Pernicious Anaemia Society
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How does the treatment of B12 deficiency compare in Switzerland & France???

My 24yo daughter has suffered symptoms from childhood. Allergies, Reynauds circulation problems, listlessness, mood swings. Both parents are Autoimmune, so the odds are against her.

I once managed to get her to have her B12 tested by our GP. 160 nmol & marked as "borderline" :(

She's a very clever girl & fiercely independent, but unfortunately she is convinced that Doctors know best.

She will be in Geneva for the next 2 years, living just over the border in France. I just wonder what the Docs are like there?

Maybe if we can convince her to get tested, she might get the help she needs before there's too much damage.


13 Replies

In france you can actually get B12 over the counter from a pharmacist - ie you don't need a prescription.

In terms of getting a diagnosis think that it would probably be on a par with UK - depends on what doctor you get ... and mix in language and it could be a problem.

Not sure about Geneva I'm afraid - health service works quite differently there - all done through insurance which is very expensive - and not sure what the relationship is with UK in terms of covering costs - wouldn't be the same as France though.


Thanks Gambit

I was aware you can buy B12 OTC, so I was hoping the diagnosis criteria might be better too.

I would be happy to pay whatever it costs. I just need to somehow convince her that she needs to go get tested.


Your daughter's symptoms sound like mine.

Perhaps if you share some sources with her she might be able to see more sides of the issue? The PAS website has links to good sources- websites and books- that I find pretty compelling. Would your daughter be receptive to those?

One of the difficulties of B12d is that symptoms are so wide-ranging. It took decades for me to find a doctor who could put it together- and I still think he's undertreating me.

I could recommend some particular sources if you like.


Thanks Allyson.

Believe me, I've tried. She saw her printed NHS result. I've shown her every possible argument against the NHS figures. PAS website & it's content, Dr Chandy BBC video. Despite all that, she's happy to trust the NHS word. She retested, it came back at 185 "sufficient, no need to retest". So that's good enough for her......


I was expecting my brother to be very resistant to the idea of taking B12D - I'm afraid I cut out the whole trying to get a diagnosis step as he had enough problems trying to get his diabetes correctly identified and treated ... but he'd overheard someone talking about how much difference getting their B12 shot made to them when he was out at a restaurant and was actually quite keen to try it ... so may be you could try planting someone at a table near her when she is out. Sometimes it is easier to hear things from a stranger.

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Well, I'm hoping that she'll meet another Physicist with PA.


Wow, that's very difficult. I can't believe 185 is sufficient with no retest. It's like The Twilight Zone. I imagine they didn't do homocysteine or methylmalonic acid?

My sister was extremely resistant and blamed me for all my symptoms. Then she got very tired and tested in the 160s and was told she was borderline and they might as well treat it. The cause was assumed to be diet and left at that. But at that point, once she heard from a doctor, she was suddenly receptive.

I hope your daughter has the good fortune to happen upon a doctor who treats more aggressively!


I thought that was the norm for most NHS GPs? I don't think they tested those & they certainly weren't on the printout.

If she would push it, I'm sure she'd get treated, but unfortunately, she won't.

We just have to wait for her either to become ill or hear it from one of her peers...

I'll keep working on her.


Yes it is the norm, and that's what makes it feel like the twilight zone.

Does she have neuropathy? That can be a wake up call.

I hope things get better.


Its so tough being a parent!! Sometimes, though, they simply dont want to hear it. This happens with a pal of mine. She has just been pregnant, is a veggie, is on metformin and has had her gall bladder removed and is exhausted!! A quadruple whammy and she still wont listen to me! I have just simply had to realise that she's a great big grown up and has to take responsibility for herself. I'll be on hand when she finally does ask for help, because one day, she will.


Does she take any other meds or supplements?

How about a bottle of B's. Tell her it will help with keeping up with things, less tired etc etc.


No. I've tried giving her sublingual B formulas & Lozenges. She doesn't take them.


Grr its so frustrating isnt it when some people just will not be helped! Lol


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