Pernicious Anaemia Society
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High Serum B12 result

Hi folks,

I have had the results of my blood tests back and the B12 is 557. So high in the range.

I had only stopped taking Berocca for one week beforehand. The doctor has of course said no further action is needed despite my symptoms. My tongue blistered within 2 days of stopping the Berocca. It's been doing that for 10 years but I only just read about B12.

I spoke to Martyn Hooper on the PA Society line and he said to show the GP the new guidelines. Especially as I have lots of the symptoms and a family history of the disease.

I wrote a covering letter and took in the new guidelines a week ago and have heard nothing. I'll make an appointment and chase it up. I have a horrible feeling I'm going to be laughed out of the surgery with a B12 reading of 557.

Has anyone else been in this situation?

I feel my symptoms have worsened in the fortnight I've been off the Berocca (high B vit supplement) but of course this could be in my head. :(

9 Replies

what is the amount of B12 in the berroca you have been taking and how many have you been taking?

Supplementation will raise B12 levels and can make it extremely difficult to get a diagnosis but the usual problem is people taking doses of 1000mcg+ a day - whereas the amount in Berroca - as far as I can see on-line - seems to be much lower than that - and would be unlikely to have any significant impact on your B12 levels if you had an absorption problem.

1 like

8.6ug in Berocca, taken daily. Hmm maybe feeling worse is down to something else in it.

Would you pursue the B12 issue? I have most of the symptoms and a family history of PA. I was hoping to push for a therapeutic trial of B12, as suggested by Martyn. In view of the fact that some people have normal or high results despite having the symptoms. I can see it being hard to convince my doctor.

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I'm not a qualified medic.

However on the facts as above I am thinking that a B12 absorption problem strikes me as being unlikely and I'd personally be inclined to look at other possibilities and rule them out - symptoms of B12 overlap with a lot of other conditions including thyroid, diabetes, iron based anaemia ...

if you are a member of the PAS then you could try ringing again and speaking to them again now that you have the results of the blood test and see what they say.

Not having an absorption problem doesn't necessarily rule out B12 being involved in some way and it may be worth trying to pursue a trial with your GP - you certainly aren't going to know for sure unless you at least try.


Thanks, iron anaemia and thyroid have been ruled out. I haven't been checked for diabetes yet but I'll push for that.

I did already have the results when I rang the PAS and they said to show the new guidelines that state the overall picture is more important than the blood test results and push for a therapeutic trial.

Good idea to rule out other things first though. I've already had multiple tests to see if it's early menopause or some other gyni problem. All clear on that front.

I've also had an eye test and my blurred vision has no optical cause. The optician did say our eyes suffer when we are exhausted though.


No doctors appointments to discuss further available until 21st March. I've ordered an home diabetes test though. If that shows a problem I might get an emergency appointment.

Neuro symptoms are not enough for an emergency appt.


sorry to hear you have got such a long wait - does seem to be the way of things these days.


Thanks, yes it does. Can't be helped I suppose.


Bit from Mr Hooper's book.

Here we are, then, back to the problem of assessing the B12 status in patients. Some patients have some or all of the symptoms of a deficiency yet their serum B12 can be normal or even exceptionally high while others may have low levels but no symptoms. The reason could be, or probably is, due to what happens at cell level.

Hooper, Martyn. What You Need to Know About Pernicious Anaemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency (Kindle Locations 3769-3772). Hammersmith Books Limited. Kindle Edition.


crossed with my reply above.


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