Pernicious Anaemia Society
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15 yr old daughter is B12 deficient - what should I be asking our GP to do?

Hi everyone, my daughter had a series of blood tests recently as she was getting unexplained pains in her thighs. Her B12 came back as 169 so they did a repeat and it came back at 150 two weeks later. Whilst speaking to the GP (about another matter) I looked on his screen and saw that her MCV was 83. The GP is going to call me today to discuss her B12 results. She is a life long vegetarian, but she eats plenty of dairy and eggs, occasionally fortified cereal and I have always given her multi vitamin and iron supplements. Basically I don't think her diet is the problem but I think the GP will infer that it is. Do I need to ask him for a test for intrinsic factor, should I push for B12 injections?

By the way she has fatigue, aching joints and muscles and low mood. It turned out the pains in her thighs were due to over-pronation of her feet and she is being treated for that with in-soles and physio.

My grandfather (my daughter's great grandfather) had PA. I recently had blood tests as well and all were fine.

Any advice would be appreciated.



3 Replies

Hi Louise,

In my Daughter's case she was first put into high dosis of perscribed iron, and seperate high dosis of all B vitamin, plus calcium tablets for 3 months to see if it was her diet that caused the deficiency. After that another bloodtest to see if all had gone up. In her case her iron was up but her serum B12 had not moved at all, which then confirmed that she has a problem absorbing B12 naturally from food, tablet form etc.So then she was put on injectings for life. I think that is the right way, first see if a person can takke up B12 naturally, not just assume injectings, they are not nice afterall..

Testing antibodies will most probably be done, but it will make no difference to her treatment if the antibody test are negative. Only if she tests positive for IF antibodies will she have a positive diagnosis for PA..many do not get that diagnosis, but the treatment does not alter, the deficiency is still there. There may be other tests that your GP may want to do such as acidety of stomach, thyroid function etc..

I hope this helps,

Kind regards,



Hi Marre

GP is going to test for Coeliac and Intrinsic factor, and then she will go on the B12 injections.

Thanks for your reply.



Hi Olisue Marre is quite right in my opinion regarding the GP tests needed, the Coelaic will be covered by a TTG test, I would also do an Intrinsic Factor or IF test, along with a PCA test to check the antibody level. If all these come back negative, then I would be looking to call on Guys / St Thomas's Hospital to carry out the Holo TC or Active B12 test. Please see the advise I have just listed for CassyP. The Guys Hospital phone Number is 0207 188 7188 and ask for Denise O'Blein, she will fill in the details for you and regarding the total cost, including all Packaging - Postage and the Test it self, this total's only £ 30.00. Should it be needed, there are also other tests such as MMA which could be considered.

Good luck hope you daughter soon feel better

B12 Turbo


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