Why Am I Deficient: Hello I am still... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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Why Am I Deficient


Hello I am still getting 12 weekly B12 injections but not really getting answers from my doctor. I feel I am more and more being clumsy - I've tripped 3 times and it isn't even 10am. I am also forgetting things a lot and generally being quite stupid really, not to a dangerous extent but still worrying. Can I ask to see my medical records as my doctor has never told me why I'm deficient or why my body can't absorb B12 from food. She looks embarrassed and waffles when I ask questions. I'm googling more and that's not a good plan as your mind runs riot.

2 Replies
clivealiveForum Support

Hi Weecee45

Anyone at any age, can become B12 deficient. Thus you need to be tested immediately if you develop the symptoms. However, certain people are at an elevated risk. They include the following:

Vegetarians, vegans and people eating macrobiotic diets.

People aged sixty and over

People who’ve undergone any gastric and/or intestinal surgery, including bariatric surgery for weight loss purposes (Gastric bypass).

People who regularly use proton-pump- inhibitors. H2 blockers, antacids, Metformin, and related diabetes drugs, or other medications or infections such as h-pylori that can interfere with B12 absorption.

People who undergo surgeries or dental procedures involving nitrous oxide, or who use the drug recreationally.

People with a history of eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia).

People with a history of alcoholism.

People with a family history of pernicious anaemia.

People diagnosed with anaemia (including iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia).

People with Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gluten enteropathy (celiac disease), or any other disease that cause malabsorption of nutrients.

People with autoimmune disorders (especially thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Grave’s disease) Type 1 diabetes, vitiligo, lupus, Addison’s disease, ulcerative colitis, infertility, acquired agammaglobulinemia, or a family history of these disorders.

Women with a history of infertility or multiple miscarriages.

Can you see yourself in any of the above people?

It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 starts repairing the damage done to your nervous system and your brain starts getting multiple messages from part of the body it had "forgotten about" or lost contact with.

I sometimes liken it to a badly tuned radio on which you have turned the volume up high trying to catch the programme you want when all of a sudden the signal comes in loud and clear and the blast nearly deafens you.

A lot will depend on the severity and longevity of your B12 deficiency as to how long before there is no further improvement or recovery.

Some symptoms will "disappear" quite quickly whereas others may take months or even years. There is no set timescale as we are all different.

You have the right to ask for copies of your blood tests etc although the surgery may make a small charge. I normally ask my doctor to print mine out there and then when I have an appointment - no problem - no charge.

Please ask whether your Folate level was tested.

It is also important that your Folate level is monitored as this is essential to process the B12.

There is a complex interaction between folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. A deficiency of one may be "masked" by excess of another so the three must always be in balance.

Symptoms of a folate deficiency can include:

symptoms related to anaemia

reduced sense of taste


numbness and tingling in the feet and hands

muscle weakness


Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 in making red blood cells and helps iron function properly in the body

I am not a medically trained person but I've had P.A. (a form of B12 deficiency) for more than 45 years.

I wish you well


Weecee45 in reply to clivealive

Thankyou clivealive this is very helpful.

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