anaemia (including iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia).

People with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten enteropathy (celiac disease), or any other disease that cause malabsorption of nutrients.

People with autoimmune disorders (especially thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, lupus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis, infertility, acquired agammaglobulinemia, or a family history of these disorders.

Women with a history of infertility or multiple miscarriages.

Infants born to and/or breast fed by women who are symptomatic or are at risk for B12 deficiency.

Can you "identify" yourself in any of the above list?

I notice that you are being treated for depression and I've no doubt what with 4 children you are also under stress which can lead to a lowering of B12 levels.

I cannot comment on the MRI results but there may be someone on here who can help explain.

I wish you well.


Hi Clive, I had 3 full blood count tests within a year nd a half and they all came back b12 deficient which was at the time due to my heavy wine drinking. I gave up drinking at the start of this year but my b12 obviously hasn't increased.i eat a well balanced diet of red and white meat and fruit and veg. So hopefully with getting my b12 shots now it will improve.i get my injections done at my doctors surgery,I could not do them myself as I can't even watch the nurse do it,I'm a bit of a wouse when it comes to needles😄



I hope you get the treatment you need. Do your doctors know why you are b12 deficient? Have you had tests for PA (Pernicious Anaemia)?

B12 books

"Could It Be b12" by Sally pacholok and JJ. Stuart. This is a very comprehensive book about B12 deficiency with lots of case histories

"What You Need to Know About Pernicious Anaemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency" by Martyn Hooper. Martyn is the chair of the PAS (Pernicious Anaemia Society). the PAS has members from around the world.

B12 websites

pernicious-anaemia-society.... 01656 769 717 A USA website set up by the authors of "Could It Be B12"


Welcome to the site Bel. You may have already discovered that B12 deficiency symptoms are very subtle and take years to manifest and are often the result of an inability to absorb B12 through the small intestine for diverse reasons, coeliac disease, a family history of Pernicious Anaemia or other autoimmune disease.

I'm glad your GP has recognised your neurological symptoms, but it is essential they are treated adequately with injections as defined by the BNF 'until no further improvement'.

It is also important to note that, once b12 treatment is started, the test results don't mean anything (bottom of page 4 of the BMJ document below) and blood levels are not reflective of how effective the treatment is - it is the clinical condition of the patient that matters.....

Other useful links:

"Conclusion: A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause many different symptoms, among which are serious neurological problems. The treatment with high dose B12 injections is not only completely safe but fortunately also very effective. With the right treatment patients can recover completely. Starting straight away with treatment is essential, as is the continuing treatment in order to give the body enough B12 to fully recover. "

“In the event of any discordance between clinical findings of B12 deficiency and a normal B12 laboratory result, then treatment should not be delayed. Clinical findings might include possible pernicious anaemia or neuropathy including subacute combined degeneration of the cord."

Very best wishes for a good recovery.

PS Sally Pachlok also recommends treating with B12 supplements to cover all bases.

1 like

Hello bel,I'm new to this too,I've been recently diagnosed with vitamin b12 deficiency and anemia,apparently I'm very low and I start my course of injections next week,I wanted to thank everyone on the forum who've advised me, I'm glad I've been diagnosed, as I've been feeling I'll for a while.You will find us hopefully helpful and very friendly.

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I'm also on antidepressants, They're meant to help me sleep but I don't sleep well at all at the moment.I'm off sick from work too.


Hi nicky,thanks for ur reply. I hope u feel better soon.ive been off work for 2 weeks now nd can't wait to return this Monday.


I'm new to this site but not to PA. I have been self-injecting almost since I was diagnosed 8 years ago. Generally I can go 4 weeks between injections but not always. I think it's important to listen to your body. Mine always tells me with little signs I need to inject. When I notice those symptoms, I inject. I also have asthma which thankfully is well controlled and have recently been diagnosed with low thyroid 6 months ago. So far so good with the thyroid medicine. I wish you well on your continued therapy. You can feel better.


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