Pernacious Anemia & Hemochromostosis

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Just been diagnosed as  having PA and have Vitamin B12 and Folate deficiency.

Not sure I really understand what PA is.

All I know is I have Hemochromstosis and was diagnosed with this 2 years ago.  My symptons were Tiredness and joint pain. Regular venesections have made me feel a little better. Until recently when I was sooooo tired, every afternoon around 2pm I get this over whelming fatigue and could easily fall asleep where I sit or stand. I knew something wasn't right so insisted I got checked for a vit deficiency of some kind as I knew I wasn't right.  Anyhow I was diagnosed with Vit B12 and Folate deficiency and take folic acid and having 2 monthly Vit B12 injections. - then got tested for PA and that came back positive. the consultant said if the result may come back negative but he feels I deffo had it.... a month from the Vit B12 and folic acid in I still feel sooo fatigued and having a foggy feel to my eyesight, I get pins and needles in my hands and also realised that Vit B12 can trigger RLS (Restless Legs) which I have suffered with for many many years.

I am hoping that I will start to feel better soon as I am fed up feeling so poorly. my family must be fed up of moaning so now I keep quiet and suffer


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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.It is also important that your Folate level is monitored as this is essential to process the B12.

    There is a complex interaction between folic acid, vitamin B12 and iron. A deficiency of one may be "masked" by excess of another so the three must always be in balance.Folic acid works closely with vitamin B12 in making red blood cells and helps iron function properly in the body. 

    What frequency of injections are you having?

    It is not uncommon for some symptoms to appear to get worse before they get better as the B12 starts repairing the damage done to your nervous system and your brain starts getting multiple messages from part of the body it had "forgotten about" or lost contact with.

    I sometimes liken it to a badly tuned radio on which you have turned the volume up high trying to catch the programme you want when all of a sudden the signal comes in loud and clear and the blast nearly deafens you.

    A lot will depend on the severity and longevity of your B12 deficiency as to how long before there is no further improvement or recovery. Some symptoms will "disappear" quite quickly whereas others may take months or even years. There is no set timescale as we are all different.

    I am not a medically trained person but have had P.A. for over 45 years and am still "clivealive" and over 75.

    I wish you well

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    • Posted

      Absorption of B12 normally from "animal products" food via the digestive system requires high levels of acid in the stomach for the Intrinsic Factor to "grab hold of and hang onto" until it gets to the Ileum and then into the bloodstream.

      Indigestion can be caused by high levels of acid and prolonged taking antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduces acid levels so that the B12 isn't "caught" and processed from the food on the way down leading to a B12 deficiency..

      Conversely, low acid levels can cause "indigestion" or "poor digestion" symptoms in which case again the B12 isn't processed.  It's a fine balance.

      I don't know the "cause" of your P.A., whether it be Intrinsic Factor antibodies or Gastric Parietal Cell antibodies or both - your doctor will have the test results - or for some other reason - there is a long list of possibles - but in my case I had a perforated peptic ulcer at the age of seventeen in 1959 and had two thirds of my stomach removed leading me to develop P.A. because of "lack of acid bearing cells" as I was told many years ago.

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