Please note – I do know that some doctors know how to treat B12 deficiency and pernicious anaemia excellently, sometimes there is a lovely surprise when a member of Pat Kornic’s life saving support support group reports how well they are being treated by their doctor. However, everyday, another member has a tragic tale to tell. Unfortunately these posts far outweigh the former, by an enormous percentage.
These blood results were posted on the support group with a note stating the GP deemed the results ‘good, apart from ferritin which is a little on the low side’.
We are all aware that an exclamation mark usually shows – strong feeling, surprise, anger or joy. In the case of these blood results it is meant to catch the eye of the doctor and alert them to a problem. You don’t really need the help of the exclamation mark if you happen to be able to read and recognise numbers. Should this doctor have passed their medical finals? Not in my opinion.
Reading blood results accurately must be a fundamental part of the job of a GP but we do know that in the ‘world of B12′ it appears to be a tragically under utilised skill.
These amazingly low results belong to a 19 year old patient who has a family history of pernicious anaemia. The B12 deficiency symptoms started as a young child with black outs, and in more recent years the extreme tiredness, shortness of breath, problems walking, lack of concentration and heart palpitations have become the norm.
When the patient challenged the doctor regarding the lack of treatment considering these dangerously low levels – they were told ‘I will treat you once your B12 level falls to 2 or 3’. Yes that’s right, two or three!!!!!
The only result here which raised an eyebrow with this doctor is ferritin (iron storage), for which the patient has been given an iron supplement. Correcting an iron deficiency will not help deficient B12 and folate levels and this patient will continue to deteriorate. Please see the case study on ‘Ellen’ here http://www.b12deficiency.info/case-studies/
Ferritin is the only result which is actually within range. This doctor has absolutely no idea about the devastating affect of either folate deficiency or B12 deficiency and this is truly shocking.
When will our doctors wake up and see the damage they are doing through their appalling lack of basic knowledge?
If you happen to find yourself in this situation you might ask your doctor to put in writing exactly why they are refusing to treat you and if they are happy to take responsibility for your increasing nerve damage.
This patient has neurological symptoms, they require injections every other day until the symptoms stop improving as per the NICE and BNF guidelines. The doctor may stick to her ignorant and arrogant stance on this patient’s treatment and this is a tragedy. How many more B12 deficient patients at this GP’s practice are deteriorating whilst this doctor continues to dish out ridiculous comments in place of actually being a doctor?
This patient has asked for a referral to see a haematologist, lets hope this happens sooner rather than later and that this next clinician can see the wood for the trees.
Many clinicians fail to understand that they need to educate themselves once they leave university, believing that there is nothing new to learn. This directly, impacts negatively upon patients.
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Best wishes, Tracey