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2 types of anaemia, being referred to gastros - why?

(17 Posts)
zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 13:21:14

Hi, I have always (at least last 15 years) suffered with varying degrees of iron deficiency anaemia (probably due to heavy periods and diet), with Hb being between 8.0 and 10.0, so not horrendously bad. Recently had bloods done at the GPs and I asked him to check my B12 and Ferritin levels (out of interest). Wish I hadn't now as B12 has come back as "low" and Ferritin levels are very low (7). I have suffered with other autoimmune diseases in the past (graves disease and currently hypothyroidism) and was once told that I'd be susceptible to pernicious anaemia (B12 deficiency) which the GP says I now have. The thing that is concerning me is that he has referred me to the gastroenterologist. Is this a standard thing to do with B12 deficiency?

sausagesandmarmelade Fri 07-Oct-11 14:01:43

Yes I think so, because stomach/gastrointestinal problems can cause B12 deficiency....

I too had a B12 deficiency a few years ago and had to have a barium meal and scan. My problem was down to diet (pretty much vegan at the time) and I had a course of b12 injections and was fine after that.

Did modify my diet though...and incorporated all those things that my body actually needed.

zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 14:15:48

Thanks sausages. I am by no means vegan, but haven't eaten red meat for 20 years. What were your B12 deficiency symptoms (I can't distinguish mine from the iron deficiency symptoms)?

sausagesandmarmelade Fri 07-Oct-11 14:21:30

I think the symptoms are fairly similar. I actually had gastroenteritis....and iron deficiency as well. I'd cut out cheese, eggs and things in a bid to lower my cholesterol several years earlier...but it was too extreme.

Felt really tired all the time...but it was the gastro problems that caused me to be referred to gastroenterologist.

The barium meal thing wasn't much fun.....but at least it ruled out anything spooky.

The course of injections really did the trick. I must try and remember to get my B12 checked from time to time.

OxyMoron Fri 07-Oct-11 14:26:40

They might want to check for coeliac of other malabsorption problems.

zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 14:40:37

Thanks both. No looking forward to tests, but would rather have the barium meal than an endocopy I think!

Tempingmaniac Fri 07-Oct-11 14:41:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 14:48:31

I am scared of being sedated!

gomez Fri 07-Oct-11 14:51:55

Some form of malabsorption I would imagine. I have coeliac disease and hB, b12, ferritin and calcium were all low pre-diagnosis.

Endoscopy is not great - you can just have a local on your throat if sedation doesn't appeal.

zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 16:51:59

Gomez, can you just develop coeliac in your 30s?

lesstalkmoreaction Fri 07-Oct-11 20:15:11

I developed coeliac after my last pregnancy age 38 after being anaemic on and off for ages. My hb dropped to 4 after being less than 10 all through my pregnancies I had none of the usual symptoms other than having borderline malnutrition and was diagnosed after a gut biopsy. I didn't have any sedation or throat spray as it was my birthday and wanted to have lunch with friends, it was ok but it really made me gag.

moragbellingham Fri 07-Oct-11 20:16:46

Sorry can't link but if you google pernacious anaemia and read Wikipaedia - loss of gastric parietal cells therefore loss of intrinsic factor leading to lack of B12 defiency hence the referral to gastro.

gomez Fri 07-Oct-11 20:42:31

Sorry Zen I don't know if it develops in your 30's but I was certainly in my (late) 30's when diagnosed. Attributed to a bout of glandular fever.

However morag's post is perhaps more realistic. Why don't you phone your GP and ask however?

Iamseeingstars Fri 07-Oct-11 21:47:36

My B12 is triple what it should be and I am anaemic. I can find lots of info on B12 deficiency but nothing on elevated levels. Does anyone know what that means?

zen1 Fri 07-Oct-11 22:18:58

Thanks Gomez, lesstalk and morag. I am also in my late 30s. I will check out Wikipaedia and read up on the issue. I always thought of coeliac as something younger people got, but I have suffered anaemia for years, so maybe that's the reason.

nightcat Fri 07-Oct-11 22:31:57

zen, if you don't want to have too many invasive tests, you can always consider diet trial?

Iamseeing.. , possible increased B12 (half way down in the link below):
"Increased vitamin B12 levels are uncommon. Usually excess vitamin B12 is removed in the urine.

Conditions that can increase B12 levels include:
•Liver disease (such as cirrhosis or hepatitis)
•Myeloproliferative disorders (for example, polycythemia vera and chronic myelocytic leukemia)

increased B12

As malabsorption/coeliac tends to affect liver function, it's prob due to that.

Iamseeingstars Fri 07-Oct-11 22:51:10

Thanks nightcat.

My liver is fine so its not that. Info was useful, I have struggled to find much on increased b12

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