Advice - Shortness of breath is now worrying me.

Posted , 4 users are following.


im hoping you folks can put my mind to rest over my current symptoms.

About three weeks ago I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia. I went into hospital with bad chest pains and was admitted with bloods of 4.4.

I was kept in for five days before being discharged as an out patient. I have accepted the the symptoms I need to deal with until my bloods improve apart from the shortness of breath.

I have had my loading dose of B12 and I'm on daily Folic Acid tablets. I had my last bloods done on Monday and they were 8.9. My last appointment with the hospital is this Friday for a final blood test before moving over to my GP for 3 monthly injections of B12.

My concern is that even doing the simplest of task like climbing up the stairs leaves me out of breath. If this was just something I had to breath through I would be ok with it but most of the time it leaves me gasping for air and at times panicking that I just can't get enough air into me and I'm clutching my chest in fear.

From what I have read online it's similar to angina attack.

Is this normal as I have only been diagnosed or something I should be worried about?

Oh, one more thing. I can't sleep laying down as I can breath. Taken to sleeping the best I can sitting up.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

1 like, 4 replies

Report / Delete

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Wow I am sorry you are feeling so ill at the moment.How many and how frequent were your B12 loading doses?

    Treatment of cobalamin deficiency

    Current clinical practice within the U.K is to treat cobalamin deficiency with hydroxocobalamin in the intramuscular form outlined in the British National Formulary, BNF, 

    Standard initial therapy for patients without neurological involvement is 1000 µg intramuscularly (i.m.) three times a week for two weeks, then every three months. 

    The BNF advises that for Pernicious anaemia and other macrocytic anaemias patients presenting with neurological symptoms should receive 1000 µg i.m. on alternative days until there is no further improvement, then 1 mg every 2 months.

    However, the GWG recommends a pragmatic approach in patients with neurological symptoms by reviewing the need for continuation of alternative day therapy after three weeks of treatmentAccording to the above highlighted paragraph you should have been on alternate day injections until there was no further improvement.  Thereafter if you have P.A. the frequency should be every two months.

    Sadly it is not uncommon for symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 starts to repair the damage done to your nervous system.

    I suggest you list all your symptoms and score them on a scale of 1 to 10 on their improvement or increased severity, crossing off those which abate and adding new ones as they appear.  There is no set timeline as we are all different but at least you are on the road to recovery.

    However be assured that there is life after P.A..  I've had it for 45 years and I'm still "clivealive" at 75.

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Having just re-read your post I note that you are taking folic acid.  This is good and is often overlooked as folic acid is essential to process the B12 you are having injected.

    As to your breathing - breathlessness or "the big sigh" is one of the many symptoms of P.A. but was P.A. the diagnosis for the chest pains that got you into hospital in the first place?

    Please do not stress and worry too much in these early days of your treatment. I remember I was like a walking Zombie before I started my injections.

    Could you tell us a bit more about yourself?  Do you have a family history of P.A?

    I wish you well and my heart goes out to you.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted


      Thanks for your reply.

      I have had 6 injections over two weeks with my last one on Monday past.

      I was admitted to hospital with chest pain and this is when my bloods were taken and found to be very low.

      I passed out this morning clutching my chest. I was breathing as deeply as I could but went into panic mode and fell backwards down the stairs. This is what worries me!

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Whoa I'm so sorry to read about your fall down the stairs.  Were you badly hurt?

      I'm not medically qualified so cannot comment on whether or not your breathlessness is due to the B12 injections or not but it's not something I have read reported elsewhere although some have noted slight palpitations following injections of hydroxocobamalin, so perhaps your doctor might consider prescribing you with cyanocobamalin every four weeks instead.

      I hope you get some answers soon.

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up