Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Hashimoto's

I'm off to London tomorrow to have my Vitamin B12 tested as I have read that it is common for those with Hashi's to also be Vitamin B12 deficient. Am I right in understanding that the logic is that with one auto-immune condition (I in fact have 3!) it may be possible that I also have auto-immune pernicious anaemia?

As some of you know, I am trying to get to the bottom of my depression and out the other side. What I have read about the links between B12 and mental health is fascinating. What I'd like to clarify, though is should I be deficient, what next? How do they establish if it's pernicious anaemia or diet? And if it's the former, what is the recommended medication?

Thank you.

11 Replies

  • I meant to add, when I asked my GP about the Vitamin B12 test, she was convinced that I would have been tested for it given my ongoing anxiety and depression. We looked back over 8 years and I hadn't been tested. I suppose I am secretly hoping this could be a missing piece of my jigsaw puzzle. If it is, I'll be cross with the GPs.

  • I would ask this question over on the PAS forum of Health Unlocked. Click onto My Communities on the Green Bar at the top and search for the Pernicious Anaemia Society Forum. Lots of helpful people there - including lots of us :-)

    You will need to have other tests done - like Ferritin - Folate - Iron as well as B12. There is an ACTIVE B12 test done at St Tomas's Hospital in London which can indicate what is going on at a cellular level and more accurate than the serum one done by GP's. Not sure if you need a note from your Doc ! It's a good idea to also have the Homocysteine tested as that is often raised when B12 is low. Also the MMA test - which is a urine test. Then there are the anti-bodies - Anti-IF and Anti-Parietal Cells.

    Do bear in mind that some tests are not always 100% accurate and can throw up false negatives.

    If you have PA you will need regular injections. If low B12 it could be the same. There are several choices. When you have results report back in a new post and people will help.

    Hope all goes well and you get to the bottom of things.....

  • I'll see what the results are and then post here and where you suggesting. I am going to St Thomas for the test. I begged my GP and told her I'd pay myself. She said if it came back low they'd still have to do their more traditional B12 test as otherwise she wouldn't have a protocol to follow.

    I might have a peep on that other forum. I'm intrigued to see if anyone on there with PA has been suffering with depression too.

    I'm confused about ferritin, folate and iron. Is each of these tested or are they the same thing?

  • Ferritin is stored iron in the liver. It's like the store cupboard - when iron is low in the blood - the liver provides as long as there is enough ! Yes these are individual tests and need to be done along with the Full Blood Count to rule out various anaemia. You can have Folate anaemia - Iron anaemia - and so on. All are important.

    What is your diet like ?

  • I'd say my diet is good. Red meat x 2 a week, white meat x 2 and then fish and lots of veg and fruit. Years ago I was always on some horrid brown tablets. I think that was for low iron. But I had bloods done not so long ago and they were ok. Ferritin is checked as part a a full blood count. I do wonder about my blood though. A rare chronic blood cancer (it's kind of auto-immune) runs in our family on the female side and I wonder if part of my probs is the start of this process for me. Never had the genetic test as i'd rather just find out I have it rather than dwell on its coming.

  • Am not sure that Ferritin is included in the FBC. You have to request it. My Mum had Non Hodgkins Lymphoma and had an undiagnosed thyroid. I think you will be just fine - having a diagnosis does help to support your body.

  • Halinka, the B12 test will determine whether you are deficient or low but not why. If B12 is deficient or very low in range GP needs to test intrinsic factor and anti-parietal cells to confirm or rule out pernicious anaemia. Treatment for PA is loading shots of hydroxocobalamin to restore B12 levels and lifetime maintenance shots at 3 monthly intervals.

    If deficiency is dietary, loading shots to restore levels and then you need to supplement to compensate for dietary deficiency.

  • Thanks Clutter.

  • You might be interested in the attached link seeing you have more than 1 autoimmune disease. I have 3 too.

    Depression is quite common with hypothyroidism and is one of the clinical symptoms. These are research articles. Some psychiatrists do use T3 for their depressed patients who aren't hypothyroid.

  • Also, even if you're diet is super-healthy, if you have digestive issues you won't be absorbing B12 through the diet properly.


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