Pernicious Anaemia Society
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A Need to Rant and Flip Slightly

I'm just reading the opener to the BMJ article: Hunt et al 4/9/14

"Vitamin b12 deficiency is an essential cofactor that is integral to methylation processes important in reactions related to DNA and cell metabolism, ....may lead to disruption of DNA and cell Metabolism and thus have serious clinical consequences".

I'm wondering why, since I had a serious b12 deficiency blood test overlooked for a year - and then being offered a treatment which should only be offered to vegans (contra-indicated for meat eaters) I have been faced over the last 4 years by a bunch of twerps saying stuff like:

"Oooh. I know a nurse and she sez ...."


"Why would you think a vitamin b12 deficiency would make you ill?" (accompanied with a snigger)


"Well, your b12 levels are normal now!"

Or how about

"You're not ill!"


"Nobody gets b12 deficiency anymore!" (another snigger)


"I've been a nurse for 25 years and people only need an injection once every three months"

usually immediately followed by;

"Why is it that so many people want b12 injections more than every three months?" (snigger)

Duh, something tells me you are a bit thick and should maybe consider a career change!

Know what I'd like to know?

I'd like to know why I was given contraindicated medication for my deficiency?

I'd like to know why my sum total of medical assistance has been a 50mcg tablet per day and an x-ray?

I'd like to know why nobody within the medical profession took my illness and remaining injuries seriously despite me working for 34 years and never being signed off for sickness benefit during that time, yet they suddenly decided I had turned in to a lazy hypochondriac who was to be treated like a potential benefit scrounger and malingerer when I have never been given a penny in benefits and paid for all my own treatment.

I'd like to know why the medical profession can't recognise sick people when they are sat in front of them and why they think, in light of the opening paragraph, b12 deficiency is a blood condition which is easily treated?

Rant over but it might be temporary...

8 Replies

Hi Poppet I had a similar rant in my house on Friday when I was told it's definitely a combination of B12 deficiency with your menopause (I am in pre-menopause) even to the point where they insinuated my B12 is placebo!!! Well you can imagine!!!

To top it off my mum told me to "stop going on about B12" when I visited her Saturday.

I don't get where people get the idea from that it's okay to comment on my behaviour and feelings when they have no idea what it is like to feel the way this makes us feel.

If only they could walk in our shoes for a while . . . . .


There is such a mind-set that b12 is 'just' a vitamin - and think the English are more set than anyone.

That's why I keep telling people to get the abstract of the BMJ article under people's noses if they can - because, if you can get them to understand that first bit, it proves you are not imagining your symptoms.

If you consider an alternative scenario: for instance you had been diagnosed with Parkinson's or multiple sclerosis and couldn't get treatment - all hell would break loose.

I will freely admit that I have lost most of my respect for most people - and it comes through in my writing. If I had my way it would come through a lot louder and a lot clearer.

I'll be straight - I think the majority of people are thick.


If you read that article it clearly shows that not only does b12 deficiency have the capacity to cause permanent nerve damage but also that treatment isn't proven to work and, most importantly, it affects a much larger percentage of the population than has previously been realised.

it says 6% of the under 60s in the UK.

Now, how thick do you have to be to ignore the fact that not only the one you supposedly care about has permanent nerve damage, but also yourself, may, very likely at some point be in the same boat?

If it hit the headlines tomorrow that a virus was rampant and it could cripple you and a minimum of 6% of the population were likely to be affected, there would be mass hysteria. If you told them 20%, and chucked in the fact that it could cause dementia, heaven only knows what would happen.

But you try and tell people about b12 deficiency and they laugh in your face and are, let's face facts, cruel.

I've actually seen a couple of people die over the last 2 years and I would lay money that b12 would have helped them - and I couldn't say a word. And one of them was the first person to actually laugh in my face when I said I had remaining symptoms after my b12 deficiency was overlooked.

She was a nurse.


You're so right Poppet. It upsets me so much sometimes. It's got to the point where they just roll their eyes when I say anything at all about it so I've just stopped.

I have always been healthy and am not a wimp or hypochondriac and I thought that those around me knew this. When I finally had to give into my symptoms a little they all just treated me like I was an idiot or lazy. I still work full time and do flag at times with limb weakness and fatigue but upon reading about others realise I am one of the luckier ones as I still walk okay etc..

Like many people say on this forum they all think once we're getting treated (a battle in itself) we should be doing cartwheels. Hang just remembered my nurse actually said that once!

No wonder I now self inject.


It's very upsetting - as you were, I was very fit. My family constantly pressured me to work harder - they actually pushed me to be physically on the go all the time. They nearly killed me.

Then, my sister, who hasn't worked for years, phoned my GP and got her to ignore me as well.

Confidentially - Nah, why bother.

Apparently working harder does you good - it's to take my mind off my 'imaginary' pain.

I now weigh 44kg. I'm devastated. And, thanks to my family I haven't had one day's rest (I'm self employed) since the first day I became ill. And that from women who don't work, and, for the most part, are obsese.


Ah Poppet that's awful I really feel for you. It always seems you have nobody to turn to.

Where do these people get off???

I'm so pleased I found this forum and people who understand as I sometimes think I am going mad.


I think the real shame of it all is, is that it doesn't make for a better world. I actually hate these people now - people who before all this I would have done anything to help.

I keep my mouth shut when I see people around me getting ill - I have to, because it rebounds on me.

So I am building up a level of indifference to the people around me, which is completely out of character.

I now have the attitude that it's their life and ultimately, their responsibility. So, I come on to the forums where people do ask for help and they do want answers - but I will never do it face-to-face ever again.

So where are all the positives in this?


Know what you mean this is how my mum shouted at me when I suggested something she was feeling was similar to me. I only said it because she has an underactive thyroid like me which I believe has led to me B12 deficiency.

I, like you, will keep it shut in future :-( x


Yes. Very difficult to smother your instincts to care.


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