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Last winter (2015-16) I was sick, sick, sick. Anytime someone would sneeze near me I would catch pneumonia, bronchitis, or at least sinusitis. In the spring my doctor ran a whole bunch of blood tests and one of the things that came from that was that I had low B12. She didn't say it was causing my sickness, but that it makes you run down so you feel worse when you are sick, and have take more time with healing. I was getting B12 injections every month, and she kept testing my levels every 3 months to see if I still needed them. But I noticed that by the 4th week I was extremely tired, lightheaded and irritable, so she increased the shots to every 3 weeks. I still don't feel great. So tired all the time. I have a lot of lightheadedness, including orthostatic hypotension (which gets way worse when I'm fighting any infection). I have borderline low blood pressure (usually in the low 90s over 50s-60s), not sure if that is related. I don't sleep well - I often wake up 2-3 times a night and have trouble going back to sleep, or even if I seem to sleep through the night, my husband or my Fitbit tells me I've been tossing and turning all night. I even went to a sleep doctor and she ruled out sleep apnea and said to check for anxiety. I have days - sometimes just portions of days - where everything is just too hard - and I have 2 kids under age 5 so there's little chance of staying in bed until I feel up to anything. I don't think I'm anxious or depressed, but the irritability makes me wonder.
I asked my doctor a couple of times what causes this B12 deficiency. She says, "in some people, your body isn't able to absorb the B12 that you get from food." But why?? She doesn't have any more answers than that, she just says that there is a deficiency and so we are treating it. I don't have gastric issues (that I know of - although I do get constipation), I eat animal products. She has never tested for IF. She has done some CBCs which show normal hemoglobin, so is that why she's not calling it Pernicious Anemia? I just came upon that name when a doctor I was talking to (not as a patient) heard that I get regular B12 shots, and he said oh, you have percanous anemia? He was pronouncing it wrong so it took me a while to look it up ;-). My main question is, does it matter what we call it? I guess a diagnosis can be helpful in some ways in itself, but would the treatment be any different if we knew it was pernicious anemia? There was one test result that came back: "RBC Morphology ABNORMAL", is that common in PA? I don't think she has tested ferritin or folate, which I see has been recommended in this forum - what would be the benefit of knowing if those were abnormal, and what additional treatment would be needed?
Thanks for any help or advice. I think I have a good doctor, but she is often rushed so it will help to know exactly what to ask or say if I need to get more help than I am getting.
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