Could it be low vit b12?: Hi everyone i... - Pernicious Anaemi...

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Could it be low vit b12?

Clareb12 profile image

Hi everyone i was wondering if i could have some advice. Im a 24 year old female, back when i was around 17 i was feeling sick all the time, tired, dizzy etc and after months of running backwards and forwards to the GP they told me my vit b12 was low. They gace me 6 injections in 2 weeks and then i had 1 injection every 3 months to keep my levels topped up. I cant remember when i stopped but stupidly, i allowed myself to get busy with life and just stopped getting the injections because i felt fine despite missing one for a month - so i thought i was okay. I fell pregnant when i was 22 and asked for my vit b12 levels to be checked incase they were low but i was told they came back normal at that time despite not being on any supplements. I had atopped the injections probably 2 years or more before i fell pregnant so im cpnfused as to how my vit b12 was normal then.

I had my daughter in August of 2017 and ever since i have been getting progressively worse with symptoms such as dizziness, my vision is getting worse and worse, i feel sick often, i feel almost like im high although i dont take anything atronger than paracetamol. The last week has been the worst and im am now having frequent headaches and feeling like im struggling to focus/think/remember things. My anxiety has been getting worse and worse, and i have been afraid to go to the doctor because im terrified i have cancer or something which i know sounds stupid but my health anxiety is so bad. Im only now thinking it may be my vit b12 going low again.

Im going to my GP on Wednesday because ive had enough of feeling so bad and scared, but im wondering is it really possible for my b12 to go from low, to fine to low again like that? Any replies woukd be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Clare x

11 Replies

I am assuming that you don’t have a vegan or very strict vegetarian diet . One thing you must know is that Vitamin B12 can only be obtained in the diet from meat , fish, milk products and eggs . To extract and absorb it you need stomach acid and the Intrinsic Factor.Both of these substances are produced in the parietal cells in the stomach . If you have the autoimmune condition called Pernicious Anaemia, the antibodies it produces attack these cells, which stops production of stomach acid and the Intrinsic Factor. Overtime your stores of B12 in your liver are depleted and the symptoms of B12 deficiency start to appear .There are many symptoms of B12 deficiency , amongst them , the ones that you describe . Pernicious Anaemia is not the only cause of B12 deficiency. Taking PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors which neutralise stomach acid ) over years can cause B12 deficiency,also other medications for diabetes , eg Metformin , Helibactor pylori injection in the stomach, a vegan/ strict vegetarian diet, fish tapeworm infestation,. You can look this up on the internet .

You also need vitamin B9 (folate in vegs and fruit, folic acid in tablet form ) which acts together with vitamin B12 . So you need to make sure that you are getting a good supply .

If I were you , I would try to get my B12 injections re-instated .Unfortunately , the test for P.A. is very unreliable , and it can show up as negative when you do have P.A. But your GP should know this . But the medical profession as a whole is very ignorant about P.A./B12 deficiency. You now have your child to consider and you must keep well for her sake . Best wishes .

Clareb12 profile image
Clareb12 in reply to wedgewood

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate all of the information you have given me, it is very valuable! I do not have a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle but i am a notoriously fussy eater so i think a problem factor for me is more than likely my diet which i will be making improvements on from now on as well but i will still be going to my doctor to ask about my b12 injections as well. I know i now have my daughter to consider and to be honest the thing that has pushed me to see a doctor is the fact that a few days ago i was home alone with her and i felt so out of it, almost high and faint and i was scared i would faint and she would be alone! I have to do something now before i get any worse. Thank you so much again x

The Vitamin B12 serum test is quite problematic. First off it's fairly inaccurate (you can test the same sample twice and get results up to 20% different. The second problem is that the 'normal' range is set so that most normal people fit in that range, but 5% show as deficient, even if they're not. That means that a lot od people who are deficient test as normal.

So, if your test when you were 22 came back 'normal' it is quite possible that it was near the bottom of 'normal' and that you were, indeed, deficient.

The amount of time between stopping the injections and feeling the onset of symptoms can vary a lot. In normal people their body can store four years of B12. So it would take them a long time to start feeling ill again.

Get your B12 tested again. Ask for the actual result (number, units and range - something like 105 pmol/L <115-600 pmol/L>) and post it on here is the doctor calls it 'normal'. At the same time ask for folate, vitamin D, HbA1c, iron and a full blood count.

Clareb12 profile image
Clareb12 in reply to fbirder

Thankyou very much! That could very well explain why i was told my levels were normal at that time. She told me my b12 was normal but that my folate was low, oddly enough. I will definitely be asking for the actual number this time so i can post it here for more advice. I do remember having to go to my doctor over and over again at 17 telling them i wasnt well and they kept taking blood and telling me i was fine before they finally discovered my b12 was low, so it doesnt surprise me that the test isnt very accurate x

Hi I would also get tested for diabetes as some of the sight issues and dizzyness you describe could be due to this. You could have a combination of things?

Clareb12 profile image
Clareb12 in reply to Zoe99

Yesi will be telling my doctor all my symptoms and taking any test they suggest! I might even mention a diabetes test if they dont. At this point im determined to find out whats up. Thank you! x

Definitely, I believe you have a B12 deficiency as I have this deficiency myself and share some symptoms with you (tired, dizzy, weakness) and have some that you don't have like peripheral neuropathy. Also, you share symptoms with many of the tons, and tons of posts that I have read. And you are one of the lucky ones. Let me explain. You are lucky enough to have your shots last you several years. Some people in this forum need shots every month, other, every 10, some every day, there are even some that inject twice a day.

You should get a full bloodwork to test for everything including diabetes. Check that you don't have high/low blood pressure. Get B12 test and post it here. Go back to the shots AFTER you get tested for B12 serum levels.

Clareb12 profile image
Clareb12 in reply to

Yes from what i have read in the last few days some peoples vit b12 stores take years to deplete and others it takes weeks/months or less! I cant imagine that and it must be awful. I will be going to the doctors in the morning and have results in a few days so ill post all my results then. Im hopeful i will get some answers and begin on the road to feeling normal again! Thank you x

Vision problems from what I have read on numerous websites and forums is a common issue with b12 deficiency. I have got it as well and my sugars are absolutely fine. My eyes have been tested thoroughly by an optician and an ophthalmologist a d there is no problem with them but my vision is not stable, slightly blurred and I suffer from light sensitivity.

Clareb12 profile image
Clareb12 in reply to Myshk

I had no idea my vision worsening could be related to b12 until i read about it! I was shocked. I must admit i havnt tested my blood sugars since i was pregnant so im not sure how they are, but im hoping its not diabetes! But if it is i will manage it, im sure. I guess ill find out soon! Thank youX

Hi guys i am so sorry it took me this long to update this post but i just remembered it and thought i should update it for anyone who comes along in the future! It turns out my vitamin b12 was low again and i have resumed getting my injection every 3 months! Thank you for all your kind replies x

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