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Annaem

B 12 Deficient

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My ob/gyn has not been good about checking my vitamin levels. I guess cause im gaining weight and have been doing well so she hasn't been to concerned. Just found out that i am b12 deficient at a score of 111 with the range being 133+. As well my hemoglobin is 116 with the range 120+. Now i have 5 weeks to go. And i am worrying that perhaps i have been deficient for a long time. I stopped taking my prenatals around the 4th month and started with iron and calcium only. She said i didn't need all those other things if im eating well. Being Celiac i guess my intestine is sluggish about absorbing b12. Did anyone have a similar problem? Is this significantly low? Do i have time to make up for it?

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Annaem,

It takes years for B12 levels to drop because B12 is stored in the body for a long time. It's possible that you were B12 deficient before you got pregnant. You may want the doctor to do the antibody test to see if you have pernicious anemia. In the meantime, B12 injections are a quick way to get the levels back up to normal. My doctor prescribed B12 injections for me every two weeks, but plenty of other people on the site use sublingual B12 as well, a pill that dissolves under your tongue. This can be purchased at a health food store. Regular vitamins that contain B-12 don't help those with pernicious anemia because the digestive tract cannot absorb the nutrients.

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I've had pernicious anemia for over ten years. If I miss my injection and it drops I get really fatigued. NOt something you're going to want to worry over when you might find yourself lacking sleep in the near future! ;) Also, depression is one of symptoms of low b12 and that could make it difficult to tell the difference between baby blues and postpartum. B12 is safe and cheap. It is extremely difficult to find cases of overdose.

Five weeks to go--best of wishes for you and your little one. Enjoy that new baby smell!

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I've had pernicious anemia for over ten years. If I miss my injection and it drops I get really fatigued. NOt something you're going to want to worry over when you might find yourself lacking sleep in the near future! ;) Also, depression is one of symptoms of low b12 and that could make it difficult to tell the difference between baby blues and postpartum. B12 is safe and cheap. It is extremely difficult to find cases of overdose.

Five weeks to go--best of wishes for you and your little one. Enjoy that new baby smell!

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Thanks for the info. At the beginning of my pregnancy, i was checked for b 12 and it was fine. I guess it has been slowly dropping over the pregnancy. It's something that i have been monitoring over the last 3 years along with my ferritin. It seems my b 12 falls first and then my ferritin. Since the last blood test i have had a b 12 shot and i've been taking the vitamins to boost it. But I will definetely approach my dr about pernicious anemia and get the b12 shot again. Especially if the vitamins are ineffective. I eat alot of foods that are rich in b12 so its really a mystery to me why it is low. This antibody test- do you know what it's called?

Emily

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Annaem,

It takes years for B12 levels to drop because B12 is stored in the body for a long time. It's possible that you were B12 deficient before you got pregnant. You may want the doctor to do the antibody test to see if you have pernicious anemia. In the meantime, B12 injections are a quick way to get the levels back up to normal. My doctor prescribed B12 injections for me every two weeks, but plenty of other people on the site use sublingual B12 as well, a pill that dissolves under your tongue. This can be purchased at a health food store. Regular vitamins that contain B-12 don't help those with pernicious anemia because the digestive tract cannot absorb the nutrients.

Well i only found out 3 years ago that i was celiac. So maybe it's from being deficient all those years. Thanks for the info. I will go again in 2 weeks to get another shot. Since the vitamins maybe ineffective for me if i am an individual with pernicious anemia.

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I forget the name of the pernicious anemia test--I'm not sure my doctor ever told me what it was. I also eat a lot of foods rich in B12, but because of the pernicious anemia, I can't absorb any B12 that is put in my mouth. I'm glad that you were checked at the beginning of the pregnancy; at least it hasn't been a long-standing problem. After a shot or two (or sublingual B12), you should be back up to normal.

Good luck in your last weeks!

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I have pernicious anemia and use the sublingul B12 from GNC instead of the injections now. I used to bruise really bad from the injections. The sublingual tabs from GNC are really cheap, and are gluten free, soy free dairy free (and lots of other stuff that I don't worry about). Those might be a good option if you don't want to do the injections, or if you just want to supplement your B12 until you deliver. Good luck!!!

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I have pernicious anemia and use the sublingul B12 from GNC instead of the injections now. I used to bruise really bad from the injections. The sublingual tabs from GNC are really cheap, and are gluten free, soy free dairy free (and lots of other stuff that I don't worry about). Those might be a good option if you don't want to do the injections, or if you just want to supplement your B12 until you deliver. Good luck!!!

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Guest Doll

IF (Intrinsic Factor) levels and/or antibodies are tested when suspecting Pernicious Anemia. I think there may be another marker, but I can't think of it off the top of my head!

Someone step in if they can think of it!

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When I was first dx w/ low B12 (2001?), my rheumatologist did a Schilling Test. It was negative for PA and so he told me I was just depressed and should take a multivitamin!

I would imagine that you have a better doctor than that (I hope), but don't let them tell you the Schilling Test is the 'gold standard'. It's REALLY old-fashioned and is pretty inconclusive.

I now give myself B12 shots every other day (it was monthly, then 3 weeks, then weekly ... then the IV after my celiac dx). I bruise a lot as well, but the B12 shots are all that's kept me going for the past years so I'm hesitent to switch.

Still don't know if I have PA - there's a family history - but my gastro said it didn't matter since I'd be getting the B12 & gluten-free no matter what. My PCP assumes PA, but I'd like to know.

One thing about B12 is it's a vitamin you can't overdose on. If you have too much, you pee it out. Also, often, the amount you need if you're deficient is wildly more than normal people. If you can digest it by stomach, make sure you're getting animal products in your food. Vegans will be deficient, for ex, w/o supplementation.

B12 can make a HUGE difference when you make up the deficit, and very quickly. Hope it helps you.

All best!

IF (Intrinsic Factor) levels and/or antibodies are tested when suspecting Pernicious Anemia. I think there may be another marker, but I can't think of it off the top of my head!

Someone step in if they can think of it!

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My wife has pernicious anemia due to celiac disease. It was so bad that the doctors at Mayo Clinic believe it caused her dysautonomia and neurological problems. She's had to get weekly injections for 7 years. They check regularly, but despite being strictly gluten-free it has never gotten better enough to stop the shots. She has improved though from use. They says its an autoimmune disease and will never go away.

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