Intrinsic Factor test results

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Hello all. I have had my 5 loading doses and the last was 3 weeks ago. Today I got the results of the IF test back, trouble is I would appreciate some help with them. My b12 at the start was 106, it is now 580. IF Ab result was 0.4. Doctor seemed pleased, but trouble is I still have symptoms, mainly neurological, cramping hands and fingers and feet, pins and needles in feet, twitching frequently, and numerous others. Forgot palpitations, they are bad too, maybe that is the worst. But there we are, Dr is happy. I go back in 3 months for next injection. What she doesn't know is that I have bought 5000 mcg. Methylcobalamin sublings and 400mcg Metafolin tabs. I intend to take them to supplement the b12 . Would anyone be able to give any guidance on dosages please, and  what does that IF result mean,please?. Does it mean the IF is doing it's job properly?  Best wishes xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Bigsby (Margaret), glad to ear your loading doses are done. I think some of the symptoms will persist for a time, especially when you've only just finished having them. I think our bodies have been low on B12 for a long time, and seem to struggle with getting a lot over a couple of weeks. I'm a year since my loading doses, and things are better, but it took a while. I'm not an expert, but it looks as though the test was for intrinsic factor antibodies. If so a low result is good! As to the amounts to supplement, I can't really advise, except to say start low. With the spray I use, I do once a day. But when I began I only did every other day, and halved the dose. Do you know what your folate levels were from the blood test? By the way I only use the spray when I'm beginning to feel run down, before I get the next injection. That said, I would have expected your levels to be a bit higher after your loading doses. Sorry I'm not more help, I'm sure someone else will offer you better advice. We're all struggling with this debilitating condition, I just wish the GP's were a bit more clued up about it! Best wishes Marion x
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    • Posted

      Hi Marion, I guess my IF test results indicate a malabsorbtion problem then, is that right? I got a copy of my initial FBC results and of the one done this week, which was for IF antibodies and b12 levels only. The only iron related reference I can see is for ferritin which was 18.5. Thank you  for your comments Marion, it is a great help to have your input! All the very best Margaret x
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  • Posted

    Hi again, as I said before, I'm no expert, but I thought the result you posted was for Intrinsic Factor antibodies. They are the things that prevent the Intrinsic Factor from working, so I thought if the figure was low, it meant you had few antibodies. Therefore the Intrinsic Factor should be working? Does it give the ranges on your blood test results? Sometimes that helps to show if your levels (I.e. Ferritin) are high or low in the range. I understand from others that we need to aim for the higher end in order for the B12 to be absorbed properly. If you still have neurological symptoms it sounds as though you will need to supplement. Has the Doctor indicated any further blood tests? Marion x
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    • Posted

      Hello again Marion. My ferritin was 18.5, within a range of 4.6-204.0, and IF antibodies 0.4 with a range of 0-5.9, so I would assume that I have Intrinsic Factor, therefore I am assuming also that I must have an absorbtion problem with B12 because my diet has always been good with plenty of foods containing B12. I suspect Omeprazole and Lansoprazole taken for years. This is day 2 of my Metfolin/Methylcobalamin regime and I do feel a little better, all fingers very much crossed! I am taking the big dose, then I will reduce. xx
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    • Posted

      PS Marion, the Doc didn't say about any more blood tests, and it was only when I was leaving and asked her about furthur jabs, I am very forgetful and forget things straight away, especially at the Docs, that she said to have them every 3 months. Who's the one with memory loss, me or her? x
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  • Posted

    Bigsby

    I had low B12, I think it was still in the safe range, but my Dr gave me shots. After the second one, he told me take a B12 sublingual. He didn’t tell the dosage, but I started taking 5000mcg. I looked up on the web and found out B12 comes in different forms. The methylcobalamin is the best. I don’t know about sprays. I would tell your Dr. you are taking it, otherwise she is assuming the level is from the B12 shots alone. My B12 level shot up to a level where my Dr. told me take one every other day. As merion says, you should also know your folate level. I live in CA and have more than one Dr. Each one wants to know what meds., the dosage I am taking and if there has been any changes. I have it saved on my computer and print one out even if there has been no changes. I had a friend that had 4 Dr.’s and a bunch of meds, especially pain killers. I went to one of her Dr. visits and told her my friend was too drugged up. She didn’t seem to care, it was the other Dr.’s giving her the pain killers and a host of other meds. I thought at least she should know all of her meds to cross check for any reactions with the meds she was giving her.

