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HopefulMama23

B12 Deficiency Anemia?

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Hi all- I have been pouring over my test results, determined to figure out what has caused my latest bouts of symptoms.

My history:

After my 3rd child was born, I developed chronic D, lost a lot of weight, became very depressed and tired, and lost a TON of hair. I was tested for celiacs via blood test and the result was negative, but I have it in my family, so I opted to go on a gluten-free diet regardless. The diet helped, and things SLOWLY got better, with the fatigue the last thing to go.

But- recently I have had the seemingly opposite reaction, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, brain fog, insomnia, diarrhea, weight loss and further hair loss. I was thinking thyroid, so I pulled out my test results from 4 months ago to re-look at everything with fresh eyes.

In those results, my Free T4, T3, and TSH are all within "normal", but are all at absolute bottom of normal scale.

Here is what caught my attention- my MCH and MCV are both high- off the recommended scale. I looked that up and apparently it can be indicitive of a B12 deficiency. I looked THAT up- and the symptoms match mine exactly.

It also looks like a B12 deficiency can be pretty common with celiac's.

Anyone have any experience with this? Any advice? Any idea why 5 months into my gluten-free diet these symptoms would surface?

The funny thing is- I ran right out last night and bought a B12 supplement and took that last night with a Folic acid supplement (this is what I read to do). Maybe it was in my head, but I swear I feel better today.

Am I crazy?

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B12 deficiency typically takes a long time to surface-- your liver stores quite a lot of it. Vegans, for example, can go 10 years (often) before symptoms develop. Elderly folks whose stomachs stop producing enough acid to break it off the proteins it's connected to also often don't develop symptoms for 10 to 15 years. It's probably something that had been developing for quite a long time, and just coincided with the gluten-free diet.

In other suggestions, I'd check with your MD to see if they have previous bloodwork on file and can review it. One of those is genetic... don't remember which... so they can see how much it changed. Also, you may need shots if your intestines are not absorbing it. Might be a good idea to follow up on those symptoms too, just in case it is a thyroid thing that shifted enough to make it recognizable in bloodwork.

Liver, by the way, is an excellent source of B12.

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You might also check into other food intolerances, which can cause some of your most recent symptoms. I found out I was intolerant to most other grains, as well as dairy, potatoes and chocolate!

I also take B12, however, I need to take it sublingually since I don't seem to absorb it through my gut. As the previous poster suggested, you might check into whether you need something other than the capsules.

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You might also check into other food intolerances, which can cause some of your most recent symptoms. I found out I was intolerant to most other grains, as well as dairy, potatoes and chocolate!

I also take B12, however, I need to take it sublingually since I don't seem to absorb it through my gut. As the previous poster suggested, you might check into whether you need something other than the capsules.

I do the same sublingual B12 every morning. If I forget it, I get the sores on the corners of my mouth by the end of the day :(

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With a B12 deficiency, it takes very little time to start feeling the effects of supplementation. So, it is possible that it is not

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So what should your B12 be? I don't have my report right in from of me, but I know mine was well at the low end of a very wide range. I know there is a reference range which I did fall into, but what about optimal??

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I personally found that my optimal is mid-range - mine was at the lowest end of normal, my MCV had been high for years with no alarm bells rung for doc, and my folate was also super low but still "normal". I felt improvement right away with B12 shots (am allergic to something in the sublinguals) and a B complex, along with a total 800 mg folate.

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So what should your B12 be? I don't have my report right in from of me, but I know mine was well at the low end of a very wide range. I know there is a reference range which I did fall into, but what about optimal??

Maybe not the best site to reference, but here you go...

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/lab-values/

B-12 lab test: Measures an essential vitamin, B12, which can be low in hypothyroid patients due to low stomach acid. You are looking for an optimal B12 lab result at the top of the range. It is NOT optimal to simply be

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So I took my first B12 supplement Monday night before bed- and Tuesday was the best day I've had in a while- more energy, normal hair loss (not coming out like crazy like it has been doing), less anxiety, no trouble falling asleep, KP on arms was better. I thought I had found my answer!!

BUT- I took it last night before bed also and this morning was just as bad if not worse as I was before- hair loss in clumps, anxiety, fatigue, KP is back.

My test results do seem to show an issue- so I will continue to take it. Any thoughts on why I had a good day and then a bad day again? Is this just to torture me every time I seem to find hope?

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I take a B complex just for an energy boost (instead of coffee in the afternoon). It's one of those vitamins that it's hard to overdose on.

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It might actually be Pernicious Anemia, which is associated with Celiac. The damaged gut lining does not have the intrinsic factor to process B12.

Find out your actual test results on your test and the ranges of "normal".

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When diagnosed last fall w/ Celiac, my GI doc ordered B12 shots for me every other week for 6 months and now I go monthly. As far as my primary physician is concerned, this will be a forever thing for me...monthly B12 shots. Oddly, it was never mentioned that I should take a supplement. For me, I'd rather do the shot. :)

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I get b12 shots and have been for the last 5 months, I've been a celiac for over 7 years and it took a long time for it to finally get noticed, based on my symptoms I was still having a lot of celiac seeming reactions, but following the strict diet. In the 5 months, I've seen a boost in my energy and less pep in my step to the bathroom :) . "Normal" levels are between 300-900 and they like you to be somewhere in the middle. My level was 150, which my doctor called freakishly low. Even after 5 months of shots, I'm still only to 250, so my body is taking a bit longer!

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The current recommended guidelines are 2500 mcg per day, if you suffer from pernicious anemia and take oral supplements. Personally, I think that the shot once a month is much much more effective than the daily doses...I've been getting them for years now.

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scratch that! apparently I'm at 209...haha the Dr. just called.

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