Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Please help! fighting a losing battle with my GP and sick of being sick

I had private bloods done and they came back, deficient in vit D insufficient vit B12 and low folate . I went to my GP who was fuming that I'd had private bloods done and insisted that I had NHS ones ( well hello if you'd have let me have them when I asked for them I wouldn't have had to have private one's!)

I have just been to see another GP at the surgery as the original one wasn't available. He tells me that my vit D is deficient, I have 'normal' vit B12 and folate. He has prescribed me some Vit D tablets. When I asked him what normal vit B12 was it was on the very low end, he said that this is within normal range and the private bloods I had done have different ranges. End of discussion.

I know my own body and described my symptoms to him but to no avail. Its not an option to change surgery as there is only 1 more in my area which is apparently worse than mine.

I don't know what Vit D he has prescribed but he asked me if I pay for my scripts so I assume its one that you can buy over the counter.

can I self medicate for B12? I feel desperate

3 Replies

yes you can self medicate B12 however, I would try and give it one last chance with the GP first.

Get hold of the actual test results so you know exactly what your levels were. It may be that they were different units or it may be different ranges - the ranges depend on the method used and how the lab is balancing the risk of picking up people who aren't B12 deficient against the risk of picking up people who are B12 deficient.

Write to the GP pointing out that the serum B12 isn't a gold standard test and there are problems using it as a single measure for determining B12 deficiency. It only measures one element of a complicated process and people vary a lot in how much B12 they need in their blood to remain healthy. This means that just using the normal range on its own will result in missing 25% of people who are deficient, but would also result in picking up 5% of people who are fine below the bottom of the normal range.

I believe most of this is covered in the BCSH guidelines which provide guidelines for haematologist on interpreting blood tests for B12 and folate.

Symptoms are an important part of evaluating a B12 deficiency but these overlap considerably with other conditions - including vitamin D. You are being treated for VitD deficiency so that will help with ruling that out as a cause of your symptoms.

Symptoms include macrocytosis - enlarged round blood cells - but this isn't present in about 25-30% of people presenting with B12 deficiency so using it as a way of ruling out B12 deficiency will, again result in missing about 25% of those who are B12 deficient.

Put together a list of your symptoms as well


suggests that he looks at the information the PAS has made available for medics on the problems with diagnosing B12




Link about writing letters to GP about b12 deficiency

Flowchart in BSH Cobalamin and Folate Guidelines

Flowchart makes it clear that in UK patients who are symptomatic for B12 deficiency should have IFA test and start initial b12 treatment.

B12 deficiency Symptoms lisst

I gave Gps a copy of PAS checklist with all my sympotms ticked.


What to do next?

I am not a medic. I've written some detailed replies in last few days. If you search for them there may be useful info in them.


Hello spidernose,,,,doctors and those test results,,,what is normal for a range,,is not for somebody else,,,,you can take vitamin D,,,take D3 which is the better type,,and buy from a good health food shop,,,,start with the stated dose on the bottle,,,and see how you feel,,,,and then adjust to suit yourself,,,,but go carefully,,,,I take D3,,when I remember,,,,good luck,,,ttfn from karen.


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