B12 Deficiency, Pernicious Anemia

on 7/24/06 5:50 am - League City, TX
I have recently (in the past 2 weeks) reached my all time lowest post op weight, 139 lbs...yeah. However, there have been some things I have learned in the past week that are a little disturbing. I recently found out that I am seriously B12 deficient (due to bariatric surgery) and have pernicious anemia. My husband hounded me to go to the dr due to my body bruising and it becoming out of control. We found out that my b12 level was 82 and it should be between 190-1000 and they like you around 300-400. I have since learned from the hematologist that nearly every bariatric patient at 2 years post op becomes b12 deficient and i was never told this before surgery or by any of my dr's since. I will now need monthly B12 injections for the remainder of my life, if I knew this, I don't think it would have changed my mind on the surgery, I would have still had it. What is bothersome is my level is so low and we do not know how long it has been that low that it can cause your spinal cord cover to disappear which causes nerve damage and paralysis. they do not feel that I have paralysis yet obviously since I can still touch, feel, move etc but the covering may have already begun going away. On Friday, I began a rigerous course of b12 injections, i must go once a day m-f for 2 weeks, then 3 days a week for 2 weeks and 1 day a month then out if my level is back to normal. We also found out that my body is using every possible resource it has to produce blood and the platelets it is producing are no good which is why I am bruising...they are not allowing my blood to clot. Which can be caused from the possibility of Lupus. I tested positive on 2 blood tests for SLE (not surgery related, my mother has SLE as well and many overlapping illnesses) and they took several more tests while there on Friday, I get those results next week. My main concern is to warn those that are not aware of the B12 deficiency. I am also having to have a CT Scan to check my spleen. I would like to know if any of you have had this much of a problem with B12?
on 8/28/06 4:56 pm - Redlands, CA
Well I am sure a lot has changed since this post...and I hope for the better! I am battling chronic anemia as well.. threefold in nature.... lupus, iron deficiency, and a big ol fibroid in this old uterus of mine... yes, it can get worse! In terms of the B12 deficiency... yes, it is a pitfall of the surgery, particularly the more distal the bypass. However, my surgeon put me on sublingual B12 and folic acid almost from the start... and perhaps that is the thing that has kept me out of more trouble than I am already in... you might want to ask about it... Trader Joes has a version out here... under the tongue in the am ... and over and done with. No shots needed. (can't get the B12 in tablets... destroyed by the stomach acids). Good luck ... hope things go well for you... and take it from me, don't put yourself under any unneeded stress.... most dx of lupus are preceeded by some crisis event or stress.... hang in there B
on 1/26/07 1:50 am
I may be Having an issue with Pernicious Anemia. I have had some very strange stomach problems, Headaches, no energy, and easy bruising. I have gone to see a gastroenterologist(not The one who did my RNY) and they keep saying I have an ulcer but can not find the heliobactria. I was looking up stuff on ulcers, and found out about Pernicious Anemia as being a cause of ulcer like symptoms. My Weigtht loss surgeoun told me to take a sublingal B-12 and I did for about 1 year. I had my RNY in 2002 so that should tell you how long it's been since I took it. So after seeing these posts and the sites I guess I'll go buy the B-12 when I get off here. I am just wondering if I sould get the B-12 shots as well. Thanks for your posting! It may have fixed my problem. In fact it may have saved my life. I have lost 10 pds in just 4 days,because I couldn't eat anything. That kind of weight Loss we only usually see right after surgery. Don't get me wrong I like to loss weight but not when there is no other explanation other than something must be seriously wrong. Cher'rie
on 1/26/07 3:13 am - League City, TX
I would highly recommend you see a family doctor or even better a hematologist and have your b12 level checked. With the bypass, we do not absorb the b12 like a normal person and that is the erason they did not have me do sublingal. I give myself the injections at home now, the bottle of b12 only cost me about $6 and it has lasted since August. Explain to the dr. your situation and why you need your level checked, I myself had no earthly idea b12 deficiency could cause paralization. They still do not know what is wrong w/my blood - it doesn't clot and I am probably about to have a platelet transfusion b/c of surgery I have to have in my mouth. Good luck with everything. Also, has your gastrologist done a endoscopy? I have had 2 done since my surgery as well as a colonoscopy.
Brenda C.
on 7/3/10 11:14 am
RNY on 11/16/10 with
Pernicious Anemia isn't JUST from Gastric Bypass, I have been living with it for over a year, and I am a carrier of Hemochromotosis (high iron in the blood - my red blood count is elevated), and I also have Thyroid Disease (Hypo). 

Dealing with Pernicious Anemia is a no brainer - really, don't sweat it.  My having elevated levels of iron actually cause an absorption issue with my Levothyroxin (for the thyroid).  I take sublingual B12 daily, and I have to administer shots once to twice a month, depending on levels in my blood checked every three months.

For me, getting Gastric Bypass should actually lower my iron levels to a normal level (I found four case studies), and already knowing I have Pernicious Anemia, I should have little issue dealing with supplements.  Knowledge is power.

Another issue folks might miss is not having enough vitamin K in their blood (I used to get bloody noses when I was pregnant, my body's way to relieve the excess blood production).  I was told back then to eat a lot of parsley - no kidding!  Anyhow, I am very good about taking multi viatamins, additional D, B, Calcium as well as other supplements - and I am pre-operative.

Bloodwork is fascinating business!  Do some research, remember: Knowledge is Power!

B  : )~
Brenda C.
on 7/3/10 11:16 am
RNY on 11/16/10 with
Blood Clotting - TRY Vitamin K!!!  Serious - look it up.  I am shocked no one told you to add vitamins to your daily regime.

B  : )~
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