Bringing awareness and providing education of

vitamin B12 deficiencies

the

Diagnosis & Treatment


The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are so similar to those of a variety of other conditions that it can take some considerable time (and often unnecessary tests, scans and referrals) before a correct diagnosis is achieved. Your doctor will take blood samples and if your red blood cells are enlarged, this should alert him to a possible B12 deficiency. Alcohol abuse also affects the red blood cells so don’t be alarmed if he asks about your alcohol intake! Problem – you can be deficient and still have normal red blood cells. Next step is to take another blood sample to check the level of B12 in your bloodstream. Your doctor will usually base his diagnosis on the figure which comes back. Problem – you can have a normal reading and still be deficient!  What is considered a low reading varies from one area to another in the UK and can also vary greatly from country to country. Problem – you can be deficient in Edinburgh but normal in London! Many doctors are reluctant to treat if the reading is just within normal range, completely disregarding any symptoms the patient has.


Warning!  If you suspect you are B12 deficient we strongly advise you do not take any B12 supplements before you have had a blood test. It is only natural to try some vitamin supplements to see if they make you feel better but in the case of B12 they will elevate your blood levels without giving long term benefit if you are deficient. A raised blood level is likely to be enough for a doctor to consider you are not deficient and you will be denied the treatment you need. Once you have been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, treatment should consist of (in the UK) an initial series of injections (the loading dose) followed by regular (maintenance) injections for life. If you have no neurological symptoms your loading dose should consist of 6 injections over 2 weeks followed by a maintenance injection every 12 weeks. If you are displaying neurological symptoms loading dose should be injections on alternate days until there is no further improvement in symptoms followed by a maintenance injection every 8 weeks. Maintenance injections are for life and should not be stopped regardless of the result of any future blood test.

Important Info!!!


If you suspect you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency we strongly advise you NOT to take any B12 supplements before you have had a blood test. It is only natural to try some vitamin supplements to see if they make you feel better but in the case of B12 they will elevate your blood levels without giving long term benefit if you are deficient. A raised blood level is likely to be enough for a doctor to consider you are not deficient and you will be denied the treatment you need.

If in doubt

get

checked

out!

Home About Us B12 Deficiency Contact Us

Home

About Us

B12 Deficiency

Symptoms

Causes

Diagnosis & Treatment

Contact Us

The B12 Society is a Scottish Registered Charity, no. SC046066.

Join Facebook group “Vitamin B12 Wake Up”, which is a closed group to maintain the confidence of the members. You can also check out our Pinterest boards.

Follow us!

Bringing awareness and providing education of

vitamin B12 deficiencies