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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Alcohol and exercise!

Just been diagnosed with PA on 6 shots in two weeks, knew something was wrong. Hmm reading your posts is making me wonder whether I will ever be normal again! It seems to vary widely on GP's knowledge ...a lottery as with most things. So what about walking, is this too no good as it uses up B12? And wanting to know about PA and drinking alcohol, it is actually making me feel worse just now but am thinking as a guide to having PA and living as sucessfully as possible with PA do you guys out there abstain totally. Does it too use up B12... Thanks in advance

9 Replies

No. Walking does not 'use up' B12. Nor, to any appreciable extent, does drinking alcohol.

If you have a B12 deficiency, and have had it for some time, then you're likely to suffer from fatigue. That means you've almost certainly not been exercising as much as you might have done beforehand.

Getting back to that earlier level of stamina may take some time. A long walk might l ace you extremely fatigued. That's not because you're using more B12 but because you're not used to it.



How would I take my dose of lime juice to replace stomach acid without the gin and tonic that accompanies it?


Not aware of anything substantial in terms of research on interactions between alcohol and B12 - beyond the risk of B12 deficiency that would be associated with damage to the liver from consuming too much - however, people do seem to react to it differently - I find that alcohol can wipe me out much more easily than it would have done in the past so tend to avoid it.


Hi Sparkle123- I think it's a case of "self limitation" - do what you can but not to a state of exhaustion or "doing things" just because you think you ought to.


Before diagnosis my energy and fitness levels were on a decline. My tolerance of alcohol was woeful....a glass or 2 of wine could give me a hangover for 2 days making me feel like I'd drunk a bottle or 2. As a result I would only drink when it was 'important' .... a celebration but not as a matter of routine.

It probably took about 2 years to get my fitness levels back to where they were previously. It took that long I think because I was never given loading doses. Then for a year I had 2-monthly injections, then monthly for a while and at this point I started being really careful about co factors (as a blood test at that time showed my potassium was just below range and my folate was in the bottom third of the range). I also moved to weekly si and I have to say that my fitness is as good as ever (I do long distance cycling) and my general energy is mostly good.

As for alcohol, I'm still a bit of a lightweight but I definitely tolerate it better than 2/3 years ago and have a beer and share a bottle of wine one night a week...roll on Friday!


I used to be able to have 5 glasses of wine and now after drinking two glasses I feel horrible.


I'm a cheap date - 2 glasses of wine and I fall asleep! Always have been, before and after diagnosis. I have a small glass of wine most nights without a problem.

Exercise wise, I go for a 2-3 mile walk most days. I find going out makes me feel better - fresh air and a change of scenery. Unless I dog sit for a few weeks and do 4 miles every day with 6 stone of stupid pulling me every which way, then I get wiped out.

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I have no intention of abstaining however I have cut down...or should I say I've curtailed the rise in consumption. I'm not sure though that I have noticed much correlation between symptoms and a couple of glasses of wine.

As for exercise, I do seem to have more limited reserves. I have always enjoyed sports but more recently, despite self injecting, I find that if I do too much I wipe myself out for a number of days. A bit like when you are recovering from a bug, don't be tempted to do too much when you are feeling good, just build the fitness up gradually.

Now why can't I take my own advice?


Usually I can walk fine after a B12 injection, but after a few days I become more exhausted and my legs don't always work properly. I have alcohol intolerance and have had for ages, so I don't drink at all. Those things might mean something else is going on, but no doctor is interested or can be bothered to find out. I do have migraine as well so everything tends to be attributed to that.


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