Pernicious Anaemia Society

Normal rate of absorption?

Hello everyone,

I hijacked a post yesterday to speak about my son who has B12 issues; i got his results back and his B12 level has gone from 156 to 190 in the space of one month during this time I gave him 14 sublingual B12 1000mcg. I expected his level to be really high but it's not the case, which leaves me wondering if he has an underlying problem (he has been tested for PA, no atrophic gastritis, no antibodies) his D3 is also low at 16 despite it being summer, his iron is steadily rising but he's still on supplements. The GP I saw was happy to prescribe 15 loading doses of B12 (it's the injectable form but she wants him to take it orally). I'm not convinced that this treatment will make much difference, but it's better than nothing. I suppose I could continue to give him sublingual B12 but it's frustrating not to have an answer as to why he is like this.

7 Replies

Hi, i dont understand how she can give an injectable orally! If it were that simple why the hell arent we all sucking on our little glass phails instead of having to inject ourselves? Anyone got an answer to that one.


If he has problems absorbing nutrients, then he is not going to be able to fully absorb any supplement taken orally. I don't understand why the doctor isn't just sticking to the guidelines and prescribing injections. Did they say why?

He needs vitamin D supplements too. As for the sublingual b12 lozenges, 1000mcg occasionally won't do much good. A level of 156 is very low and he needs regular doses, not just 14 in a month. I started taking the 5000mcg and took up to 10 a day, before self injecting. You can't overdose on it as it's water soluble so excess is just excreted away. Don't get bogged down too much in the reason why he is low, some people are idiopathic, no known cause. Mine is probably caused by having no or little hydrochloric acid leading to poor absorption, resulting from hashimotos disease. Has he had his thyroid checked? As for a negative PA result, many people are tested negative, more than once before finally being diagnosed with PA. Tests are flawed.

I would just keep up taking as much b12 as you can as well as other necessary supplements. Even though I self inject b12 I still have 3 or 4 lozenges every day. It keeps me going! :-)


thanks for the replies. I live in France and the vials are either injected or taken orally. I agree the oral route is limited if he has an absorption problem. I was wondering if the small increase was normal after taking so Much.


He hasn't taken very much at all. 14 x1000mcg lozenges in a month is nothing. What's surprising is that his b12 level increased at all! His level is still extremely low. He needs to be taking at least 5000mcg daily for about 8 weeks, then retest. If he has increased significantly, and you are looking for a level if at least 1000, then try 1000mcg day as a maintenance, although he should take more lozenges as and when he needs them. If the level is still low after 8 weeks, then that indicates a problem at the cellular level.

B12 deficiency and PA lead to neurological damage and if not treated correctly and early some of that damage will be permanent. I know I have damage after spending about 15 years untreated. I read somewhere treatment should be within 6-12 months after starting to prevent permanent damage but can't remember where I read it. Treatment is usually for life too.


thanks I intend to keep up the treatment even after the prescribed dose is finished.


The PAS has members from around the world. perhaps they would be worth joining and talking to?


PAS tel no 01656 769 717

I wondered if your Gp has a copy of Martyn hooper's latest book. perhaps it is available in a french language version?

What You Need to Know About Pernicious Anaemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency


thanks I think it would be a good idea


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