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

 

 

 

 

The Ignorance of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Children

B12 is tragically undiagnosed and misdiagnosed in children, for many doctors testing for this deficiency is not even on their radar. In the rare cases when it is tested, there’s every likelihood it won’t be diagnosed due to the dangerously low lab reference ranges in the UK – as ridiculously low as 110ng/L at East Lancashire NHS Trust.

If a child is vegetarian or vegan and is not being given a supplement for B12 or was breast fed by a vegetarian or vegan mother who was not advised by their clinician’s to supplement B12, the risk of this deficiency is much higher.

In children who are heavily symptomatic and their deficiency it is not diet related, they may have B12 serum levels which are within range or even look like ‘healthy levels’.  It would be pertinent to carry out further tests such as MMA, and Homocysteine tests. Sadly the B12 serum test is flawed but this information is taking it’s time to filter through to clinicians.

If all symptomatic children with a B12 level below 500ng/L were treated without question and worried parents pleas for help listened to, this would go some way towards halting the untold suffering that families cope with every day. Tragicaly though, some of these children leave their doctors surgery with drugs to treat misdiagnoses of autism or ADHD. These drugs may or may not modify their symptoms, but the fact remains, deterioration caused by the lack of B12 will continue without essential injections.

A therapeutic trial of B12 injections would be extremely valuable for ‘within range’ symptomatic children. These should be carried out with continuous every other day injections in the presence of neurological symptoms. http://cks.nice.org.uk/anaemia-b12-and-folate-deficiency#!scenariorecommendation:4

If a family has a high prevalence of diagnosed Pernicious Anaemia then it would be entirely sensible to screen children in these families. In adults this deficiency, if identified early enough, can be treated effectively and simply, reversing all symptoms. In children the story can be very different, the nervous system is still developing and if this vital nutrient is lacking then the damage may be irreversible.

All health professionals need to understand that this deficiency does not just affect women over 60. Terrified parents who know that their children are suffering from the same serious symptoms that they themselves, experience should be listened heard.

Signs & symptoms in infants and children

• Developmental delay or regression.

• Apathy – Irritability.

• Hypotonia (decreased muscle tone).

• Weakness.

• Tremor.

• Involuntary movements.

• Seizures (fits).

Ataxia (Neurological disorder affecting balance, coordination and speech).

• Anorexia and other eating disorders.

• Failure to thrive.

• Poor weight gain.

• Poor head growth.

• Poor socialisation.

• Poor motor skills.

• Language delay.

• Speech problems.

• Lower IQ – Mental retardation.

• Anaemia.

• Macrocytosis (large red blood cells) Note – need not be present!

Red flags of B12 deficiency in infants, children and Teenagers

If your child exhibits any of the following signs or symptoms, insist that your doctor tests for B12 deficiency.

• Movement problems, including difficulty in walking or writing.

• Mental changes – irritability, altered mood, poor memory, “flat” emotional tone, autistic-like withdrawal.

• Vision problems/abnormalities.

• Slowed weight and height gain.

• Leg pains or other abnormal sensations.

• Fatigue.

• Loss of appetite.

• An abnormally small head circumference in infants or toddlers.

• Apathy,lethargy, or irritability.

• Involuntary movements, such as arm waving in infants or toddlers.

• Tics.

• Grey hairs / premature greying.

• Areas of hypo pigmented skin in a Caucasian child and/or vitiligo, or areas of hyper pigmented skin in a black or Asian child.

• A rooting reflex after eight months of age (this reflex is usually absent after six months of age.

• A history of any surgery (including dental surgeries) involving nitrous oxide. This anaesthetic agent is often administered during dental work or surgeries such as insertion of ear tubes in children with chronic ear infections, can inactivate the body’s stores of B12 and cause severe neurological damage.

• Failure to thrive (poor appetite, poor growth and/or weight gain, general poor health).

• Chronic constipation.

• A diagnosis of developmental delay, autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or other neurological disorder.

• Severe food allergies or sensitivities.

• A diagnosis of coeliac disease or gluten enteropathy.

• A thyroid disorder or other autoimmune disorder.

• A history of stroke or a diagnosis of arteriosclerosis.

• A diagnosis of any psychiatric or behavioural disorder including ADHD.

• A diagnosis of Downs Syndrome.

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

 

Best wishes, Tracey

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

Raising awareness;

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