PA and weight loss

Hi, can you tell me if weight loss ALWAYS accompanies PA or is it possible to have PA and be overweight. I am deficient in B12 and have suspected autoimmune gastritis (still being investigated by doctors) but am very overweight (obese actually) and have put on even more weight recently (although I have had 5 steroid injections into my spine and knees in past months and think that may be responsible for the weight gain - I may well be talking rubbish of course and putting on weight because I'm simply eating too much!).

14 Replies

  • I don't think you are 'talking rubbish' steroids do cause weight gain. I've not had a confirmed diagnosis of PA but I'm B12 deficient and far from skinny!

    So, it's my belief that, you can still be over weight and have vitamin B12 deficiency. I am!

  • Thanks, greenbexy - I understand now why I have put on weight despite being careful with food.

  • : ) It is my understanding that steroids can interfer with the absorption of vitamins too! Life's just not fair, as I presume the steroids help with your mobility and pain?

  • Hi glacommare. Just a thought...

    People with PA often have or develop thyroid problems (which can cause weight gain and problems with losing weight). In particular, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition (PA is an autoimmune condition - which tend to,come in clusters - once you have one, you're more likely to develop another).

    Might be a good idea to ask your GP to check your thyroid. Most GP's only check TSH and then say all okay 'cause it's 'normal'. Not good enough.

    To assess true thyroid status you should ask for TSH, FT3, FT4 and the thyroid antibodies TPO and Tg (raised in Hashimoto's).

    Also note - the long term use of steroids can, as a side effect, cause something called central hypothyroidism (difficult to diagnose, apparently - TSH will be low 'normal' and therefore dismissed by GP's - but it's accompanied by low or deficienct in range FT3 and FT4 (thought having these results doesn't mean that you have it - that's why it's difficult to diagnose 😖). However - only caused by long term steroid use so don't think this applies to you (just mentioned in case you become a long-term steroid user). And having said that, I'm a thyroid dunce so some of our thyroid members may come along with better (or different) thoughts / advice.

    Pop along to the thyroid forum if you think you may have thyroid problems - they will be better able to advise. But it would certainly be good to get tested, just in case.

    Good luck 👍

  • Agreed... I have a thyroid problem and as a result I am deficient in B12 (no pa)....though my thyroid results were good my b12 was low and I put on so much weight! I'm normally a U.K. 8-10 and went up to a 14 so certainly I would say that you don't necessarily lose weight. Likelihood is that the steroids have made you gain... it's not uncommon

  • I've had P.A. glacommare for 45 years and my weight has varied between twelve and a half stones (which I am now) and fifteen and a half stones back in the late 70s and 80s and I don't think for one minute it had anything to do with P.A. more to do with the ups and downs of life.

  • I also have PA and autoimmune gastritis and intestinal metaplasia.. No matter how much ive calorie counted, exercised and stressed over my weight daily, im still considered to be 'obese'. My family know how strict i am with my intake and are shocked considering i come from a health & nutritional career background. If i have to answer your question based on my experience it would be yes !!

  • Hi glacommare,

    I have PA and autoimmune gastritis and i'm overweight(. I think it's due to thyroid problems.

  • I have hashimotos thyroid and B12 deficiency since becoming b12 deficient I've gone from a size 14 to a 10 and the weight has stayed the same now for 2 years, back to my weight of 20 years ago before it all went wrong,

  • I am overweight - to my utter despair - initially 4.5 stone; over the last 5 years I've lost 3 stone; a slow and often soul destroying process, I would love to lose more but with PCOS on top of everything else I'm just grateful for any loss lol...I have found a cocktail of vitamins and probiotics to try to help gut flora have helped a little bit...I have found the medication I am on, at times, has made my weight a continual challenge.

    The best advice is to try and eat as healthy as possible - lots of fruit and veg, if you can tolerate it and to be kind to yourself - you have a complex health issue and that makes weight management a challenge.


  • Sadly you CAN be obese with PA.....I am living proof and I too have a background in Nutrition.

  • I lost weight but i lost all s ense of taste apart from plain yoghurt. thats why lol put it back on when taste came back so i reckon yeah x Good Luck x

  • I am overweight, but have thyroid problems as well as PA. So I'm guessing the thyroid issues are what cause me to be overweight.

  • So many replies - thank you all for your information, suggestions and observations. To those who mentioned Thyroiditis, I have had auto-immune thyroiditis for 27 years now and have been taking thyroxine for it. I must admit, though, that my weight problem has always been down to overeating. Recently, however, the weight's just been increasing at an alarming rate - more than I would expect from my intake, which is what made me think of the steroid injections I've been having and why I asked if an untreated deficiency in B12 can co-exist with obesity.

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