The pernicious ignorance of B12 deficiency in patients with poor mental health.

Despite the general misconception that B12 deficiency only affects women over 60, this condition does not discriminate. It is those who train our health care professionals and consequently our health care professionals who do. The neuropsychiatric symptoms of B12 deficiency are many and as with all symptoms they can manifest at any age and in either sex.
These include –

• The unborn child
• Babies
• Children
• New mothers
• The middle aged
• The elderly

It appears that very few doctors understand the need to rule out this debilitating neurological disorder once a mental health condition is diagnosed. Of course there are many reasons for poor mental health but to ignore nutritional deficiencies is ridiculous.

One of the most common presenting symptoms of B12 deficiency is depression and yet the chances of a doctor exploring this symptom further to see if there might be a physical cause appears to be very slim.

How many children are incorrectly diagnosed with Bipolar, psychosis, depression when B12 deficiency is the root cause?
How many undiagnosed B12 deficient mothers find themselves devastated by post natal depression following nitrous oxide administration during labour?
How many cases of ‘early onset Alzheimer’s’ remain untested for this easy to treat deficiency?
How many newly diagnosed dementia patients have been taking metformin, or acid suppressants such as Omeprazole?
How many patients live in total confusion when all they lack is the ability to absorb vitamin B12?
How many stroke victims struggling physically and mentally because it never occurred to the clinicians to test for low B12?
How many students unable to complete their studies?
How many lives lost through suicide?
How many careers ruined?
How many lost livelihoods?
How many families broken?
How much money wasted on psychiatric drugs when a vital nutrient is the solution?
How many undiagnosed prisoners are ‘detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure’ for actions and behaviour induced by low B12?
How many patients hospitalised with eating disorders remain undiagnosed with B12 deficiency?
How many patients tested but by clinicians who fail to understand that the B12 serum test is inaccurate?
How many patients rattle with numerous antidepressants given in mega doses due to their reduced efficacy in B12 deficient patients?
The information below is taken from the ‘Fundamental Statistics on Mental Health 2007’  

All these statements and statistics have a potential relationship to B12 deficiency and we can only assume that these figures are perhaps even worse now…….

The Fundamental Facts 2007: The Latest Facts and Figures on Mental Health
http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/content/assets/PDF/publications/fundamental_facts_2007.pdf?view=Standard

How many people experience mental health problems?
• The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report found that in any one year 1 in 4 British adults experience at least one mental disorder, and 1 in 6 experiences this at any given time.

• It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem.
• 1 in 4 families worldwide is likely to have at least one member with a behavioural or mental disorder.
• The World Health Organisation forecasts that by 2020 depression will be the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease.

 Suicide and history of using mental health services
• 42% of people who took their own lives in England and Wales were diagnosed with either a depressive illness or bi-polar disorder, and 20% had schizophrenia or a related disorder. 

Postnatal depression
• Post-natal depression, also known as post partum depression, is believed to affect between 8 and 15% of women. Post-natal depression is not the same as the ‘baby blues’ which are very common, but last only a few days.

Dementia
• Dementia affects 5% of people over the age of 65 and 20% of those over 80. About 700,000 people in the UK have dementia (1.2% of the population) at any one time.
• About 60% of dementia cases are caused by Alzheimer’s disease.
• About a fifth of cases of dementia are related to strokes or insufficient blood flow to the brain, these cases being known as vascular dementia.

Children and young people 
• The British Medical Association estimates that at any point in time up to 45,000 young people under the age of 16 are experiencing a severe mental health disorder, and approximately 1.1 million children under the age of 18 would benefit from specialist mental health services.


Older people 
• Depression affects 1 in 5 people over the age of 65 living in the community and 2 in 5 living in care homes. However, it is likely that only a small proportion of older people with depression are in contact with their GP or mental health services. 
• An estimated 70% of new cases of depression in older people are related to poor physical health.

The prison population
• 72% of male and 70% of female sentenced prisoners have at least one mental disorder and 1 in 5 prisoners has four major mental health disorders. 

People with poor physical health are at higher risk of experiencing common mental health problems, and people with mental health problems are more likely to have poor physical health. 
• Depression affects 27% of people with diabetes, 29% of people with hypertension, 31% of people who have had a stroke, 33% of cancer patients and 44% of people with HIV/AIDS.
• People who experience persistent pain are four times as likely to have an anxiety or depressive disorder as the general population.




Primary care
• Approximately 30% of all GP consultations are related to a mental health problem.
• On average, a person with severe mental health problems has 13 to 14 consultations per year with their GP.




Hospital provision
• The NHS spent about £575 million on acute psychiatric in-patient hospital care in 2005/06,188 about 68% of its budget for clinical mental health services.




Treatment and coping
• According to an online survey by the Mental Health Foundation, of those visiting their GP with depression, 60% were prescribed anti-depressants, 42% were offered counselling and 2% were offered exercise therapy. 




