Recent B12 and folate deficiency diagnosis

Hi i recently had blood tests as my heart rate kept going very high when running (230 BPM and over) plus tired all the time and was told B12 and folate low. Asked for results and told B12 124, folate 3. I've been iron anaemic before but it's at 130 currently. I've had 3 B12 injections so far (2 per week rather than 3 due to bank holidays) plus 400 mg of iron a day. I've got folate tablets to take for three months once I've had the course of six B12 injections. I asked about the IFA test for PA but was told it was unreliable so don't do it any more. Reading up on subject it appears it goes with other auto immune problems and runs in families so, since my mum, aunt and cousin have under active thyroid and I'm on borderline plus my aunt has PA plus rheumatoid arthritis (and grandmother died of heart attack in her 40's and thought to have under active thyroid) I'm going to assume I also have PA since the nurse at my practice seems to think so plus i know i have a good diet so not likely to be food related in the sense of getting enough vitamins etc. She said I'd be on B12 for life now. I think i got tested for coeliac too but not given results. What should my levels be? Also I'm sure I'm at the lower end of thyroid but don't know what levels are normal to challenge any results to see if thyroid tablets would also help. Still very tired. Don't get enough sleep as wake up with night sweats which i assume is to do with being 51, when i eventually fall asleep that is. Having to miss a lot of running training as hills and speed work just shoots my heart rate up and I'm gasping for breath. I also get cramps in my feet. How long does it take for people to feel normal once they've had the B12 and folate and iron? Thanks

6 Replies

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  • Having had first loading shot you should be okay to start taking the folate now but check that with your GP/pharmacist.

    Anaemia takes a few months to clear - the deformed red blood cells are only replaced as the old ones die and as red blood cells tend to 'live' for 4 months it takes a while.

    B12 is used by a lot of systems in the body so symptoms can be caused by effect on several systems, so it's rather difficult to say what recovery timescales will be - sorry not possible to give you a more specific answer.

    I know that GPA test is no longer done because it isn't considered accurate enough but as far as I am aware IFA is still listed as a valid test in both NICE and BCSH guidelines - though that doesn't detract from the fact that it is very prone to false negatives - so may be that some regions have decided to stop doing it.

    Suggest that you pose your question on thyroid on the TUK forum

    healthunlocked.com/thyroiduk

  • Thank you

  • Gissele,

    In the U.S. where we have not yet been "blessed" with social health care, based on what you have just described, your GP would be referring you to a cardiologist to eliminate potential cardio-vascular problems, especially if there is heart disease in your family (your grandmother had a heart attack at 40?)...

  • I had similar problem a couple of years ago and found i was iron anaemic but i did see cardiologist and had a cardio vascular ultrasound but it came back clear. Same with ECG. I had 7 months taking 400mg of iron and that seemed to sort it out. Although, while this was going on it was found i had a large benign brain tumour so getting that removed took precedence. A few months ago i realised heart rate going high again when running so thought it was iron Anaemia again but apparently not.

  • Can I ask what the connection is between the increased heart rate and folate / B12 deficiency?

    I am low in folate and suspect B12 although blood serum showing in the 300s so GP not interested. Have been hospitalised twice in past 2 weeks with heart racing at rest. I'm in my 30s with no known heart problem. They have done lots of tests in past couple of weeks and think it's likely an infection of sorts but they are only guessing.

    Just wondering if there is a possible B12 cause here?

  • I thought i was iron anaemic again as had same problems couple of years ago so saw doctor who sorted out the blood tests. If you look at the symptoms for iron Anaemia and B12 / folate deficiency then they are similar, e.g. high heart rate when exercising, feeling palpitations, breathlessness, tiredness etc. If my blood tests had come back normal then doctor said he'd send me to see cardiologist again. Last time i had ECG and cardiovascular ultrasound and they came back clear. I did have a heart rate monitor stuck to me for a few days but I wasn't running then to make heart rate go high as it wasn't long after brain surgery that i was finally seen by cardiologist after suffering the high heart rate for months but also taking the iron tablets.

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