    As a side note on vits., I found out not all of them are created equal. There is an independent, non-profit lab, USP, doesn’t accept money from any vit manufacture and tests the purity and how efficient the vit is released in the body. I don’t know if this applies in the U.K., but I always look for USP label on a vit jar.

     Not all Dr.’s seem to know about or recommend vits. 2 of my 4 Dr’s suggest what vits to take, the other 2 don’t mention them at all but I have them listed on my print out. 1 of my Dr’s has me on one drug that I only take once a week but he has me on a daily prescription strength of folate,1mg/day to counteract whatever this med is doing to my body. I take the med for psoriatic arthritis but at higher doses it is used to treat some cancers.  

    Sorry I can’t comment on your other problems. Take care, steve

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    • Posted

      Hi Steve

      Thankyou for your input. I think I need a print-out to take with me to the Drs. Here in Ireland and also U.K we sign up to a Practice with Varying numbers of Drs. in it, and can go to any one of them, but I think I'm probably right in saying that we have our favourites and stick to them, except , of course, if you go Private.

      I intend to try the 5000 mcg to start, then reduce, a matter of trial and hopefully not error! I also think it is very important to use a a good brand of supplements, they are not all what they say they are. I didn't get a folate test, I did ask but was told, "No way", bit funny here! 

      All the best from sunny Ireland (???), wish I was in sunny California.!

      Margaret.

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  • Posted

    Hi Bigsby

    1. You have not had enough loading doses of b12. The BCSH cobalamin guidelines state alternate day loading until no further improvement with neuro symptoms. This is also stated in the BNF which your dr will use daily to check doses etc.

    2. You need iron. Your ferritin (iron stores) are too low.

    3. You need to know your folate level. B12 needs folate. It uses folate to metabolise to your cells to do repair. Aim to have your folate in high end of normal range for b12 injections to work at optimum.

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    • Posted

      Hi Heather

      Thankyou for commenting. I too don't think I have had enough loading doses. I live in Ireland and this was all the Dr would give me. I have a lot of neurological symptoms, maybe the worse for me is a very irregular heartbeat. I have been told my bloods showed no markers for heart failure, which was why I had the blood test at first, but low B12. This week I have been supplementing with:

      1x5000mcg methylcobalamin sublings daily

      1x400mcg Folate Tabs daily. I don't know that level because the Dr said they do not test for that here.

      1x250mgm magnesium tab daily

      1xover 50s multivitamin daily  Contains 5mg Iron and 200mcg Folic Acid.

      Do you think this dose is ok,or do I need to-take anything else? I will rattle soon. I also take prescribed meds for high blood pressure and anxiety and also Pravastatin. I have pain in joints too, but I'm hoping these may get a lot better.

      Sorry to bend your ear so much, and oh yes, my hearing has deteriorated rapidly in the last 3 years and I now wear a hearing aid!!!

      "They shoot horses don't they"   Ha ha.

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    • Posted

      Folate level is very important when receiving b12 treatment. B12 uses folate to metabolise to your cells. I take 5mg folic acid daily. Ferritin (iron stores) are important too. Once b12 has metabolised from the blood into the cells, the body uses ferritin to produce new blood cells. I use Epsom salts in my bath water for magnesium levels. I also take a daily b complex to help the levels of my other b vitamins. Eat bananas and dark chocolate for potassium. I would urge you to have your vitamin d tested as this too can become low.
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    • Posted

      Heather,

      My Ferritin was 18.5 (Range 4.6-204), would you think I need to take Iron too? I note you take Folic acid rather than folate (Metfolin). I have just been reading about Folic acid/Folate and it said that older people can have problems with too much. I am 71. xx

      I do eat a banana a day. Doctors do not do blood tests on request here, money is tighter than in UK, for example there is 1 Cardiologist in our local General Hospital, serving most of County Donegal, and they are talking about closing the Breast Clinic, ladies will have to go 150 miles. Waiting time for a cardiology appt. is 1yr9months, so definitely no blood tests for something assiciated with B12 which my Doc doesn't seem to understand. x

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    • Posted

      Thanks Heather, just got your PM. I do belong to that Group, I will have to read all the files etc. 

      Beat wishes

      Margaret.

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    • Posted

      Yes. You need iron. I take spatone which is gentle on the tummy. You will feel the benefit of iron if you can get ferritin up to between 50-70. Take a vitamin c drink with your iron such as fresh orange to help its absorption. Avoid dairy, tea and coffee 1 hr before and 2 hrs after taking iron. Folate is important for b12 to work.
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    • Posted

      Thank you so much Heather. It is such a help having someone to talk to.

      Best wishes, Margaret.

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