B12 for Pernicious Anemia

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Maureen (MD) on 11/05/2021:
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I have pernicious anemia and will have to have B12 shots for the rest of my life. B12 is the only vitamin that requires a cofactor in order for your body to absorb it. The cofactor is called intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein secreted by the stomach that joins vitamin B-12 in the stomach and moves it through the small intestine to be absorbed by your bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B-12 can't be absorbed and leaves your body as waste. An inability to make intrinsic factor can be caused by - endocrine-related autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, surgery to your stomach or small intestine, abnormal bacterial growth in your small intestine, Crohn's disease or celiac disease, use of PPIs, old age.

I have tried all kinds of oral supplementation with limited success. I find I need an IM shot every three weeks to feel good.

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Jholl (Louisville, Ky) on 05/21/2015:
5 out of 5 stars

I had an aunt I never knew who died at age 4 of pernicious anemia. Her family discovered their are a myriad of levels of B-12 that are found. You can have a tendency to low levels of B-12 even if you do not have pernicious anemia. Most people know that their levels drop off as they age as well.

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C-bri (Cazenovia, New York) on 01/05/2014:
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After nuclear testing at the hospital because of pernicious anemia (probably 15 years ago), it was determined that I can't absorb B-12 in my intestine (auto-immune problem). Since that time I have been taking nascobal a prescription nasal spray one a week. Recently, I found it easier to go to my doctors office once a month for a shot of B-12. You do not want to fool around with pernicious anemia.
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