Conditions That Are Often B-12 Deficiency But Go Undetected

b12cThere is perhaps nothing more tragic than a medical condition that is serious, debilitating, or even progressively fatal that is misdiagnosed, unrecognized, or treated with drugs in attempts to help the symptoms, when all that was needed was a water soluble vitamin called B-12 (cobalamin). The most dramatic case in my career was a recent infant having seizures, making no eye contact, low tone, and not developing. This patient turned out to have extremely low levels of B-12 and responded beautifully to Methyl B-12 shots.  A year back, I had a few cases of severe developmental delay (autistic-like, with extremely poor focus or ADHD if you will) respond nicely to B-12.

Basically any symptom that resembles something neurological or psychiatric, should be considered a possible B-12 condition.

Consider B-12 deficiency if you or your child are experiencing depression, anxiety, or panic attacks.  Too often the depressed person is treated with an SSRI (Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft) or other antidepressants like Elavil, Pamelor, Wellbutryn, Tofranil, Sinequon, or Serzone, etc., and the anxiety treated with a benzodiazepene with it’s dangers for addiction or dependence, like Ativan, Klonopin, Librium, Serax, Tranxene, Valium, or Xanax.  

For the autistic child, or anyone with psychosis or severe mental instability, often the antipsychotics are tried or sedatives (Risperdal, Stelazine, Thorazine, Compazine, Geodon, Haldol, and newer agents).  The dementia drugs for the elderly may be masking a B-12 deficiency (Aricept, Cognex, Namenda, Exelon, Reminyl).  Sleep disorders can be greatly remedied with B-12 for those deficient.  Consider this when one is on Ambien, Dalmane, Halcion, Restoril, Remron, or Trazedone. Medicines for incontinence, dizziness, vertigo or imbalance, and tremors or numbness and tingling (think of the MS and Alzheimer diagnosis), should have the B-12 checked. If anyone is treated with folate for enlarged red blood cells, make sure the B-12 level is also checked and treated.


Dr. Paul


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