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Old 10-03-2006, 02:37 PM
rose rose is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern California
Posts: 338
Default B12 background information

Medical researchers and medical journals have been warning for decades that anyone (regardless of diet) can become B-12 deficient. Occasionally it happens early in life, but it becomes more common by middle age.

If B-12 deficiency is not eliminated while the damage is minor, it is common for the spinal cord to become damaged, and even the brain may, or the patient may be misdiagnosed with Alzheimer's and die of heart failure. This may happen within a few years, or over decades, depending on the extent of malabsorption. And symptoms are often so subtle for quite a while that the problems seem sudden, even though they have been worsening for a quite a while.

Research during recent decades has shown that people who have neurologic damage as a result of B-12 malabsorption are misdiagnosed even more often than thought previously. And people who do not show signs of anemia (which most doctors think must occur in anyone B12 deficient) are even more likely to be damaged neurologically. They are being allowed to worsen unnecessarily for lack of a safe and inexpensive vitamin.

People who have neurological symptoms should be tested and/or treated immediately (not after weeks, months or years of other testing or waiting). If immediate testing is not possible, they should take at least 1000 mcg B-12 per day, while continuing to look at other possibilities. If B-12 deficiency is the cause, they will almost surely stop the damage within weeks and then their bodies will have an opportunity to begin a months-long (years in more serious cases) process of repair. The earlier deficiency is treated, the more likely is complete repair.

It is important to note that sometimes a very long time elapses before it is obvious that the B12 is doing anything. The body can do a lot of work (and even experience temporary worsened symptoms) while working to stop damage and repair.

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