B12 and D3 are low and I am fatigued, do I have malabsorption ?

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I am noticeably fatigued and everybody noticed it in my job ..."You look always tired"

I've done a series of blood tests and found B12 and D3 defficiency because I mentioned to my doc that I am fatigued and my stool is pale and bulky but is not floating. 

In a few days I'm going to visit my gastroenterologist for further evaluation. I've done colonoscopy 2 years ago and she found nothing. Maybe this time it's the small intestine that does not absorb food ? Or some pancreatic enzyme defficiency ?

I've had my gallbladder removed (no stones, it was polyps) 1 month ago but I always had pale stools for years. My gallbladder never caused me any pain or discomfort. After the OP I felt as if I never had this operation, absolutely nothing, no pain not discomfort and I could eat anything I wanted.

I used to have hyperthyroidism and I got the thyroid removed a years ago. The hormones are stable and I have no further problems.

But the pale-stool problem has been with me for at least 10 years. I started losing weight progressively even though my diet is full of fat, sweets and other bad choices. I started eating healthier but I am losing the weight anyway.

I'm afraid the doc is going to blame it on the gallbladder removal but this has been for so long. I have to convince him for further testing that has to do with malabsorption .


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8 Replies

  • Posted

    I think you know already that the deficiencies relate to malabsorption.  Easy to pick up in bloods and I agree your gastro appointment next week should answer your questions and you should discuss further tests.  I'm not sure if your symptoms relate to your surgery, I mean the time line, I don't know if it's too soon for more tests but it's certainly worth pursuing. 

    I have malabsorption issues relating to Chronic Pancreatitis.  I take daily supplements and my last blood test showed things are back to normal.  This also relates to stool colour, when lacking they're pale and yellow, now getting more orangey brown.  Sorry to be so graphic but I didn't know why the colour changed until I saw my pancreas guy a few days ago, so I'm happy, something positive for a change.  

    Be calm, BREATHE consciously when talking to your doc, he's more likely to listen to you if you present calmly.  (believe me I've lost it a few times and achieved absolutely nothing!)  Ensure he understands just how worried you are. 

    Make a list and take it with you so you don't forget anything or get sidetracked.  Tell him you've made it and would like to address each of the points.  You'll be fine, good luck.


    • Posted

      How did you get the diagnose about pancreatitis ? A recent ultrasound did not show any abnormal images of the pancreas and other surrounding organs except the gallbladder.

      Lipase enzyme was normal too.

      Is it something else that would diagnose pancreatitis other than these two tests ?

    • Posted

      Get an Endoscopic Ultra Sound (EUS).  That's the main test used to diagnose Pancreatitis.

  • Posted

    Mine's not a short story as I have another very rare condition that I inherited which was blamed for my symptoms.  However without boring you with the journey, eventually, after I was having different pain and my bowel issues worsened, I insisted I have an abdo CT which showed clearly that my pancreas was calcifying.  I was referred to a pancreas specialist who ordered an endoscopy which confirmed the damage and I was officially deemed chronic.  I've been receiving treatment for nearly 2 years now and I'm managing the disease as best I can with my specialist doc's help.

    Prior to the CT I'd been hospitalised several times and whilst I argued it wasn't my other 'thing' they always treated that and I left hospital still in pain.  They just didn't look beyond what they considered the obvious reason for my symptoms.  I believe that had I been listened to 5 years earlier I may have snipped this in the bud and not progressed to chronic before diagnosis, maybe.  

    I have to say however that I'd never touched alcohol and always ate a low fat diet so stopping this beast may have been impossible anyway.  I'm told it's an Auto Immune type.  It doesn't stop me from being cranky about the medical tardiness just the same.

    Make sure you present your issues clearly and calmly until the doc has exhausted all avenues and you're satisfied.  If you have pancreatitis the malabsorption issues are serious and you need to address them.  It's not uncommon for people with pancreatitis to have various deficiencies which cause other problems.  Vit D deficiency can seriously impact bones so given your results, which I assume your doc has on file, go buy some and take twice a day.  When my B12 was down I gave myself shots daily.  Start on your list, don't give up, let us know how you go.

  • Posted

    I went to the doctor's office and he game me a non-prescription supplement with 3 strains of Lacto-bacillus mixed with  digestive enzymes of super low strength. The Lipase Units for every 2 caps were 500LU. Although I told him I took lacto-bacillus before without seeing any result he recommended it. Next to it I had this breath test for H-Pylori which I am waiting for the results and this blood test for Celiac. Results will come at the end of following week.

    I told him if could we perform a stool test for parasites but he though that would be too extreme and unlikely. I have my doubts though.

    • Posted

      So how are those low dose meds working out for you?  Whilst the enzyme level sounds very low sometimes combining meds increases the effectiveness.  What was the result of the Celiac test?

      I take Creon 25000 x 4 with each meal, sometimes more.  If pancreas playing up I have to take during meal and after as well.  I wonder sometimes if I'll oink and become attracted to mud! I take a PPI too which has stopped a lot of my previous discomfort/nausea.



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