Pernicious Anaemia Society
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New and confused

New and confused

I will keep this short as I don't want to bore you all.

Last week I was called to attend my doctors surgery, after I had blood test a few days earlier, I was told my red blood cells were abnormal and I had a B12 deficiency that I would need Hydroxocobalamin injections, every other day for two weeks and then I would be fine, no mention of any follow up blood tests or B12 injections, though I had extra blood tests to rule out other things, a day after my doctor saw me, waiting to be confirmed as having pernicious anaemia from that 2nd blood test.

I collected the prescription on Friday and went into the doctors to book in the course of injections and they say that they don't have any appointments, at all, someone from my surgery is ringing me tomorrow, to see if I can get an appointment in a few weeks, hopefully.

I am suffering up to 100 palpitations a day at the moment, they wake me up at night and interrupt everything I do. I work with children and have two of my own, so me clutching at my chest every few minutes doesn't look good and they are frightening me, to be honest.

I collected my blood sample print out this morning and can't make head or tail of that and after reading that some people self inject, I am considering going down this route (as at this rate I won't be getting these B12 injections this month.)

I would appreciate any advice, as I am bit of a loss about self injecting or waiting it out to have it done at the surgery, or if anyone can make head of tail of my blood count results that would be great.

Thank you.

4 Replies

You have a significant B12 deficiency.

B12 is used by a lot of systems in the body - those that release energy in cells - some that regulate mood in the brain - some that regulate the production of healthy blood cells in bone marrow. Not having enough B12 for the last one results in macrocytosis - which is what the red areas on the report are that relate to MCH and MCV - your cells are slightly larger and rounder than they should be meaning that they aren't as efficient as they should be in transferring oxygen from your lungs to cells where it is needed.

Many GPs regard this as a defining characteristic of B12 deficiency - it is a symptom along with other symptoms.

Please take a look at the pinned post and familiarise yourself with the full range of symptoms of B12 deficiency and the ones that relate to you. Share this with your GP. If, as is more than likely, you have neurological symptoms then you need to get your GP to treat you accordingly - refer to the BCSH guidelines also in the pinned posts - p8 gives the correct regime if you have neurological symptoms - and draw this to the attention of your GP.

You should be getting treatment now not waiting for a diagnosis of PA which is just about confirming if the cause of the deficiency is a specific absorption problem - though there are others and the test is prone to giving false negatives so can show that you have PA but doesn't necessarily show you don't have PA. Unless you have very little meat/dairy/fish in your diet it is going to be an absorption problem and the treatment is the same whatever the absorption problem.

I really hope that the person you speak to tomorrow gets you an appointment as a matter of urgency.

Although it is very, very, very rare a few people are allergic to cobalamin and it can cause anaphalactic shock so I certainly wouldn't recommend doing your first loading dose yourself - it really does need to be done under medical supervision ...

1 like

Thank you! My doctor said it wasn't urgent to have the injections and I'm definitely going to have a good read of the pinned posts.


Tell the doctors that you need treatment now, not some indeterminate time in the future.


Thank you for the reply. The surgery have offered me an appointment next Monday at 11.30am. That's all they have.


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