The Problems with the Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin B12 Deficiency by Martyn Hooper, founder of the Pernicious Anaemia Society
I’m going to make a bold statement. There are serious problems with the way in which Vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed and treated. There may even be what Sally Pacholok and Jeffrey Stuart describe in their book Could it Be B12? as ‘an epidemic of misdiagnoses’.
I know from first-hand experience how the symptoms of B12 deficiency can be ignored or associated with another disease, as I developed serious neurological damage through being severely deficient in B12 for a number of years. I underwent MRI scans and other expensive investigations with neurosurgeons, neurologists and seven or eight GPs. It was only when my sister, who is a nurse, eventually decided to take an armful of blood that I finally received a diagnosis of having ‘sub-acute combined degeneration of the cord secondary to pernicious anaemia’. Lacking this precious and essential vitamin can and does have very serious consequences. That is why it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of being B12 deficient in order to correct any deficiency early.
What does vitamin B12 do?
A normal healthy person will have normal and functioning parietal cells in his or her stomach. These cells will produce a protein called intrinsic factor, which binds to any animal product eaten, including meat, fish and dairy products, and produces vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential to produce healthy red blood cells that transport oxygen around the body to wherever it is needed – which is just about everywhere. If you have a problem with your parietal cells, you won&......
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