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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Widening my search: a possible link between B12 deficiency and SIBO ?

GP suggested I ask gastroenterologist, on 2nd visit, about pancreatic insufficiency, but never got the chance because she had already decided that I have IBS instead.

Anyway, here's what I found later on one website:

EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency): pancreas unable to produce the enzymes needed to aid digestion.

Symptoms: hunger, diarrhoea, loss of nutrients, loss of weight, vitamin deficiencies- incl. B12* very commonly, often leading to SIBO.

*B12: can impair mental functions, drastically decrease energy levels, digestion issues, weight loss.


EPI: enzyme replacement in food throughout life

B12 deficiency: Injections necessary: oral supplement does not appear to be effective as inability to absorb nutrients

How did I find this useful information? By Googling "PETS with B12 deficiency."

......(no mention at all of IBS ! )

Think my GP has once again proved that she knows more than any of the consultants she has sent me to. Maybe her husband is a vet ?

Think this calls for a cartoon, beginner1

8 Replies

A gastro I saw suggested just that! He explained that pancreatic insufficiency is really strongly linked to B12 deficiency. It's a pretty simple test; mine turned out negative. So hooray that my pancreas is fine, and I'm glad the gastro was thoughtful enough to suggest it might be a possibility.


My gastro was completely uninterested. Glad yours was on the ball.


Mine was very busy and running late, but kind-hearted. Expected more from her because she seemed way more involved than either of the first two I saw. They both talked to me for a few minutes, dismissed me without tests or examinations, and then told my GP in their reports that I had IBS. Really not worth the 5-month wait.

Imagine these previous opinions have unduly influenced my 3rd Gastroenerologist, -so much so that she told me I had IBS, although admitted that it did not explain any of my other symptoms, ...or my raised MMA, or my positive Lactulose Breath Test results, or my flattened mucosa in duodenum............. only at this point did she decide to give me antibiotics and treat this as possible SIBO, which is what she had written into her original plan on 1st visit.

Still like mine better than yours, Hercules1969 - maybe you saw one of my 1st or 2nd gastroenterologists ?


If he has in Kent then maybe. I have had long standing gastro troubles. I recently had an endoscopy with Bravo in London and a CT in Kent to look at my pancreas. All clear although I have a few polyps and diverticulosis. But from about 50 onwards who doesn't right? He was massively dismissive of my b12 issues. Says I am not the borderline and he personally wouldn't bother treating it. Be interesting if my parietal comes back positive and we have to meet again. I suspect neurology is where I'm headed now. Whether it's b12 or something else my tremors and fatigue are the main issue.


SIBO and IBS are quite alike in that the gut flora is out of kilter . Bad bacteria get the upper hand .Probiotics can help that situation


Thanks to both of you. Started antibiotics for the bad'uns and probiotics for the good'uns today- let battle commence ! Not sure what tests I have had done by Metabolics consultant/ Gastroenterologist, but will ask them.

If not already tested for pancreatic insufficiency, I can always ask a vet !


Dont take them at the same time though !


Except SIBO devour all your vitamins and leave you weak but alive: "never kill your host" is their motto. [Kind.]

A more likely explanation for B12, folate, ferritin, vitamin D deficiencies, and even protein -which Metabolics consultant believes is "poor diet". [Unkind.]*

* [Also untrue: ask my SIBOs !!]


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