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Misdiagnosis

Due to lack of knowledge many doctors give B12 deficiency another name, it is very commonly misdiagnosed. If you think this applies to you please use the What to do next page.

Very Important: DO NOT SUPPLEMENT BEFORE TESTING - THIS MAY SKEW RESULTS.

The financial cost of misdiagnosis in the UK is phenomenal. If you feel like I do, that adding B12 and folate testing to a Full Blood Count will help the current situation, please sign and share this petition.

It should be noted that
folate supplementation could mask a potential deficiency.

Please also consider toxic exposure - B12 may be the missing link for treatment for your long term illness.

If you want to help raise awareness of misdiagnosis of B12 deficiency on the street, please visit How You Can Help.

B12 deficiency can be misdiagnosed as -

Why is B12 deficiency commonly misdiagnosed? 

  • Extremely poor knowledge amongst doctors and other health care professionals  
  • Poor or absent screening in symptomatic and at-risk patients. Most doctors would not consider testing children or males as they assume elderly females are the only group at risk  
  • Clinicians ignore the neurological manifestations of B12 deficiency  
  • Current range for 'normal' serum B12 set far too low - as low as 110 in some parts of the UK  
  • Clinicians not treating symptomatic patients whose serum B12 levels are in the 'grey zone' (200-450 pg/ml)  
  • Lack of use of other sensitive tests to aid in diagnosis (uMMA - urinary methylmalonic acid, holotranscobalamin, homocysteine)  
  • Clinicians wait for enlarged red blood cells or macrocytic anaemia to be present  
  • Elderly are frequently misdiagnosed due to increased incidence of pre existing and co morbid conditions  
  • B12 screening not included in older adults who fall, have cognitive changes or dementia  
  • B12 screening not included in mental health patients  
  • Some Clinicians do not believe it is their responsibility to screen for it

Information provided with kind permission of Sally M. Pacholok R.N. & Dr. Jeffrey J. Stuart.

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