As the book “Vitamin B12 deficiency in clinical practice” nears completion, I thought you might like to know what’s going to be in it.
Some of the areas that are covered are illustrated in this Wordle (made from the index to the first proof copy).
What are the first words in this Wordle that catch your eyes? Is it “Intrinsic Factor” – so vital vitamin B12 absorption, and so often used as a marker to diagnose vitamin B12? It’s a difficult one – Intrinsic Factor is absolutely needed vitamin B12 absorption, but the absence of antibodies to IF or Parietal Cells it is by doctors to exclude B12 deficiency. Antibodies are notoriously difficult to detect, and in any case, may develop after B12 deficiency is quite far advanced.
Multiple Sclerosis looms there in the middle of the Wordle. When Dr Chandy was working as a GP, we found that every case of MS that he encountered in clinical practice responded to vitamin B12 replacement therapy. Those who accepted ongoing treatment to a massive reduction in symptoms, although it has to be said, but while 2 patients to decide to refuse further treatment, without specifying why.
On the left hand side is CFS Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Yes it’s a real disease; yes it is completely clashing, and drains the joy out of life. Yes it seems to respond B12 replacement therapy. Anybody, and Now I Scared Everybody, CFS or with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis should take vitamin B12 replacement therapy, whether by oral tablets daily, or by frequent injections.
As the Wordle illustrate, there are a huge number of different symptoms, and of different conditions, but I will affected by vitamin B12 deficiency. How it works in each specific case will vary; sometimes you will need different supplements; many times you will need medical treatment at the same time as B12 supplements; in every case, vitamin B12 seems to help.
Just to remind you, dear reader, that B12 is very safe. Vitamin B12 is naturally found in the human body and concentrations ranging from “too little”, the what many consider to be the normal range, do (with supplements) but higher levels, but even if maintained for many years, do no harm. Different people seem to have a requirement for different levels in the blood in order to function – some people only function when their blood serum B12 is >1000 ng/L, whereas others don’t detect any symptoms even with blood serum B12 >200 ng/L (often taken as the level at which ‘subtle’ B12 deficiency should be treated).
We are here to help. The vitamin B12 deficiency support group may name is to raise awareness of the symptoms, and broaden access to treatment. By all means email Dr Chandy on notifications@B12d.org for a discussion of your individual symptoms, and so that he can explain how other people have responded. Dr Chandy is now retired as a GP, so we cannot give specific medical advice, but he will say what has worked in the past people with similar blood test results and symptoms.