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Pernicious Anaemia

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by DalekTeacher, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Hi,
    A few years back I was diagnosed with having Pernicious Anaemia. I was given injections to begin with and then after that I was told I would not need anymore. I recently visited my Haematologist and he was rather abrupt by saying that my B12 test indicated that they were very, very low and that I have not been getting my injections at my GP.
    They have started to administer the 5 important injections and they have said they will make sure that I get them regularly now and that it will be for life.
    I just wanted to ask whether it is for life? I don't mind injections but I never thought it was as serious as my Haematologist mentioned.
    My GP said that after the first five because the levels went high, he said I wouldn't need anymore, but they don't seem to have lasted long. Where does the B12 go?
    Dalekteacher.
     
  2. DalekTeacher

    DalekTeacher New commenter

    Hi,
    A few years back I was diagnosed with having Pernicious Anaemia. I was given injections to begin with and then after that I was told I would not need anymore. I recently visited my Haematologist and he was rather abrupt by saying that my B12 test indicated that they were very, very low and that I have not been getting my injections at my GP.
    They have started to administer the 5 important injections and they have said they will make sure that I get them regularly now and that it will be for life.
    I just wanted to ask whether it is for life? I don't mind injections but I never thought it was as serious as my Haematologist mentioned.
    My GP said that after the first five because the levels went high, he said I wouldn't need anymore, but they don't seem to have lasted long. Where does the B12 go?
    Dalekteacher.
     
  3. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/perniciousanaemia1.shtml
    This link gives some good info plus a link to the pernicious anaemia society website. With pernicious anaemia you can't absorb the B12 from food so need it in injection form. Your body needs its supplies replenishing as you use it up. I seem to remember from school that in the days before injectable B12 you had to eat raw liver to get it as it wasn't in cooked food.
     
  4. Dalekteacher, I had really low B12 levels after both my pregnancies, and received a course of B12 injections after each. Once the levels were up they stopped them.
    I then changed GP, due to where I lived really. After a few years my B12 levels were low again, and I was put on a course of injections which were very regular for the first few months, and then 3monthly injections for life. I also have a folic acid deficiency from time to time but not always.
    I have my bloods checked once a year.
    I mean, basically I will feel my levels drop before th 3 months are even up, and the next injection is due.
    Pernicious anaemia may have several different causes. Vitamin B12 is taken up int he stomach. Whatever the cause of your pernicious anaemia, the uptake of B12 in your stomach is inhibited, and therefore your body cannot take any B12 in. In addition to this, B12 is essential for the absorption of iron, so if your B12 levels are low, your iron levels will eventually be depleted as well.
    B12 is essential for the development of new cells in the body like new blood cells. So the answer to where your B12 is going is that it is being used in this process, and it is nor being replaced.
    Because the uptake of B12 in inhibited in the stomach, the supplement must be given in injection form so it can be directly absorbed into the blood stream.You can take as much B12 as you like, in your diet, but because your stomach cannot process it, it will not be of any benefit.
    It can be a serious condition if left untreated, but it rarely becomes that serious.There are many different symptoms. Most importantly you will be very tired without the injections, and you will see a real difference in getting them every 3 months (or more often if you need them).
    I don't know whether any of this is of any help to you.
     
  5. Yes, it is for life!
    Pernicious anemia left untreated can have lots of side effects, the worst of which is death - hence the name,
    .
    I have pernicious aneami and megaloblastic anaemia and so get a lovely double wammy of tiredness. I wouldn't miss a B12 injection for anything!
    Because of the megaloblastic I also take folate supplements. Apparently it can be caused by pernicious so it may be worth asking / investigating folic acid yourself.
    I changed my diet to help, I went GI / GL as it is high in pulses and veg. It seems to help.
    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask for more. I have managed mine for about 12 years now!
     
  6. Do you have to take folic acid, pobble?
    I have been told to after my latest bloods, but it makes me very sick and I find it really hrd to take.
    I am not good at taking green vegetables, so really need the folic acid.
    I think my pernicious anaemia was originally diagnosed because of megaloblastic anaemia, but I think this was maybe corrected when the B12 deficiency was addressed.
    I must actually check with the GP the next time I am in :s
     
  7. Actually I think that is wrong - the problem was macrocytic anaemia, not megaloblastic. I think :/
     
  8. I agree with The Pobble. I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anaemia in 1990. I started off with 6 loading doses over 2 weeks, and then one injection every three months. Many PA sufferers find this protocol unsatisfactory and many request them for them more frequently. Under section 9-1-2- of the British National Formulary, once you have been diagnosed with PA, you are meant to have the 6 loading doses over two weeks, then to be given one injection on alternate days, if there is any sign of Neurological damage, until the patient feels better.
    It is also common for a person with PA to have other auto immune conditions. In my case I have Asthma, Diabetes, Sjogren's Syndrome and Fibromyalgia to name a few. I am now registered as Disabled and can no longer work.
    If you look at the Pernicious Anaemia Society's website you will find a wealth of information, and friendly advice on this condition. Please keep questioning your Doctor, or better still, a Haematologist who is the specialist in this field.
    Good luck and please persevere.
     

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