B12 deficiency affects men too

Men are notoriously resistant to visiting a doctor and this can make their diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency much more difficult, especially since it is generally seen as a condition that affects women.

Many non specific symptoms of B12 deficiency, if looked at in isolation, might seem like nothing to be overly concerned with. They could be attributed to age, lifestyle, being a parent or stressful circumstances and many people try to rationalise why they feel a certain way……  ‘it’s work, everybody feels a bit down, irritable, apathetic or tired sometimes’.  But, what if these symptoms are ever present and you carry on sweeping your feelings ‘under the carpet’ when you could be helped?

You have 10 minutes

Some doctors insist we only talk about ‘one problem’ during an appointment of 10 minutes, so before we even start we may feel hurried and stressed. This also makes it really difficult for both parties to get a grip on the whole picture.

Imagine you have erectile dysfunction and impotence and mention this to your doctor but without your other symptoms, for example tinnitus, blurred vision and breathlessness, it might be that a little blue pill is prescribed when what might be needed to correct this for you, is B12 injections.

We can’t see what a complete jigsaw will look like with only one piece and no box lid to look at, so why is it understood that by some miracle the correct diagnosis and treatment will be given if we are only able to talk about one aspect of what we might be experiencing?

It’s essential that you don’t suffer in silence. 

If you haven’t had B12 deficiency ruled out yet, then please see the symptoms here (the poster features just a handful) and list any that you are experiencing.

Check if any of these causes strike a chord and note these too, you may have a family history of B12 deficiency or you could be taking a drug which interferes with absorption of B12.

Make an appointment with your doctor, make sure you have someone with you for support, they may remember things you have missed. Don’t be shy, the fuller and clearer the picture, the better the chance of the right help.

Timely, correct treatment of B12 deficiency can reverse symptoms and give you your life back!

Sharing information

If you know someone with symptoms of B12 deficiency who has not explored this as a cause, then please share this blog with them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below.

Very best wishes

Tracey x
www.b12deficiency.info

 

 

 

 

When a doctor cannot see the wood for the trees – disaster is inevitable


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’.

 

IMG_20140611_100402
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.

If you haven’t done so already please sign and share our petition

Raising awareness – how you can help

Best wishes, Tracey