Medication

• In 2004, GPs wrote a total of 63.9 million drug prescriptions for mental health problems in England, representing 9.3% of the total prescription by volume.
• Approximately 2 million people of working age in Britain are currently taking psychiatric drugs, most prescribed by their GPs.




 

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Family doctors in England are to be paid £55 for each patient they diagnose with dementia, NHS bosses say.   (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29718618)

If we gave GP’s just £1 to test ALL mental health patients for B12 deficiency and then another £1 to treat that Patient properly the cost savings could be phenomenal, not just to the NHS but to society as a whole. If only 10% of all the above statistics were found to be B12 deficient it would have a profoundly positive impact on NHS resources.

If you or anyone you know suffers with a mental illness, please have look at this list which is just the neuropsychiatric portion of the common B12 deficiency symptoms. You may be surprised and relieved to find that B12 injections could be the answer to restoring your own or a loved ones health.

• Confusion/disorientation
• Psychosis
• Post natal depression
• Hallucinations
• Memory loss
• Delusion
• Depression
• Suicidal ideation
• Mania
• Anxiety
• Paranoia
• Irritability
• Apathy
• Personality changes
• Inappropriate sexual behaviour
• Violent/aggressive behaviour
• Schizophrenic symptoms
• Sleep disturbances
• Insomnia
• Changes in taste, smell, vision, and sensory/motor function which can be mistaken for psychiatric problems

For more information please visit  www.b12deficiency.info/b12-and-mental-health/

Every part of society is affected by mental illness, and every part of society is affected by B12 deficiency. Our health care professionals need to keep this in mind, from midwives, to paediatrician’s, oncologists to psychiatrists. All medical disciplines need to be made aware of the facts.

Even those psychiatric patients who are known to be B12 deficient may still remain very unwell due to the high level of under treatment for this condition. Just four injections per year are not enough to repair those damaged nerves. Far more B12 is needed for this important job.
Unfortunately your doctor may be resistant to your request for testing for B12 deficiency.

Over the past couple of years I have been met with the following statements, from GP’s and psychiatrists;

‘They have no symptoms so it would be a waste of NHS funds to test for low B12 ’.
‘B12 deficiency does not affect mental health’.
‘Tremors and tinnitus are not cause by low B12’
‘They already have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and poor mental health runs in the family’.

It appears that once you have a diagnosis of mental illness you may be effectively tidied away and forgotten about.

And if you don’t have a mental health diagnosis your doctor might be keener to find one for you,  than to give you the vitamin you desperately need.

I’ll leave you with the letter I was sent following my request for more B12 injections.

letter-1-14.08.28

 

 

East Lancashire NHS Trust – you win the trophy hands down, for dangerously low, lower reference level for serum B12 test, 110 – 914ng/L!

Just take a look at these results, which are being ignored by the GP (see previous post) and then have a gasp at that lower reference range, are you still standing?  NO?…. neither is the patient.  They remain exhausted with regular blackouts.

What are you doing to your patients East Lancashire NHS Trust?

How many Lancastrians have been misdiagnosed with other illnesses due to the almost impossibility of achieving a diagnosis of B12 deficiency under this Trust?

IMG_20140611_100402

 

East Lancashire NHS Trust need to identify all the inevitable misdiagnoses due to this incredibly low reference range – we thought Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust were bad but this really takes the biscuit.

Exactly how many patients have been incorrectly misdiagnosed with;

Alzheimer’s/Dementia?

Depression?

Chronic fatigue syndrome?

Fibromyalgia?

Multiple sclerosis?

M E?

Psychosis?

Bipolar?

Vertigo?

Congestive heart failure?

Chronic pain disorder?

Anaemia?

Autism?

ADHD?

How many babies fail to thrive?

How many children have a diagnosis of developmental delay, mental retardation?

How many metformin taking diabetics have their neuropathy incorrectly attributed to diabetes?

How many new mothers sectioned with post natal depression from diminished B12 supplies?

How many benign essential tremors have automatically led clinicians to an incorrect diagnosis of Parkinson’s?

How many Strokes and heart attacks?

How many suicides?

 

East Lancashire NHS Trust we implore you to change this assay kit and re test all who have gone before and to screen all those patients who have left the GP’s office with nothing more than a diagnosis of hypochondria.

TAKE ACTION NOW – THIS IS SERIOUS!!

