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Posts Tagged ‘Pernicious anemia autoimmune disorder’

Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

Friday, October 11th, 2013



If you suffer from long-lasting fatigue, memory problems, or pins and needles sensations, then you should test for vitamin B12 deficiency right away. Tests for vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia include cobalamin level screenings, as well as tests to determine your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food. For an accurate diagnosis, it’s a good idea to take advantage of as many tests as your doctor can offer.

Multiple Tests for Vitamin B12 Deficiency- Check your Levels!

How much vitamin B12 do you need?

While not all doctors or scientists agree as to what constitutes a healthy serum level of vitamin B12, the most widely accepted value is 200 picograms per milliliter (pg/mL).

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Serum Cobalamin (Vitamin B12) Test

If you think you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then the first course of action will be to order a serum cobalamin test to see how much vitamin B12 is in your blood supply. This blood test will check for low vitamin B12 levels even in people who don’t have pernicious anemia or symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. But it is not foolproof- a false normal test result can occur, especially in people who have liver disorders, renal insufficiency, or bone marrow disease.

Complete blood count (CBC)

A CBC is sometimes used to diagnose anemia, including vitamin B12 deficiency. If you’re suffering from extreme fatigue, unexplained bruising, or dizziness, then your doctor may order a complete blood count to count red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. However, a positive test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Methylmalonic Acid Tes

Another helpful tool for accurately testing for vitamin B12 deficiency is the Methylmalonic acid (MMA) test, as MMA levels increase dramatically with vitamin B12 deficiency.

This is an expensive test, so it’s not commonly used for detecting vitamin B12 deficiency. In 2006, an MMA test for vitamin B12 deficiency without insurance could cost over $200.00

Intrinsic Factor Blocking Antibody (IFAB) Test

Sometimes, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency occurs because of an autoimmune condition that destroys intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme crucial for vitamin B12 absorption.

A positive IFAB test result means that you have antibodies to intrinsic factor, resulting in the inability to digest vitamin B12 naturally from foods such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy, and egg products.

Schilling Test

Though not available in the US, the Schilling test is considered an effective method for diagnosing vitamin B12 malabsorption. Rather than checking for vitamin B12 levels in the blood, the Schilling test gauges your ability to absorb crystalline vitamin B12. However, a normal test result does not rule out vitamin B12 deficiency.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A thorough physical examination and review of your medical history will help your doctor determine if you have vitamin B12 deficiency.

But since no tests for vitamin B12 deficiency are 100% accurate, it’s important to recognize the classic symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, so that you can help your physician make an informed decision.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Long-lasting fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory problems
  • Painful numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Sore tongue
  • Burning, itching sensations
  • Muscle spasms
  • Headaches
  • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • Difficulty walking in a straight line

Please tell us…

Which tests for vitamin B12 deficiency have you taken, besides the B12 blood test?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Image courtesy of Thirteen Of Clubs/flickr

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012



Gastritis, the wearing down of your stomach lining, is sometimes caused by vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia.  Other illnesses or conditions related to chronic acid reflux, abdominal pain, bubbling indigestion, and stomach bloating from gastritis are listed below…

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

What is gastritis?

More than just a stomachache, gastritis is what happens when your stomach lining becomes severely damaged- worn away and inflamed.  Gastritis can be a chronic condition that worsens over time, or it can be sudden, because of a stomach infection.

What are the symptoms of gastritis?

The most common symptoms of gastritis include:

  • Chronic acid reflux, including at nighttime
  • Bloated stomach, even after light meals
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Hiccupping
  • Nausea
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Vomiting blood or dark grainy substance
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Black feces

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Eight ailments linked with gastritis

1) Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when your stomach is unable to produce intrinsic factor, a necessary protein for digesting vitamin B12. 

While some health sites claim that pernicious anemia causes gastritis, it is most likely the other way around.  Stomach damage from gastritis causes you to be unable to make intrinsic factor in the small intestine’s ileum.

Without intrinsic factor, you develop vitamin B12 deficiency, which causes symptoms like fatigue, depression, anxiety, painful tingling in your hands and feet, and many kinds of nerve damage.

2) Autoimmune disorders

Other autoimmune disorders that are linked with gastritis are Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, and lupus. (Also read Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease)

3) Alcoholism

Excessive alcohol use can, over time, cause severe damage to your many body organs, including your stomach.  Gastritis and vitamin B12 deficiency are both caused by alcohol abuse.

8 Ailments Linked with Gastritis, including B12 Deficiency

4) Bile reflux

If bile from your liver rises into your stomach and esophagus, it can cause gastritis and esophageal damage.  Only surgery can reverse bile reflux and protect you from incurring damage to your stomach.

5) Stress

Anxiety, depression, and daily stress are harmful for both your body and mind.  Accumulated stress may cause gastritis from stomach ulcers.

6) Medications

Certain prescribed and OTC drugs can cause severe gastritis; these include sleeping pills and anti-inflammatory painkillers like aspirin.


7) Chronic vomiting

Gastritis may happen because of frequent vomiting from bulimia, migraines, or other chronic conditions that irritate the stomach.

8) Bacterial infection

Helicobacter pylorus (H. pylori) bacteria dwell in your stomach lining.  Unless it is treated with antibiotics, bacterial infection from H. pylori may cause gastritis and stomach ulcers.

Take action

Vitamin B12 shots

Get routine supplementation of vitamin B12, which are available by prescription in vitamin B12 shots.  In addition to the B12 injections, over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 is beneficial to boost vitamin B12 levels and prevent relapse symptoms like fatigue, nerve pain, and stomach cramps.


For chronic heartburn and gastritis, your doctor may prescribe strong antacids. 

Please note that protein pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are a common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency

If you choose to use PPI’s over an extended period, then you may need to supplement with vitamin B12 in order to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency.

(Read Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) – B12 Deficiency and 5 other Health Risks)


Change your diet

In addition to taking medications for gastritis, a simple change in diet is also healthful when bloated stomach, acid reflux, heartburn, and abdominal pain occur.  Avoid eating very spicy foods, choose healthy cooking oils, and take probiotics that contain “good bacteria.”

Eat slower

Learn to eat like the Italians!  Sit down at every meal, practice mindful eating, and savor every bite slowly and deliberately.  Chewing slowly and efficiently is essential for preventing gastritis symptoms like indigestion and nausea.


For gastritis caused by H. pylori infection, you will need to take a strong regimen of antibiotics and probiotics to prevent stomach irritation.

GI Surgery

If gastritis is occurring because of a life-threatening condition, your doctor might recommend surgery to correct the disorder.  Bile reflux patients and Crohn’s disease patients are candidates for gastrointestinal surgery.

(Please read Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings)

Please tell us…

Do you have pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency?  Do you continue to suffer from gastritis symptoms, even though you take vitamin B12 shots regularly?

Do you feel that your doctor addresses all your illness symptoms- fatigue, brain fog, nausea, stomachaches, diarrhea, and frequent “pins and needles?”

Do you have any questions, comments, or suggestions?  Please feel free to use the comment box below.

Spread the love…

Know anybody who could be helped by this information?  Please share this article on Facebook, Google+, or by emailing a link.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and gastritis:

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle


Gastritis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and More


smoking2much, delphaber, Simon Howden, Ambro

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