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.
June describes her suffering when doctors didn't follow the standard protocol after any stomach or intestinal operation - to offer B12 replacement therapy
Julia found her eyesight going as her eyes refused to focus on the same things as each other. She's been for all sorts of tests and treatment, but now that she's on B12 replacement therapy she's starting to see an improvement.
The local MP (Grahame Morris MP for Easington - who was a BMS (BioMedical Scientist) in the labs at Sunderland Royal Infirmary) interviews people with B12 deficiency to hear their story (August 27 2010). Here Jane describes the symptoms, and how she can't wait for her next B12 injection (in fact, she knows that she needs injections every 2 weeks because she's keeping a diary of the symptoms). We're restricted how often the GP can give injections, which is why we want to raise awareness.
New documentary out from Elissa Leonard in North America, featuring Sally Pacholok and many other internationally renowned experts.
Just the way it works for humans, oral B12 can make a world of a difference for your pet. My old cat Smudge chases the young cat again, climbs ladders (and climbs down herself), and is generally as fit as she was many years ago.
Donna, like so many women, wants to live a normal life. Vitamin B12 could give her that chance.
Frankie tells of how she suffered, the tests she had to endure until doctors worked out what was wrong, and what a difference it has made.
Susan gets very tired, which isn't much fun especially as she has so much to do. Here she tells her story.
Janette first appeared in the BBC InsideOut documentary in October 2006. Since then the NHS has forced her doctor to withdraw B12 replacement therapy on a number of occasions, and she tells of her struggles with having B12 and then having it taken away.
She has bravely agreed to be filmed without her usual wig, but her memory is playing up because it is so long since her last injection.
Dr Chandy was nominated for the North East Local Heroes award. The interviewer was at first surprised - people don't get awards for doing what they are paid to do - but she persisted.