Pernicious Anaemia Society
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B12 deficiency or anemia?

B12 deficiency or anemia?

Hi everyone! I've been reading for a while first post today.

I've learned I lot in here. Thanks everyone!

I was given b12 injections years ago after I saw many doctors many times. Luckily one good doctor tested me for b12.

I got pregnant about 2 year after that while doing prenatal check ups I was told to stop the injections because my b12 levels were fine.

Over Four year passed and I was getting all symptoms badly ; mouth ulcer, hot legs, always tired, headaches, blurred vision, ear ringing.. tried to get an appointment a few times no help given.

( my local surgery you talk to the dr over the phone then they decide if you need to be seen)

Something clicked on my head and I ask the Doctor to test my b12 levels. Who was very reluctant to do it, he told me my symptoms had nothing to do with b12 deficiency.

Had blood tests done. I got this letter on the post. The doctor never saw me or explained why I'm deficient.

So my question is how can he tell I don't have anemia? I have the blood test results if that helps.

Sorry for the long post!

Thanks for reading

14 Replies
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Hi liza1001 when is your first loading dose of B12? Get an appointment as soon as you can.

Do you know what your Folate level is? Folate and B12 help your iron to function properly and make red blood cells

To determine whether you have P.A. you will need to have your Intrinsic Factor checked for antibodies. Sadly the test is not all that accurate.

The fact that your levels have "gone up and down" in the past suggests that you might have an absorption problem.

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

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Thanks the reply.

I've attached a pic with blood test results.

I've taken the loading dose, I'm on the 12 weekly injections.

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Your Folate is "bumping along" at the bottom of the range. Have a word with your doctor about supplementing with folic acid.

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I will . Thanks for the advice.

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Did they do a full blood count (FBC)?

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No, I think they only checked for b12 levels.

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I'm surprised they didn't do a FBC but as Galixie says it doesn't really matter as long as they treat the B12 deficiency. You must be feeling very unwell with a level that low. It's very low indeed. Have you felt any improvement since having the loading doses?

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Yes I'm am felling much better already!

My doctor didn't want to test me for b12 so I believe that's why he didn't do a FBC.

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He can't tell from those tests alone whether or not you have anemia. But he can see that you are deficient in B12 and need treatment. I'm surprised a FBC wasn't done at the same time the other tests were run, but it doesn't really matter since you clearly need treatment for your deficient B12.

It looks like your lab can only measure down to 83 ng/L and your result is showing that your level is below the lab's measurable range. It's not possible to know exactly how much lower than 83 your level really is. Considering that anything below 189 is low according to that lab, your results should really not be ignored.

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I'll chase the dr and ask for more details. I want to make sure im getting the right treatment.

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Do you mean how can my GP tell I have anaemia or how can he tell I don't have pernicious anaemia?

Pernicious anaemia is a bit of a misnomer as it was first identified through effects on red blood cells - being enlarged and rounder than normal - about 200 years before the actual cause - lack of B12 - was identified. This type of anaemia isn't always present though.

PA is, strictly speaking, one particular absorption problem that will lead to a B12 deficiency. The currently favoured test for this - IFA - is notoriously prone to false negatives so a negative is a long way from demonstrating that you don't have PA so it's actually quite difficult to rule it out as a cause

With a B12 level that low you should definitely be on loading shots. The shots should never have been stopped whilst you were pregnant.

Can you ring the surgery and ask to speak to the practice administrator - mention that your blood test actually shows your B12 being below the bottom of the measurable range yet your B12 deficiency still isn't being treated. You are highly symptomatic of B12 deficiency and were being treated for a B12 absorption problem up until 2 years ago, when injections were withdrawn because your levels were high, although this isn't in line with current guidelines - refer them to the BCSH guidelines.

I'm suggesting ringing as your levels are so low something needs to be done urgently - but writing would be another option if you can manage that.

Would also suggest that you try contacting the PAS directly

pernicious-anaemia-society....

you may also need to join them.

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Hi, I meant both. Because on the letter the doctor wrote: " Your blood test shown a low vitamin b12 level not enough to cause anaemia fortunately and your other vitamin test were normal."

Then went on to say: your b12 is so low that that I think you will need to have injections for the rest of your life.

I've started the treatment. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I just want to make sure this time I get the right treatment. I shall not let them stop my injections, now i know better!

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Is it possible to post 2 pictures?

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unfortunately the only way to post two pictures is to post one picture on two posts - you can't post pictures in responses only in a post.

You can edit a post to repost a picture by clicking on the down arrow and selecting edit.

reality is that people tend not to come back to posts that are more than a couple of days old unless they have been specifically mentioned or replied to

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