Do I have pernicious anemia

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Hi looking for advice had stomach problems for the last 8 years hated going back and forth to doctors so been managing it myself trapped gas in chest heartburn indigestion stomach cramps trapped wind etc anyway went for my usual polycystic kidney blood check when they noticed I had vitamin b12 deficiency they took further blood test (If factor) that was refused at lab as I had one 6 months prior not that I'm aware off. Gave me 3 of my b12 shots Dr asked to take blood that got refused again also looked at my notes said IF negative. I haven't been back to see Dr just the nurse she couldn't explain anything I am wondering if I have pernicious anemia or just b12 deficiency I hate going to doctors as I feel there's way too much to tell them feel as if they look at me like I'm a hypochondriac. Including all stomach pains I am depressed feel as if I'm not myself having outburst mood swings paranoia. Balance problems & my skin is worse now than when I was a teen I'm 40 years old I thought I was going through the perimenopause. I have to have the injections every 3 months for life.

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  • Posted

    In a normal healthy person the stomach lining has what are called "Gastric parietal cells" which produce "Intrinsic Factor" which travels with food through the small intestine which is made up of three parts - the Duodenum, the Jejunum and the Ileum..

    Iron is absorbed in the Duodenum, most other nutrients in the Jejunum and our friend B12 in the Ileum.

    Here the Intrinsic Factor binds to the B12 and the "B12/IF Complex" enters the cells on the wall of the Ileum after binding to receptors on the surface of the Ileal cells, allowing it to enter the blood stream.

    Sadly some people with "traditional P,A." either do not produce Intrinsic Factor or if they do, they also produce an antibody which destroys it and it is then called "Autoimmune Pernicious Anaemia".

    In addition it can happen that we produce "Parietal cell Antibodies" and "Intrinsic Factor Antibodies" which totally wipes out any chance of absorbing the B12.

    The IFA test is unreliable in that it gives false negatives in people with PA half the time. So a negative result doesn't mean that you don't have PA. However, a positive result is a sure-fire, 95% certain indicator of PA.

    You really need to ask your doctor when it says in your notes "IF negative" exactly what that means.  If you have no Intrinsic Factor then you are totally unable to absorb B12 from your food.  If it means that you are negative for Intrinsic Factor Antibodies (IFA) that's something completely different.

    You also need to ask your doctor to check your Folate level as this and B12 help your iron to make red blood cells and to funtion properly.

    I am not a medically trained person but I've had P.A. for more than 45 years, am still "clivealive" and over 75. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Clivealive.

    I love reading your posts as you simplify potentially complex data so well. you should be a Teacher or Doc. thank you for your posts.

    Caitlin.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words Caitlin

      The nearest I got to "teaching" was being a Sunday School teacher and superintendant and my elder daughter now being a Primary "Head of School" I think they call the headmistress these days :D

      However for the last 15 years of my working life I was writing Quality Assurance Procedures (QA) to get BSi accreditation for the Companies I worked for. This involved writing out (in plain English) how every employee did his or her job having first asked them the who, what, where, when, why and how they did it and compiling Technical Procedure Manuals for each discipline and area of operation or manufacture.

      These manuals then formed a "controlled" Business Management System which were audited and assessed by the British Standards Institute and accreditation awarded.

      Basically it all came down to "Say what you do - and do what you say" - simply....

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    • Posted

      Hi Clivealive.

      aah, I can see where & why the attention to detail has been so finely honed.  the clear,  succinct manner in which you approach your responses compliments the former. it seems to be a rather ''special'' quality/gift  to be able to reduce information to it's component parts  without loosing any of the salient points. I have to say (and I'd never be knowingly patronizing) that your brain seems hyper functioning and in  hyper efficient nick for your age.  in comparison to my brain, your cognitive facility is A1. I'm just in my v. early 60's and my memory is worryingly poor  (both short & long term)  and my cognitive skills are in, an alarmingly fast decline. since I contracted  ME/CFS my brain seems to have taken an enormous assault. also, I've found that I have acquired a degree of ''Dyslexia'' which  certainly was not there before. with these kind of compromises, one never knows whether it's due to the ageing process or the awful alternative condition that begins with the awful word ''A''  lol?  anyhow, your job seemed to have been exceptionally interesting requiring a wide range of cognitive skills.  long may that brain power/facility last. 

      best rgds.

      C

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    • Posted

      Even so Caitlin when I'm typing a sentence I often think of a word I want to use but by the time I get there I've forgotten what it was. It's so infuriating..... and that's in addition to walking into a room and forgetting what I went in there for in the first place.

      But I'm grateful to God for my life thus far knowing that I "should have died" at the age of 17 when my peptic ulcer burst and I had two thirds of my stomach removed - so I'm still "clivealive" smile

      I wish you well.

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    • Posted

      Hi Clivealive.

      Wow that was a bit of ''butchery'' back then. and I guess, you would have died, had they not done the surgery.

      however, methinks that you're a tad hard on yourself. us females start doing the ''going into a room'' for something and forgetting what for by roughly age 50. you have very high expectations of your brain. think the problems arise when we forget, that we forgot, that we went into the room for something if that makes sense?

      BTW, remind me whether you have PA or B12 deficiency because of  digestive problems? 

      C

       

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    • Posted

      I have P.A. due to the stomach surgery.  Had there been PPI's back then 58 years ago - well who knows? I learned a few years after my surgery that a new technology was being used which "froze" the acid bearing cells instead of removing them.  I'm not sure that the after effects would be much different.

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  • Posted

    Hi Loulou.

    it sounds that you're having a very difficult time, for which you have my complete sympathy. I know how difficult both the symptoms and going to the Doc. can be.  it also seems that, perhaps, things are not quite hunky dorey with more than one organ/system of your body.

    at 40, you could well be entering the ''prei'' menapause phase in your life journey.  many Medics now accept that the peri - menopause phase starts much younger/earlier  than formrly understood. therefore some Peri-menopause symptoms could be also present with all the other symptoms.  I'd ask the GP for a hormonal profile. the skin problems could be related to hormonal imbalance amongst other things like diet etc..

    In respect of the stomach pains/trapped wind/heartburn etc. it would be important to have a look at your diet and modify it, particularly so,if you eat a lot of fatty or/and spicy or acidy foods.

    also, it might be worth asking if you could have a blood test to check if you've got Helicobacter -Pylori infection.  that can  often cause some of the stomach symptoms that you mention. It can also  cause B12 deficiency due to lowerened levels of stomach acid and damaged stomach lining.

    otherwise, I can only corroborate what ''Clivealive'' has explained in respect of the b12 deficiencyand would concur with his suggestion to find out the results of the IF test. the low B12 could also be caused by damage to that part of the small intestine -the Ilium- where the B12 is absorbed.

    I understand what you say about not like having to go to the Docs. I hate it and have panic attacks before I go, and it's not fear of what they might tell me, that causes the panic attacks. it's just the whole palaver,  however, what I have found helpful is to go frequently and just to discuss/deal  with ONE thing at a time.  a Doc friend told me that and also my own GP commented similarly to me when I presented my ''list''. the other thing I found useful is: if they are not quite listening to you properly, don't be put off or give up. the ''trick'' apparently is, to go three times with the same problem/symptoms and they always sit up and listen and take action on the 3rd visit. 

    Loulou, apologies for the length of the post, but my thoughts are with you.

    C

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