I am now 22 years of age (Portuguese-African female) and was first diagnosed with iron anemia when I was 15/16 years old. The very first blood test that confirmed that diagnosis, stated that I had 5.2 g/dL. Needless to say I struggled a lot with memory issues (really badly), tiredness, nausea, heavy periods, loss of appetite, hair, basically all of the typical iron anaemia symptoms, you name it I had it. I was then put on a course of iron tablets 2 a day and was also introduced to the pill in order to control my menstruation. My periods were so heavy that I would go through 5 heavy pads a day. I also changed colour, my hands and feet are really pale with dark knuckles and I am now so much lighter in skin tone my cousins thought I had bleached my skin. I also had and still have really sudden and bad mood swings, I just preferred being miserable on my own and became depressed.
The tablets did help, the levels increased, but they never got the "normal" range stage, so since then I have always been on prescribed iron medication. Two months ago, all of a sudden the symptoms returned and worsened, even with naps I would wake up even more tired. I had a lot of gas, would feel full after just 5 minutes of eating and would get extremely bloated, and my bowel movements would change (constipation, then normal). Also my eyes started to get blurry, constant headaches, memory loss and I could not do any of my university work, so much so that I am now repeating the year. My clumsiness worsened, I sometimes got kidney pains, really horrible acidic taste in mouth, extreme night sweats (I would be dripping with sweat), tight chest and indigestion.
The first diagnosis that I received after the doctors examined my tummy was IBS. Afterwards I went for my routine blood tests and it came back that I had Microcytic Anaemia, although it did not state the cause, therefore, I had to go for another blood test, which then revealed that I have Pernicious Anaemia. The doctor was so shocked that even though the reason for the B12 anaemia was not known (I am not a vegetarian, I eat a normal diet, it does not run in the family although my mother has a very mild case of iron anaemia and a distant cousin has Sickle Cell), she immediately started me on B12 injections every 2 days for 7 weeks.
The injections were painful as hell, but I did see some improvements. For instance, I did not feel the need to have naps during the day (I always used to have to), my digestion problems slowly subsided (only had indigestion symptoms 2 times), I only felt nausea on the days that I received injections, my vision was clearer, no night sweats, my memory and concentration improved, I was able to run and not feel although someone was sitting on my chest, I would regain my breath much faster, so as you see was a big improvement. The only negative was that I started to get acne on my face, chest and back (quite mild), and there was one week that I missed my injections, and I felt so weak all of a sudden and I got ill straight after.
I think I have covered everything. All I am asking is another opinion on the symptoms please. Does this sound like a normal case of PA?
THIS IS REALLY GROSS! I APPOLOGISE!! But one day I even passed a massive lump of mucus –jelly like-instead of faeces! At one point I even thought I had crohn's disease or celiac disease, but the doctor has not mentioned anything about it. As I have just finished the pilot B12, I am due for blood tests tomorrow and that might come back with some answers, but I am just so lost! I already feel the differences since coming off the injections 2 weeks ago, most of the symptoms are back to the same extent and I feel as though I’m back in square one.
Apologies for the essay and many thanks in advance, if you need any extra information, please feel free to ask.