Pernicious anaemia

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Hello all, so have suffered with constipation for many many years, I get gripes and pain often... Been really tired of late, suffer with indigestion constantly. Thoughts I had ibs, maybe I have. Anyhow recently diagnosed with vitamin b12 and folate deficiency... I recently had a colonoscopy and a healthy colon which is great. Now I am being asked to have a camera down the throat to check anything is wrong. My doc thinks maybe I am not absorbing the vitamins and folate. I had a vit b12 injection yesterday. Upper stomach camera in two weeks. Exactly what is the consultant lookin for

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  • Posted

    Treatment for PA and non-dietary vitamin B12 deficiency is virtually the same."

    If the cause of your Vitamin B12 deficiency isn't dietary then it is an absorption problem so you need to find another way of replenishing B12 initially i.e via injections. Most absorption problems aren't treatable but a few are - notably h pylori infection which would mean that once that has been dealt with you would be able to absorb B12 from your diet so wouldn't need maintenance shots for life.

    Maybe this is why you are having " a camera down the throat." to check for h pylori?

    Depending on the outcome of the above your doctor may test for for P.A. by checking for  "Intrinsic Factor Antibodies"

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

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    • Posted

      Hello Clive

      Thanks so much for your response, so I went to see my consultant who decided that I should be tested for the PA, I will be having that blood test tomorrow.

      he still believes I have IBS and says this is what is causing the gripes and constipation.

      I still feel so bloody tired after having my vit B12 shot.

      He said that even if the blood test comes back showing I don't have PA, it doesn't mean I don't as not a reliable test.

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    • Posted

      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.

      IBS may put you at risk of developing a B12 deficiency although it's good that there is a doctor out there who is aware of the fallibility of the Intrinsic Factor Antibodies test for P.A. which is only 40 - 60% accurate. 

      If you can get to see a doctor please also ask him/her to check your Folate level as this and B12 help your iron to make red blood cells and to function properly.

      I wish you well - let us know how you get on. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks again for prompt reply. I remember being given some folic acid around 10 years ago, I too have a deficiency of folate still .

      I have felt rough and tired for soo many years. I had blood tests left right and centre and was diagnosed with hemochromstosis an iron overload. This makes you tired. I gave blood every two months to keep my ferritin level low. After having a year of venesection I still felt crap so suggested I could be lacking in some things after many friends telling me it's not right I feel so crabby.

      Bingo vit b12 and folate deficiency

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