Having low B12 is more common than you think.
B 12 deficiency frequently goes undetected or in many cases, the person is given another diagnosis incorrectly.
Left unaddressed, low B 12 can be life threatening and can cause permanent, irreversible damage.
Signs or symptoms of low B12
- sleeplessness; paranoia; depression; memory loss; dementia; violent behavior
- strange tingling sensations or numbness in arms or legs; diminished sense of touch, pain or to temperature; weakness in arms or legs; muscle spasms; paralysis; vision changes & optic nerve damage
- TIA’s (mini-strokes); stroke; coronary artery disease; heart attack; congestive heart failure; deep vein thrombosis
- shortness of breath; weakness; chronic fatigue; loss of appetite; poor digestion; full or bloated after eating small or normal sized meals; GI problems
- increases susceptibility to infections; failure to thrive in infants; tinnitus
Looking at this list of symptoms you can see why low B 12 is so frequently diagnosed as something else.
This is particularity alarming when you consider that a simple, routine blood test can detect this!
But even if you have your blood tested most doctors do not flag low B12 as the reason for a persons symptoms!!!
The American Medical Association’s diagnostic reference ranges are too low!
Those who are at high risk include two basic groups of people.
Anyone on the following medications
- PPI’s (proton Pump Inhibitors)
- H2 Blockers
- metformin or other diabetes medications
Anyone who falls into these categories
- Vegetarians, vegans and those on macrobiotic diets -( B12 is only found in animal products)
- People over age 60
- Anyone who’s had gastric by-pass surgery
- Anorexic or bulimia patients
- Anyone who is suffering from Anemia
- Anyone given a diagnosis of Crohn’s, IBS, IBD,
- Anyone diagnosed with an Autoimmune disorder; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis; Graves disease; type I diabetics; Lupus, Addison’s disease;
Even if you get a serum blood test for B 12 and your doctor says you are ok, you might still be on the low end of the range because of diagnostic ranges that are very broad.
Common reference ranges used for serum B12:
<200 pg/ml deficient
200 – 270 mg/ml borderline
271- 870 mg/ml normal
According to Sally Pacholok, R.N, B.S.N. who first brought this to many in the medical fields attention (and has written an excellent book on the subject titled Could it be B12? An Epidemic of Misdiagnosis, the problem with these ranges is that the normal range is far too broad.
Nurse Pacholok believes anyone with serum levels of B12 below 450 pg/ml should be treated with supplemental B12 shots.
Doctors and other medical clinicians should listen to her because she has proven that by restoring B12 to healthy levels ( > 450 pg/ml); people with this condition can in may cases if caught early enough, be made well again. In her book she has many case studies of amazing recovery from those who had their B 12 levels brought up to a healthy range.
You see, Sally has been an emergency room nurse for twenty-four years and she is experienced in trauma care. In 1985 she discovered her own B12 deficiency after doctors failed to find the cause of her illness. Please see her website for very valuable information: www.B12Awareness.org
What to do to make sure you are not B12 deficient
Insist your doctor do a B12 serum blood test and check to see your levels are above 450 pg/ml. If you have recently had your blood work done – get a copy of your test results and examine them closely.
B12 is one of thirteen vitamins and eleven minerals the body needs to stay healthy. If you want to know more about your nutritional status – call or email me for an appointment and I will help you learn what your body needs for optimal health.
B12 is only one of the many nutrients our bodies need.
I offer a newer more advanced micro-nutrient test that provides a snapshot of your values over the last four to five months. This a functional test and unlike serum blood draws that measure levels in the last twelve hours this test provides a more complete and accurate picture of micro nutrient status. The test also measures many other important nutrients that help pinpoint why you may be experiencing low energy, gastric distress and have poor sleep.
To find out more about this test Click here to contact me!
I also offer cell mediator response testing for food sensitivities. Click on the link to learn more about LEAP! the next generation of food sensitivity testing called LEAP!