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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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To take or not to take?

I had a polyp removed on Friday. It went fine and a chemical cauterization was done to halt the bleeding. A day later it became clear that the cauterization hadn't fully worked. I'm not hemorrhaging and was advised to wait to see if it stops on its own. In the meantime, even though I have not lost a lot of blood, I am having very bad anemia symptoms. I am due for my weekly jab today, but I fear it would just be a waste to take it. What do you think? Should I take it and hope it helps or should I try to get the other anemia sorted out first?

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Hi Galixie.

When you say you are having very bad anaemia symptoms do you mean as in iron deficency anaemia? Your recent op will not have caused this (though you may have had pre-existing iron defice y anaemia - perhaps).

From what you say, it's unlikely that your recent op will have caused any significant blood loss: certainly not enough to induce anaemia due to blood loss (a bit different from iron deficiency anaemia - sudden heavy blood loss causes loss of red blood).

There are many cross-over symptoms between any sort of anaemia and B12 deficiency and as your jab is due, it might be that your B12 deficency symptoms are emerging again because you're due a jab.

Whatever the reason B12 deficency and iron (or any sort of) anaemia are two different things that require two different sorts of trewtment - but both should be treated. So...

Take the jab now...and continue your B12 regime as usual

Ask your doctor to check your status re: anaemia (ferritin, full,iron panel and FBC (CBC if in USA).

Your doctor will prescribe for anaemia if shown on blood tests.

Just a couple of things to watch out for...after any type of surgery (even something relatively minor), look out for potential signs of infection (raised temperature, cold and clammy, hot swollen or inflamed operation site, raised pulse, cold extremities, not passing urine etc). Also keep an eye out for any increased blood loss - pulse would go up, be weak and thready, might feel dizzy and nauseous, look pale, become cold...wound site may harden underneath etc.)

Also - it sounds as if this was a minor op and that you didn't have a general anaesthetic? If you did have a general anaesthetic you may have been given nitrous oxide (a commonly used anaesthetic gas) - this deactivates all B12 in the blood so...if,you did have a general, you may be feeling ill because you e become severely B12 deficent. If this is the case, then the way to,deal,with this is to have 6 x 1mg loading doses of B12 again (to replenish the deactivated B12). Mentioning just in case, but not sure it applies to in this case (ask if you think it does or if you need more information).

So Galixie...jab away, check out the anaemia situation with your doctor (important after surgery), good luck...and I hope you feel better very soon πŸ˜„X


Thanks Foggyme. The symptoms I'm having are weakness, tiredness, dizzy upon standing, and immediate headaches upon standing. My guess would be that my anemia of inflammation is flaring up, as that is the only thing I can think of that would fit (although why it is flaring is a good question). I think it would only be iron deficiency if I were already borderline low. I don't know that I was, so I will have to see what iron tests reveal.

It was an outpatient procedure so no anesthesia was used.

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Ah ha...anaemia of inflammation (also called anaemia of chronic disease).

Don't know a lot about this apart from that it's caused by some sort of (protective) autoimmune response, and that taking iron tablets when you have this can be dangerous.

Don't know if you've seen this website but very good on all things iron:


Agree about the iron deficency anaemia, particularly if you are known to have anaemia of chronic disease πŸ˜–

Good luck and hope you get it sorted and start to feel better very soon πŸ˜„ X

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