PA and Sport: After a few months of... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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PA and Sport

wiganer123 profile image

After a few months of feeling quite ill and struggling, I went to my doctor and now two weeks later, I have been diagnosed with PA and am currently half way through my loading period of B12 injections.

Naturally, I am reading up on PA as much as I can and trying to get my head around it all.

I have always been really active and sports mad, but now I am not sure what the future holds in that regard. I guess it could be back to normal once my levels return, but then again maybe not.

Everyone is different in how they respond, but I would be interested to hear what others have experienced

3 Replies

Hi. I think you can feel hopeful that you will be able to return to sports.

My main sport is long distance cycling which ground to a halt in the run up to being diagnosed with PA. My GP failed to give me loading doses but instead gave me an injection every 2 months. After 6 months or so this was enough to make me realise how lacking in energy I’d been feeling but it wasn’t enough to make me feel completely well nor return to the level of cycling I’d previously enjoyed.

Another GP at the practice agreed to try me on monthly injections which definitely improved things but it wasn’t until I decided to self inject on a weekly basis that I was able to cycle speeds and distances as I had done previously.

So it took me one to 2 years to feel sufficiently improved to be able to push myself but I think this would have been less if I’d had loading doses at the start.

If I wasn’t self injecting weekly I wouldn’t be able to do what I do now and I’d say I have returned more or less to full health, albeit I probably get more tired of an evening.

I’m careful with what I’m eating, ensuring I take on board plenty of foods containing potassium and folate. I also supplement with a daily multi vitamin plus 400mcg of folate/folic acid. I drink little alcohol too as this definitely has a negative effect on me, although not as much as it did in the early days.

Very importantly I listen to my body and if it really is saying no to exercise then I don’t do it.

So, be hopeful. Rest when you need to whilst you’re recovering and don’t push yourself too hard on the early days. Watch your diet, dispense with the alcohol and find the injection frequency that suits you.

Good luck!

I read JanD236's reply with great interest, because being physically active has been a huge challenge for me. I actually just spoke with my doctor today about going to weekly injections. I was doing every other week last spring, and was doing great until I started doing high-intensity interval training (a mere 10 minutes a day) and start running (my max was 18 minutes at a pace barely above a brisk walk). But that was enough to knock me flat.

I am hopeful that weekly injections will do the trick for me, plus folic acid and iron supplements, and more attention to potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins through food. I even bought myself a jar of Marmite and surprised myself that I actually like it!

I would recommend keeping a log of your injection dates, energy levels, and exercise. That should help you identify if you are pushing yourself too hard to maintain your levels.

In my case, the PA came on really quickly (I think it was triggered by having nitrous oxide during childbirth - my grandma also had it so likely I would have at some point anyway), and I got to the point where I was fainting and unable to control falling asleep, so got diagnosed quite quickly too, had the loading doses, had to start self-injecting to bring the dose up to monthly as I could not survive the 3 months between NHS rations otherwise. Now I cycle to work at least twice a week - 12km each way, go to the gym twice a week and go climbing twice a week. I have also done some running on and off, but I'm not that into it, and struggle to fit it in, so not all the time. I also have a now 4 year old, so I'm not really allowed to rest even when not exercising... I am struggling a bit with energy levels especially before my period, so I think I've not got the B12 dose exactly right for myself yet, but even if I feel extremely tired and a bit dizzy, I still do whatever I was going to do anyway, but just perform badly. I kind of hope it's money in the bank as it were and will help me be better when I do have more energy. So anyway, here's one sports mad person who is still doing all the sports. Hope it helps. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much (any) research on PA in young and active people.

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