Pernicious Anaemia Society

PA. Loss of appetite & Leaky gut connection

Dear Team,

Extremely happy with the kind of support you are giving in this forum for various queries which most of the doctors never give in Spain where I live. Its amazing & very grateful to this forum.

I have PA/Vitiligo/Low Stomach acid/Atrophic Gastritis since 4 years & am with B12 monthly doses & vitamin supplements. In addition I have the following issues for which I seek some help here.

1) I lost my appetite completely. Still eating on time as I don't want lose weight further. In your experience is there a way to get the back appetite?

2)Recently, I did a private urine test for leaky gut & found I have permeability. With great difficulty I found nutritionist & he asked me to take L-glutamine/bone broth but nothing improves. So I am lost & don't know how to treat.

Any suggestion would be of great help.

7 Replies

When you say" B12 doses" , do you mean injections or tablets ? If tablets , it might mean that you cannot absorb the B12 in your low acid stomach ( which also comes with Pernicious Anaemia , because antibodies attack the parietal cells which supply the acid so badly needed to help absorb all the nutrients .) If you have P.A. , it means that you lack Intrinsic Factor as well, which is also needed to help in absorbing B12 ,the most diffucult to absorb vitamin.

The lack of acid upsets the stomach flora , which can lead to tummy problems . I had this problem too , when I found out that I had PA. I took a very good probiotic( Symprove ) which was marvellous , but expensive. I now treat myself with home-made organic red cabbage sauerkraut , with a few chopped onions . The fermenting process produces probiotics ( recipes online) If your lack of stomach acid is serious , Hydrochloric Acid capsules with pepsin could be of help.You have to find your doses by trial and error .

If you get your tummy right , you will find that your apoetite will return . But you are very much on your own with this , as neither GPS or consultant gastroenterologists have a clue . If you haven't been tested for P.A. then get tested, but be warned , it's a VERY unreliable test !


Sorry I missed the fact that you do have P.A. So you can ignore some of the things I wrote !


thank you so much wedgewood for your immediate response.

I have PA so am injecting B12 on monthly basis. On the Intrinsic factor, I don't have any anti bodies in the last 1 year (I had antibodies on IF 2 years back), but is there a way to find the level of intrinsic factor?

On the Stomach acid, doctors says, I have low but how do I know how low it is. Is there a test we can do?

I also read few times about Symprove so I have started recently & I am on my 5th week. Will let you know soon, how it goes. Thanks again


I'm sorry I dont know about finding out levels of Intrinsic Factor , but I went to see a gastroenterologist ( £150). , asking for a test for stomach acid He said it could only be done in research situations . There is always the bicarbonate of soda test for stomach acid ( google it ) But never mention it to a doctor , or you will be laughed out of the surgery . ( I did, and that's what happened to me ). I think it's terrible that there is no test available when you think how important stomach acid is in the absorption process of nutrients . Most cases of so called heartburn / acid reflux are caused by low stomach acid , because the important lower oesophageal sphincter fails to shut tightly enough when the stomach acid is not high strength enough . Then the PPIs are prescribed to completely suppress the acid , causing problems of absorption . If there were a test this could be avoided .

I used the Symprove for at least 3 months , and found that it was really excellent. I do sometimes buy a bottle if things aren't quite right , but mostly now I rely on the sauerkraut ( RAW, I forgot to say )

Best of luck with it all !

1 like

Try kefir for better gut health: Several articles on CK's website.


Hi. My understanding is that if you've ever had a positive result for the IF antibody test then you've definitely got PA so there's no point in doing the test again. The test is notoriously inaccurate around half the time so the fact that you didn't register any antibodies in your more recent test is probably a reflection of the test failing, not that your IF has miraculously recovered because it won't. You have PA and that's it. Regarding your low acid, some on here recommend drinking some dilute apple cider vinegar or lime juice before eating: I've tried it and it seems to work for my stomach problems, which may help with your appetite (the thought of eating is more appealing if it doesn't hurt when you do eat!). The probiotics should also help your gut microbiome. All the best for getting better!


thank you all for your valuable suggestions.


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