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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Should I self medicate with B12 injections?

Hi, I have coeliac disease, fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. My GP refuses to check my b12 levels as my fbc is ok. I have a poor memory and numbness in my legs, dizzyness, low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia.

Should I ignore the GP and self medicate with b12 and folate?

Thank you

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Hi

It's shocking that your doctor won't carry out a b12 test with your symptoms suggest you get onto the pernicious anemia society website and gather information for your doctor along with current Nice guidelines with neurological symptoms you need confirmation as to whether you have b12 deficiency

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I will do thank you.

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Angiehewitt,

GP obviously went to the same duffer school as my endo who told me vitD, B12, folate and ferritin were fine because my FBC was good. VitD was severely deficient, folate deficient, B12 low and ferritin high!

You can order a private B12 test via thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

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coeliacs puts you at higher risk of 12 deficiency. it also puts you at higher risk of iron deficiency and folate deficiency

whilst macrocytosis is a classic symptom of B12 (and folate) deficiency it isn't present in 30% of people with a B12 deficiency so no signs in a full blood count can't be used as a way of ruling out a B12 deficiency.

microcytosis is a classic symptom of iron deficiency. If you have absorption problems and your iron and B12/folate are all low then the interplay of macro and micro-cytosis could make interpreting your results difficult.

It is best not to supplement B12 until you have gone as far as you can with trying to get a B12 absorption problem identified - mainly because supplementing will skew further testing and may make getting the problem recognised nigh on impossible.

Suggest that you write to your GP and then arrange to see them again - highlighting the range of symptoms you have - and that coeliacs puts you at higher risk of mineral and vitamin deficiencies and take it from there.

Complications are the overlap of symptoms with other conditions and problems using the B12 serum test as a single marker for B12 deficiency (as normal range results in missing about 25% of those who are deficient (and picking up 5% of those who aren't deficient).

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Why not do a private test before supplimenting.

It's a home fingerprick test and costs £39 if you are in the uk.

You must not start supplimenting before testing and getting the results though incase you need further testing to confirm things.

medichecks.com/tests/vitami...

They do a more comprehensive one for £99 medichecks.com/tests/vitami...

And if you win the lottery, one for £249 that checks IF and PA antibodies too but that's a venous blood sample and you need to attend a clinic.

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