Sunday, February 24, 2013

Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses

I have been reading Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses by Sally M. Pacholok and Jeffrey J Stuart.  I must say I highly recommend this book for anyone and everyone interested in their health and the health and well being of the loved ones. This comprehensive guide provides up-to-date medical information about symptoms, testing, diagnosis, and treatment.  This detailed book outlines how physicians frequently misdiagnose B12 deficiency as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, mental retardation, Parkinson’s disease, depression, or other illnesses.

From my own personal experience, I was diagnosed with B12 depletion 2 years ago and only after reading this book was I able to understand symptoms I have experienced/suffered through since I was 20 years old, if not earlier.  From vertigo throughout my life, mysterious sharp pains that came and went in my twenties, on to debilitating back pain, and migraines which began in my thirties, female issues and pain in my thirties & forties, collapsing for no apparent reason in my late forties, to short term memory loss, brain fog and utter exhaustion in my fifties.

I now take B12, B6 and folic acid on a daily basis being sure to supplement the B12 with methylcobalamin and I have begun to notice a major difference in how I am feeling physically to how I 'am' in the world.  No more brain fog, back pain, constant migraines.

After reading the book, I now understand that we should all be tested for B12 deficiencies by using a urinary MMA test, this non-invasive, simple test, gets right to the point so there can be no misdiagnoses.  If you have gotten a blood serum test and it shows your B12 levels are fine, insist on a urinary MMA test for B12 deficiency.

It was interesting to note that B12 only comes from meat, which I have been sorely lacking in my diet.  The vegan sources touted as providing B12 (soy, etc.) give a false reading when a person is tested for B12 deficiency.

It is important to note that if you have anemia, you might have a B12 deficiency and having a blood transfusion or iron added will only temporarily mask this deficiency, but it will still  be there. Pernicious anemia is another thing to be concerned about and you need to see a physician that is really aware of B12 deficiency.  It was recommended that some people actually get the shots (which I had to start with until my B12 stores were built up).  Thyroid conditions are also an indication that there might be a  B12 deficiency and this should be checked out immediately. This deficiency is also being linked to breast cancer.  Sadly, autism, mental illness, Parkinsons, Alzheimers,  congestive heart failure, and many other diseases are being diagnosed when in fact, many times, it is simply a B12 deficiency.

Do you get nitrous oxide at the dentist or for surgery? Be aware that receiving nitrous oxide instantly depletes your body of B12 and the only way to get B12 back is IF you have it stored in your body, if not, you need to supplement.  On another note,if you have an autoimmune disease, or you have had gastric bypass surgery, you are more than likely deficient in B12.

It is important to note that the liver may not convert cyanocobalamin, the common supplement form (found in your local drug store) of vitamin B-12, into adequate amounts of methylcobalamin the body may need.

I hope this helps someone who has been unable to find the answer to their mysterious health issues. And I wish you all good health!


Here is a link (to Amazon) for the B12 

Here is a link to the book I read, Could It Be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses