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Q. My daughter has pernicious anemia from the age of 11. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Shaikh Sadaf
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 07, 2017

Hello doctor,

I hope you will be able to help me with my daughter's health. The summary of her health is as follows: She was born prematurely at 25 weeks. She had to undergo PDA surgery soon after. She had Hashimoto's hypothyroidism when she was 8 years of age. She had urticaria and angioedema for many years. She took a double dose of antihistamines for at least five years. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed at age 10. She had pernicious anemia since the age of 11. Three years ago, she was bedridden for a month, as she was diagnosed with post viral fatigue.

So, as you see, she has never felt well. She has put on a large amount of weight, in spite of being on a strict diet. She has chronic constipation, severe fatigue, breathlessness, cold hands and feet, dry and thin hair. My daughter has phases where her eyes are swollen and feels pressure behind the eye balls. Sometimes, her fatigue is so bad she struggles to go about her daily routine. During these episodes, she feels very weak like her body is shutting down. Last year, she had a similar episode, but that time it was due to stomach acid issues. It lasted for around six months. Her stool test confirmed very high levels of the indicator for Crohn's. The surgeon carried out endoscopy and pill camera. But, nothing showed up, much to his surprise. I am attaching a copy of her latest blood reports, the abnormal values of which are: HbA1c (IFCC) 33 mmol/mol, Insulin (fasting) 100.6 pmol/L and CRP 7.00. She is currently on Thyroxine, B12 and birth control pills.

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Diabetology Endocrinology


Welcome to

I just read your query and the medical history of your daughter. I have seen the detailed reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) as well. Let me answer each one of your questions.

  • Her raised cortisol is likely to be due to exogenous steroids use, like oral contraceptives, or any other ointment containing steroids. Dexamethasone suppression test with cortisol level at 26 indicates that she does not have Cushing's syndrome, as a result less than 50 nmol/L makes Cushing’s unlikely.
  • Iron deficiency has been already managed quite well. Unfortunately, she must continue to take the iron tablets in spite of her constipation. But, it would cause less discomfort if taken after a heavy meal. Regarding pernicious anemia, she must continue to take those vitamin B12 shots.
  • Regarding thyroid issues, there is no necessity to increase her thyroxine dosage because her TSH is within the normal range and that is the single indicator for adequate thyroxine replacement because the others are variable components.
  • Her CRP values are slightly high because of the chronic conditions she is having. She must continue her contraceptives as recommended as they are not causing much of a problem.
  • I suggest the following:
  1. Ask her to watch her diet, restrict the intake to 1200 to 1500 kcal per day and also make a note of whatever she eats.
  2. It is recommended she exercises for 60 minutes every day, five days a week. She can start with 10 minutes a day and gradually increase it by five minutes every week until she is able to do 60 minutes.
  3. She can practice yoga, as it helps with the flexibility of her muscles and joints.
  4. It is good to get seven to eight hours of sleep every day.
  5. Try to cut down on her salt.
  6. Try gluten free diet.
  7. She must also take multivitamin supplements as they will help with her hair loss.
  8. Take Calcium and Vitamin D supplements daily as thyroxine can weaken the bones over time.

Hope I have answered all your questions and you found my advice of some benefit. Good luck.

For more information consult an endocrinologist online -->

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