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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Some new problems and some new questions : can anyone help?

A couple of issues I'd like to ask about, which may or may not relate to each other:

This morning's problems:

1) Waking up suddenly in early hours with heart pounding and mouthfuls of what looks like very watery blood, stinging throat and sides of tongue: does that sound like reflux? This has happened a few times now.

2) Can eating a couple of beetroots with salad last night make it look as if there is blood in your toilet next morning ?

Breath test revealed either SIBO or fast transit through bowel, either of which could explain low iron, folate, B12 :

3) Raised MMA linked to SIBO: yes/no? Was sent to Gastroenterologist because of this + breath test results, but she says she hasn't ever heard of a link, although both Mayo and Stichting B12 Tekort (and my GP) say there is one.

4) GP told me to ask Gastroenterologist to look at Pancreatic Insufficiency as possible reason for fast transit: anyone know anything about this?

8 Replies

Beetroot is definitely going to cause red urine - it can look quite scary! Monitor. If the redness stops, don't worry, but go get it checked out if it doesn't.

The test for pancreatic insufficiency is a stool sample. Apparently, it can cause absorption problems because food simply passes through without all the necessary nutrients being absorbed. My gastro thought it would make sense of my symptoms, but luckily my pancreas is working just fine.

Sorry, I don't know anything about reflux or MMA / SIBO. Someone on here will help, but in all cases, if you're worried, ask your GP.


..but what if it's in your stools - more scary or less ? Could make sense if I did have pancreatic insufficiency, because as you said above "food simply passes through without all the necessary nutrients being absorbed" -if you substitute the word "nutrients" with "beetroots", spacey1 !

Trouble with GPs is that they are so overstretched that you can't possibly fit all the questions in, especially if you have memory problems. I thought I did well yesterday given that she was running over 1/2 hr late already at 10.30am-

Got my "phased return to work" certificate for next week

Got my iron blood tests printout - levels dropping again

Asked about the appointment with Metabolics consultant which was acted on by GP in early November and no appointment letter yet

Discussed my Gastroenterology appointment (last week)

Discussed my upcoming saliva gland/ duct procedure.

-not bad for someone who seems to be deficient in just about everything!

I think the GP is now leaving it up to the Gastroenterologist to find an answer, as she was told either SIBO or "fast transit" which warrants further investigation- hence being sent to both gastroenterology and metabolics.

Thanks for your response, and I'm really glad that your pancreas has been ruled out as the culprit.

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it does sound as if the beetroot is the cause of the colouring and the stinging throat does sound like it could be acid reflux - but would suggest that you see a doctor as a matter of urgency if those symptoms continue.

SIBO can lead to absorption problems - so could affect the amount of B12 you are absorbing from your food leaving you deficient. Without sufficient B12 your cells can't recycle MMA into a useful building block - leading to raised levels of MMA.

pancreatic insufficiency - basically it means your pancreas isn't producing enough enzymes to maintain proper gut movements.



So "back away from the beetroot".

Until someone decides whether I have SIBO or "fast transit" or something else entirely, I'm not going to get treatment, so I'm carrying on with the B12 injections. I'm also taking multivitamins&minerals, iron, extra folate, vitamin D3 and risedronate tablets -although presumably these could also hurtle through my system without touching the sides.

The frequent B12 injections have finally got me to the stage where I can get back to work on a phased return starting next week, so January is starting to look a little less gloomy already.

Thanks very much for the article above Gambit62 and keep your fingers crossed next Friday for me.

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Completely off piste but your reference to beetroot reminded me that when my peptic ulcer burst back in 1959, redecorating a newly painted corridor wall with fresh blood, the doctor who examined me in hospital asked whether I'd eaten beetroot for breakfast.... Silly man :)

I hope you manage to resolve your problems Cherylclaire


clivealive - it's maybe time to change your name to "It'sacompletebloodymiraclethatI'mstillclivealive".....

that must've been a very scary thing to happen and you've had your fair share of scary things happening. Gone right off beetroot, how about you?

Working on it, Clive, takes a while though .....


I was just 17 at the time and for the next four days I was at home losing blood (or beetroot juice) from both ends until my doctor had me rushed to the other side of Birmingham where I was stuck into a medical ward and fed on Horlicks tablets and given transfusions - but to no avail.

When at a point in time I needed immediate emergency surgery (having "lost" enough blood to fill a kidney bowl) at that very moment, my Dad and sister walked into my ward and because I was "under age" he was able to give his consent for the operation to remove two thirds of my stomach.

I have entitled my four volume 360,000 word "memoirs" "Clive Alive - with God in my life" so perhaps you can guess just one of the reasons why I chose it, as despite the many ups and downs in my life, with His help "Clive-survived". :)


Happy that you did, Clive !


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