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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: Low B-12 comes and goes. Meaning?

 mimiy2k - Fri May 18, 2007 6:23 pm

I am hoping a doctor specializing in Hemotology can offer some explanation for this.

Throughout my life my HCT/B-12 count has been very low and then its normal again.

When I was age 11 (I am now an age 57 female), my tonsilectomy was postponed because my HCT was very low in my pre-admission lab tests.

When I was 21, they wrote this off as Mono at my student health center at college (which everbody seemed to be diagnosed with in the 70s).

10 years ago, at age 47, my Gallbladdr surgery was postponed due again to low HCT showing in my pre-admission lab work-up. Yet, on a re-test at my insistence a few days later, it was normal.

I have blood drawn a lot for glucose testing as i was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes 10 years ago and my husband has Hep C (we always use protection), so my blood is monitored a lot.

For awhile I took monthly B12 shots then stopped for a year or two due to no insurance. Then, when I had my next few physicals, my HCT/B12 were normal.

Now they show low and I am on monthly B12 again.

Based largely on notjhing else to pin this on, my docs say it's Pernicious Anemia but that the schilling results are unreliable so they do not know fr sure.

My sister, who has MS, has also been diagnosed with pernicious anemia and takes B12 shots. Same with my Mother before she died.

I remember my mother telling me before she died 25 years ago that she may have passed a heriditary "something" on to us that was found by a test where they froze her blood. She had a lot of neurological and nerve difficulties by that point but was a very serious alcoholic.

Any theories? Any tests I should have run? Should I see a Hematologist?

Ever heard of HCT/B12 being low for periods then being normal foir long stretches (while B12 shots are not being taken).

Only persistent possible system: I have battled fatigue since chioldhood, likely have Sleep Apnea and have always struggled waking up in a.m. as I never feel rested except ONCE in last 15 years, the day after I got a single heavy dose of B12. I felt new!

If you think it PA, do you recommend a week of shots to build up the B12 then monthly shot? I havbe only ever had the once a month shots.

Thanks for the help. No one else seems to have an answer for this!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Jun 15, 2007 6:26 am

User avatar I'm not sure I will be of much assistance but I'll give it a shot. B12 is usually stored up in the body in large supplies so it takes a chronic shortage in the diet to end up being low on B12. One of the few ways to become low is to have pernicious anemia, were one cannot absorb B12 from the GI tract.

The hemoglobin can bounce around a little but if it is flucuating fast you may consider other types of anemia such as folate deficiency. Folate deficiency produces an almost identical anemia and red cell types.

I would recommend you see a GI specialist. If there are still questions at that point a hematologist may also be helpul

Best wishes.

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