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Pernicious anaemia? I feel awful.

(10 Posts)
dontrunwithscissors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:24:13

I'm searching for a bit of advice on this: for the last 9 months, I've been complaining of fatigue. Things got worse for the last 6 months, with a whole host of problems: I started getting heart palpitations, breathlessness, losing hair, brittle nails, tinnitus, dry skin, bleeding skin in the corners of my mouth, around my eye and underneath my nails. I also collapsed twice.

I'd been back and forth to my GP with these symptoms, but did not get checked for anaemia until mid-December. The blood tests confirmed a low full blood count and an iron level of 5. I've been on iron supplements for just under 3 weeks.

However, i feel that things are getting worse. I've got pins and needles down my arms, have cramp in my feet, feel even more exhausted, and the dizziness is so bad that I have had to stop driving. I'm so tired that I've been working from home as I don't have the energy to leave the house.

So.....I'm wondering about whether this is pernicious anaemia. My mum and an aunt both have it so I have some awareness of the problems. When I got the blood test results back in December, I asked my GP about whether it could be PA. She said that the blood cell size (can't remember the correct term) was OK & not indicative of pernicious anaemia, but I've read that this isn't an accurate/definite way to diagnose it. I'm not due for another blood test for 5 weeks. I don't want to be a 'pest', but I don't know how I will cope for another 5+ weeks. The option to work from home will end in a couple of weeks. I think I'll pass out if I have to be back to my usual work routine.

Any advice? Should I try stick it out and just wait until the next blood test?

lavendersun Mon 04-Jan-16 21:31:34

I have got pernicious anaemia, my main symptom before diagnosis was swollen/painful achilles tendons (I couldn't put my feet to the floor in the mornings) and generally feeling knackered.

I would have thought your familial link would make your doctor consider it carefully, it wounds like she has if you asked the question directly.

I am also iron deficient anaemic - is your haemoglobin 5? I was having iron and blood transfusions when mine was 7.

Go back, it is clearly affecting your daily functioning which is not acceptable.

lavendersun Mon 04-Jan-16 21:32:23

sounds, not wounds.

wannabestressfree Mon 04-Jan-16 21:34:38

I have it too am permantely exhausted.......

dontrunwithscissors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:40:52

Thanks, lavender. My ferritin level was 5. My haemoglobin level was low, but I can't remember what it was.

dontrunwithscissors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:41:34

X-posted: wannabe, sorry to hear that. How were you diagnosed?

TheGreenNinja Mon 04-Jan-16 21:42:08

I've been recently diagnosed with pa too and palpitations were one of my main symptoms. I'd go back and see a different GP if I were you. It seems like such a battle to get decent treatment once you do get diagnosed, it would make me feel if it was a battle to get a GP to do a blood test in the first place I wouldn't be confident in how things would progress.
Your symptoms do sound incredibly like b12 deficiency (which isn't necessarily caused by pa).

dontrunwithscissors Mon 04-Jan-16 21:45:01

Thanks TGN. Yes, I'm miffed that they didn't test for anything sooner. They kept saying it was 'just' depression (I have bipolar), and ignored the physical symptoms. How were you diagnosed? From what I can tell, PA isn't particularly easy to detect.

TheGreenNinja Mon 04-Jan-16 21:50:24

It's not, but b12 deficiency is easy to test for. Pa is one way of becoming low in b12, but not the only way - it can also be because of digestive issues (coeliac and Crohn's disease) or dietary reasons (if you are vegan).
I had a blood test which showed borderline iron levels so my GP then tested my b12 levels as they can be linked. I'd never heard of b12 deficiency or pa before. It was only afterwards that we put the symptoms together, I had a lot but hadn't really connected them.

wannabestressfree Tue 05-Jan-16 06:26:24

I have crohns, short bowel and suffer from b12 deficiency. Three monthly jabs weren't cutting the mustard so I have them more regularly and front loaded. Have palpitations, generally exhuasted (was nodding off at 7 last night) and feel like I am dragging myself around.
Am seeing specialist tomorrow at st marks in Harrow.

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