Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Blood results advice - Dr recommended a diet change

Hi everyone,

I was recommended to put a post on here by the lovely people on the Thyroid UK.

I had a blood sample last month due to extreme tiredness, occasional slurring of speech and numbness in my face/twitching, memory problems, sometime my joints are extremely stiff which worsen with exercise and ocassional a wry neck. I also occasional get extremely itchy and have has a long standing tooth abscess which is currently under treatment and have geographic tongue.

My results are as follows:

Adjusted Calcium : 2.15 (range 2.2 - 2.6)

Iron Saturation: 14 (range 15-45)

Vit B12: 132 (range 211-911)

Folate 2.5 (range >4.0)

My Dr told me I was anaemic and this would explain all the symptoms but told me just to increase my lacking vitamins via diet such as nutrition yeast/greens and to be re-tested in 3 month. In the mean time I am still exhausted and wondering if diet can help or if I should push for a more urgent treatment?

Thank in advance.

11 Replies
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Hi Mrs_ the natural way to source Vitamin B12 is by eating meat, fish, seafood, poultry, eggs and dairy produce. For Folate eat leafy green vegetables broccoli, sprouts, asparagus, spinach, peas, beans etc.

The old traditional meal of "Meat and two veg" has a lot to be said of it for providing the balance which is fine as long as you don't have an absorption problem with your stomach.

What is your diet like? Have you had gastric surgery? Are you on medications to reduce stomach acid such as a PPI?

There are many causes of B12 deficiency and your thyroid "problem" may also put you at risk of developing one.

Has your doctor investigated and ruled out the above deciding it is all down to your diet?

I'm not a medically trained person but there are others on here who will be able to give you good advice

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Hi, thanks for replying. I dont eat red meat or fish but do eat chicken. I have tried to increase my greens but I suppose I will have to wait a few more months for a retest. I have nodules on the right lobe of my goitre and my TSH levels are currently at 4.9 but have steadily increased over the past few years. I have not had any gastric surgery and do not take any type of with the exception of paracetamol for my days that i am stiff.

thanks for the reply :)

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If you have no intrinsic factor that your digestive system needs to absorb B12, you need to take the shots or use sublingual. Vitamins by mouth will not work unless the only reason you have B12 deficiency is because you are a Vegan.

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The only place B12 comes into our diet naturally is by animal products. Meat, milk, cheese, eggs. Which goes to show me that God does not intend us to be vegans

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Thanks for the reply. No im definitely not vegan and eat most things with the exception of lamb, fish. I don't eat a lot of red meat but I have not suddenly had a diet change so not sure they presumed it was my diet. I'm not sure if treatment affects the practice budget but if it does I'm sure that's the reason why . Thanks again

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I would have thought with your symptoms and that blood test result you should have B12 injections or at the very least, supplements to get you back to normal. If you are developing neurological problems three months is a long time to wait and a lot of damage will be done. If you have a good diet there's no reason for a nutritional deficiency so there must be something else going on. If you do have a low thyroid problem, as I understand it from what I have read, your digestion will be affected so whatever you eat, it won't help.

Just my opinion, not medical advice.

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thanks for your relpy :) Thats what I thought. My Dr doesnt seem to acknowledge that I have a thyroid problem as at the moment my TSH is only 4.9 and for the NHS to diagnose I believe it has to 5.5 but I do have a nodular goitre (which the dr didnt believe until he finally gave up and sent me for a scan and my neck is pretty big) . I think I will make another appointment to see him and push for injections as I cant deal with the exhaustion for a further 3 months. Thanks again for your advice :)

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with a B12 that low, presumably signs of macrocytic anaemia and neurological symptoms you should definitely be pushing for urgent treatment - its indicative of an absorption problem that is only going to get worse - extremely unlikely to be dietary.

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Thanks for your reply I wasn't sure if the B12 was really low or borderline as he didn't really discuss that just to change my diet and come back in 3 months. I will make another appointment and push for the injections. Thanks again for your advice

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If you have pernicious anemia and you are eating meat, eggs, milk etc and are still having trouble, you need shots or sublingual. Your digestive system will not absorb B12 because you have no intrinsic factor which is needed to absorb it. I went through 5 doctors before I got one that knew what they were doing.

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I didnt want to demand treatment if that was the normal thing to try diet 1st but obviously it isn't. Thanks for replying :)

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