Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Help with results please

Hi I have been recommended to join this forum from Thyroid UK to enquire my B12 and folate results. I have had low ferritin for very many years.

FERRITIN 14 (15 - 150)

FOLATE 2.1 (2.5 - 19.5)

VITAMIN B12 196 (180 - 900)


I was diagnosed with clinical depression and iron deficiency and B vitamin deficiency at around about the same time as my low thyroid.

My GP gave me an antidepressant called Zoloft and sent me away. I do have some physical symptoms as well like constipation and feeling cold and looking washed out all the time but the doctors have put me back onto an antidepressant called Fluoxetine because I suffered from such bad tiredness and dizziness and brain fog that I couldn't concentrate and it cost me my job. When I was last at the doctor she insisted my problems were all in my head and so she referred me to Positive Steps. Thanks for reading and comments.

4 Replies

Really sorry to hear about your story

Astounded that the doctor has done no investigations at all into multiple absorption problems. I'm not quite clear on the time-scales involved and how recent the results you quote above are.

Fluoxetine is an SSRI as is Zoloft. SSRIs can reduce folate levels so i you started with bad folate levels then they may just be making this worse - and the symptoms of both folate and B12 deficiency include the symptoms you refer to.

I would suggest that you write to your doctor and point them to the NICE and BSCH guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of B12 and folate deficiency and share your results if they are from a private test or remind your GP of the results if they are and ask to be treated in accordance with the guidelines. Also point out that having so many deficiencies/problems with minerals and vitamins suggests and absorption problem which should be investigated.

Note: ferritin is a protein that binds to iron allowing it to be metabolised - low levels point to a possible iron deficiency and if the patient is symptomatic would warrant further investigation using a full blood count. However, as an iron anaemia pushes some of the indicators in a full blood count - size and iron content of red blood cells becoming smaller- in the opposite direction to a B12/folate anaemia - larger and rounder red blood cells - interpreting the results needs to be done with care and needs to take into account clinical presentation.

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Thanks Gambit the results are a month old. I had a complete blood count that showed low MCV and high MCHC? They were done last month as well.

MCV 81.2 (83 - 100)

MCHC 371 (310 - 350)


MCV consistent with iron based anaemia - smaller red blood cells

MCHC is a ratio that has MCV on the bottom so will be larger if MCV smaller


When will the doctor's get it right. Gambit has given you good advice. Be prepared to do your own research and look after yourself. Although I do hope you have a good GP.

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