Please visit www.b12deficiency.info

http://b12deficiency.info/children-and-b12.html

Raising awareness; http://www.b12deficiency.info/how-you-can-help/

Please sign and share our petition

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/ian-hudson-please-make-our-life-saving-injectable-vitamin-b12-hydroxocobalamin-available-over-the-counter

 

There are many faces of Vitamin B12 deficiency……….

b12 poster final

Please click to download, print, tweet or share this poster 

Raising awareness – how YOU can help

If viewed from the web address above this poster has dynamic links behind each image which lead to further information and journals for each age group.

www.b12deficiency.info/what-to-do-next.html

Please consider signing and sharing our petition – you will be helping to save lives
http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/ian-hudson-please-make-our-life-saving-injectable-vitamin-b12-hydroxocobalamin-available-over-the-counter

Imagine being sectioned for a vitamin B12 deficiency…….

Imagine feeling that taking your own life is preferable to fighting your doctor for your right to this essential vitamin

Imagine being tested for B12 deficiency and even though the serum test shows you are deficient, your doctor denies treatment because she doesn’t believe that your mind can be affected

Imagine a newly qualified doctor telling you to eat more broccoli to build your supplies of B12

Imagine pleading for injections for your severely B12 deficient child only to be ignored, all this whilst the doctor calls social services to accuse you of starving your child

Imagine a helicopter police hunt for a desperately deficient OAP whose doctor thinks that three 50mcg oral cyanocobalamin B12 tablets per day will correct their severe deficiency

Imagine your child being given a diagnosis of autism only to find later that B12 deficiency was the correct diagnosis

Imagine being bed bound and unable to look after your children or yourself because your doctor thinks B12 is a placebo and will not allow B12 injections more frequently than every three months

Imagine studying hard for a career only to find your undiagnosed B12 deficiency makes it impossible to work or contribute to society in any way

Imagine being treated for cervical cancer when B12 deficiency caused your abnormal pap smears

Imagine becoming anorexic and being admitted to a mental health ward where the doctors involved in your care don’t understand that anorexia is a symptom of B12 deficiency

Imagine being diagnosed with post natal depression after enduring a long labour with B12 depleting ‘gas and air’ and only being treated with drugs instead of the vitamin your body has been starved of

Imagine being labelled as a lazy hypochondriac when you haven’t the energy to raise your head from your pillow because your doctor says a three monthly injection is adequate treatment

Imagine being one point above a B12 serum test’s lowest range, with screaming neurological symptoms and being denied treatment because a doctor says your level is ‘normal’

Imagine being unable to remember the names of your loved ones, how to cook, how to read music, how to drive your car

Imagine being tested and probed for other ‘more serious’ illnesses in your quest for a vitamin you know you need but medical professionals simply don’t

Imagine being fed a cocktail of antipsychotics, antidepressants, antiepileptics, lithium, and pain killers, when all you really need is a 55p B12 injection every other day until your myriad of symptoms stop improving

Imagine a night out partaking of some supposedly, harmless ‘hippy crack’ (nitrous oxide), and later  finding that you can’t walk and that your doctor never puts 2 and 2 together

Imagine being misdiagnosed with MS due to your doctors ignorance of B12 deficiency

Imagine knowing that other countries allow their citizens to buy this essential injectable vitamin over the counter but in the UK it is restricted and rationed

Imagine being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, or dementia in your 20’s or 30’s when it’s simply vitamin B12 deficiency causing your appalling memory problems

Imagine having repeated miscarriages and rounds of unsuccessful IVF only to find that £10’s worth of vitamin B12 injections could have you on the road to natural conception

Imagine your healthy baby becoming floppy, unresponsive and failing to thrive but never finding that elusive doctor with a comprehensive knowledge of B12

Imagine your child being arrested when their anger and aggression is due to desperate under treatment for B12 deficiency

Imagine finally giving up after you have fought for help from your doctor, only to be continually ignored and told that your symptoms are all in your mind

Imagine knowing far more about B12 deficiency than your GP or any of the ’specialists’ your doctor has referred you to

Imagine an ignorant consultant calling Social Services to accuse you, a loving parent, of causing your child’s malnutrition when you have a family history of B12 deficiency

Imagine being mistakenly prescribed acid suppressants when your stomach acid is already too low to absorb B12 and then finding that eventually your legs fail you

Imagine being diagnosed with pernicious anaemia and knowing you will need treatment for life but having an ignorant doctor stop your injections when the serum B12 level is ‘within range’

Imagine having repeated cardiac arrests, prolonged stays in mental health units and  when you finally work out that you are B12 deficient, being denied treatment

Imagine a life with this condition, when your family and friends don’t understand your many symptoms and who tell you ‘the doctor must know best’

Imagine finding a below range B12 result in your notes from years ago and realising that your confinement to a wheelchair and permanent neurological damage could have been avoided if only you’d been given B12 injections

Imagine just how devastated healthcare professionals feel when they understand their training lacked vital information on B12 deficiency

Imagine the savings to the NHS if they woke up to B12 deficiency

All the above has happened and sadly may continue to happen until something changes.

Imagine the good that will come from correct training – please email me tracey@b12deficiency.info for more information

Please consider signing and sharing my petition – you will be helping to save lives

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