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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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B12 levels

Just wondered if any one knows why the b12 levels have been changed. On my blood tests from my local hospital 4 years ago the range was 211-911. Now it's down to 180?

Is this to stop even more people getting injections?!?

I've had nothing but trouble with this illness getting the injections I need.

My friend has become very ill at the moment with similar symptoms to me. Her level is 184, which her gp said is fine. I had to go with her to explain to the doctor that it is not ok and to get her referred to the specialist who helped me. The doctor completely changed her mind when she realised I knew all about the illness. When I questioned her on why the levels are different now she seemed a bit awkward. Makes me so angry! 😤

3 Replies

Well done for going to Drs with your friend. It obviously paid off.

Sometimes the range 'changes' due to different machine being used so maybe the lab is using a different/new machine? Also, it seems different labs/different hospitals have differing ranges so maybe for same reasons, ie different machines. Just a thought ...

Seems typical that the GP was a bit out of her depth when answering your questions ;) I don't think they cover the value of vitamins during their training. My GP admitted GPs thought 'main stream' rather than things like vitamin deficiencies etc but, clearly, that was just a cover up as it was obvious he didn't consider how a 'range' was determined, same as when I clearly had thyroid issues but was 'within range' for years, although symptomatic, before getting treatment. My 'normal' is obviously 'out of range' to my thinking. It seems I'm having same issue re B12, same as your friend.

Would the GP have your friend's MMA and Homocysteine levels checked, perhaps? They tend to rise if B12 deficient.


are you sure that the units were the same? there are 2 sets of units used.

other things that affect range can include age of patient, and the exact equipment and method used for the test.


Ranges differ from region to region in the UK and from country to country - why?

Think I said/asked elsewhere - in discussion with a relative's GP, the GP wouldn't accept that treatment was needed at the very low end of the 'normal' range, nor that the long term signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency with the expected outcome signified a B12 deficiency, nor that a long history of autoimmune disorder might be relevant, the only factor they considered relevant was a known history of malnutrition and even then the only possibility offered was going to be B12 tablets, and even that was not certain to be offered.

But the point of the above in relation to your question was that: when I mentioned the 'low normal' result the GP informed me the lab was about to lower the low end of the range even further, thus making it even more certain my relative would not get treatment as they would no longer be at the lowest end of the scale.

Would be good to get some informed information about all this, perhaps from someone who knows how labs and their tests work.


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