- MP Jane EllisonDepartment of Health
Add testing for B12 deficiency to a Full Blood Count, help to stop permanent disablement!
Thank you for taking the time to watch the film.
I urgently need your help to make a real difference to the lives of millions of patients. Detecting vitamin B12 deficiency early, will help to stop misdiagnosis of this serious neurological condition. B12 deficiency causes suffering, serious injury and even death.
Too many at risk patients are not routinely screened or are denied testing despite the high prevalence of this condition. Adding serum B12 and folate testing to a Full Blood Count will help to address this current situation. (B12 and folate must be tested together as they are interdependent).
The potential cost savings to the NHS, GP practices and to society with this simple addition, will be phenomenal.
There are many problems associated with diagnosis and treatment of B12 deficiency, the first is a lack of knowledge of the condition amongst healthcare professionals and therefore a lack of recognition of the signs and symptoms amongst all healthcare professionals. The second being significant under treatment. To read more about the issues facing both doctors and patients please see my home page.
These NICE Guideline "Do not do" recommendations for doctors mean that at risk groups are incorrectly excluded from testing for B12 deficiency. Not all B12 deficient patients are anaemic, this guidance is harmful.
The current situation leads to;
• Costly misdiagnosis,
• Unnecessary and expensive medication,
• Unnecessary scanning, testing, even surgery
• Unnecessary, expensive specialist referrals
• Permanent disablement.
B12 deficiency is preventable and inexpensive to treat. Symptoms can be reversed if diagnosed early enough and treated correctly. The effects of B12 deficiency on mental health, child health fertility and all areas of physical health are profound. There are many symptoms, many causes and the potential for misdiagnoses is huge.
The B12 serum test available on the NHS is not gold standard and although the reference ranges are often set too low, it will still detect B12 deficiency in many patients who are severely low levels an this will save lives.
The NHS also recognise Functional B12 deficiency;
'Some people can experience problems related to a vitamin B12 deficiency, despite appearing to have normal levels of vitamin B12 in their blood. This can occur due to a problem known as functional vitamin B12 deficiency - where there is a problem with the proteins that help transport vitamin B12 between cells. This results in neurological complications involving the spinal cord'.
Samantha Nash who appears in this BBC clip is a highly qualified nurse, a midwife, educator and specialist in breast feeding but she is facing the loss of the job she loves at just 42 years old.
This is entirely due to the damage she sustained from a late diagnosis and subsequent under treatment of her B12 deficiency. Samantha was completely unaware of B12 deficiency and cannot understand why such a fundamental element of her training was missing.
Samantha's feeling of desperation extends to the patients she has cared for over the years, since healthy levels of this essential vitamin are so crucial in pregnancy for both mother and baby. Samantha now knows that the use of nitrous oxide for a B12 deficient mother can completely deplete levels of B12 leaving no supply for a breast fed child.
Lack of eduction of vitamin B12 deficiency is a world wide problem. American E.R. Nurse Sally Pacholok, (co author of Could it be B12?) discovered her own B12 deficiency and has been raising awareness for thirty years. It is clear from Sally's vast experience that B12 cases are regularly seen in A&E as well as in primary care.
Paediatrician, Dr Carr appears in the first minutes of this documentary, his condition is shocking, he was astounded that lack of vitamin B12 can cause such deterioration.
Dr Carr was able to return to work eventually, but due to the sustained damage from late diagnosis of his B12 deficiency, he now walks with forearm crutches. His long years of training never alerted him to the dangers of low B12. How can it be that this vital information is completely absent from extensive medical education?
We need to help the department of health to do the right thing. Adding B12 and folate testing to a full blood count will stop the suffering of those who are yet to be identified as B12 deficient. It is never too late to test and treat!
I’m asking that you do two simple things – first, please sign this petition, then, most importantly, share it via your social networks. You will know someone that this effects and together we can make a difference!
Please visit this page if you think you may be B12 deficient.
'False normal B12 results and the risk of neurological damage'
If you want to learn more please consider attending this years conference.
Medical journals related to this petition;
Misdiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency a challenge to be confronted by use of modern screening markers.
Why vitamin B12 deficiency should be managed aggressively.
Low folate and vitamin B12 nourishment is common in Omani children with newly diagnosed autism.
Psychotic disorder and extrapyramidal symptoms associated with vitamin B12 and folate deficiency.
Association of vitamin B12 deficiency and metformin use in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Higher prevalence of metformin-induced vitamin B12 deficiency in sulfonylurea combination compared with insulin combination in patients with type 2…
Pernicious anaemia in the demented patient without anemia or macrocytosis. A case for early recognition.
Pernicious anaemia presenting as catatonia: correlating vitamin B12 levels and catatonic symptoms.
Vitamin B12 Status of Mothers of Children with Infantile Tremor Syndrome.
Malignant catatonia in a patient with bipolar disorder, B12 deficiency, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome: one cause or three?
Metformin plus proton pump inhibitors therapy: the cobalamin deficiency challenge.
[Vitamin B12 deficiency in geriatrics].
Deficiency or dementia? Exploring B12 deficiency after urostomy.
[Psychiatric manifestations of vitamin B12 deficiency: a case report].
Determining Functional Vitamin B12 Deficiency in the Elderly. -
High frequency of maternal vitamin B12 deficiency as an important cause of infantile vitamin B12 deficiency in Sanliurfa province of Turkey.
- Department of Health
MP Jane Ellison
Dear Jane Ellison
Please help us to add serum B12 and folate tests to a Full Blood Count to ensure that the many at risk groups are screened.
Your work as a health minister is crucial to this cause.
You are interested in fertility, dementia and long term illness and B12 deficiency impacts on all these areas of health (and many more) your understanding and your help is absolutely vital.
Currently patients with poor mental health are not routinely tested for B12 (or folate deficiency) despite the connection with low B12 and poor mental health being discovered over a 100 years ago.
This one act has the potential to save a phenomenal amount of money for both the NHS and for UK society as a whole.
Many thanks for your help with this cause.
www.b12deficiency.info started this petition with a single signature, and now has 2,074 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.