Vitamin B12 Deficiency: One Of The Most Frequently Misdiagnosed Conditions Could Also Be The Cause Of A Variety Of Maladies
It’s hard to imagine, given the wide array of supplements and vitamin-enriched foods that we face every time we go to the grocery store that somehow, our ancestors managed to get everything they need to live and thrive living a hunting and foraging existence on the savannahs of Africa.
On the other hand, of course, there is the reverse-lens way of looking at it: the fact is, we evolved to thrive and be healthy based on our pre-human ancestors eating the foods that were available to them–leaving us with a bit of a chicken and egg issue.
One thing is certain though, we modern humans have a much harder time getting the vitamins and nutrients we need if we eat a thoroughly manufactured, industrialized diet.
One particular deficiency that has come under a lot of scrutiny lately is vitamin B12, a deficiency that some are saying is far more common and far more widely misdiagnosed than we ever thought.
A startling new book, “Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses” by emergency room nurse Sally Pacholok, makes a strong case that B12 could very well be at the heart of many maladies, especially a number of diagnoses associated with the ravages of aging.
“Very rarely in medicine can such a severely debilitating and potentially life-threatening disorder be so easily diagnosed, and so easily and inexpensively treated,” Pacholok says.
Indeed the data seem to back up her claims. One study out of Tufts University indicates that up to 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma B12 levels in the low normal range. Frighteningly, that is a range at which many experience neurological symptoms. Fully nine percent had outright deficiency, and 16 percent exhibited what the researchers described as “near deficiency.”
One of the biggest surprises the researchers encountered was that the low B12 levels were as common in younger people as they were in the elderly. Indeed, it is at least possible that some of the symptoms we attribute to “normal” aging–memory loss, cognitive decline, decreased mobility and the like–are partially caused by B12 deficiency.
Indeed, Pacholok points out that B12 deficiency mimics many degenerative diseases for people of all ages, including ADHD, diabetes, MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, postpartum depression, psychosis, heart disease, mental retardation, and many more. It can trigger symptoms like poor memory, seizures, balance problems, nerve pain, numbness or tingling and stroke-like symptoms as well.
At any rate, if there’s even a chance that such symptoms can be cured by something as simple taking a daily vitamin, isn’t worth a visit to the doctor to see where your B12 levels are?