While I'm waiting to see the Endocrinologist in June because my GP is not confident in her knowledge of B12, I asked an admin person at the practice if she could see if any of the other GPs there were more knowledgable or had an interest in it. None of them do apparently! (They each have an interest say in Diabetes or Cardio-Vascular.) I find it so strange that such a basic subject which I even touched on in school many years ago is almost like an alien area to them.

When I said but that the new guidelines are inclusive of GP level, the answer was that oh well they would be up to date with any new changes!!

Wondered if anyone else had found this to be the case?

9 Replies

  • It doesn't surprise me in the least. GPs will have been taught that PA is a rare condition that is easily tested for and easily treated. Specialising in PA or other forms of B12 deficiency isn't trendy and doesn't have loads of patients.

    Diabetes and heart disease, on the other hand, are common problems (and becoming even more common as medics change the definitions) with relatively simple, algorithmic, solutions.

    Other common ailments, like cancer, aren't worth specialising in as the experts take over ASAP.

  • I whole-heartedly agree but for one point. There are loads of patients but they've all been diagnosed with anxiety/depression, CFS, or worse!

    Also some conditions are subject to national measures on testing and treatment (need to get hold of those somehow) which can incentivise over-diagnosis. The recent news about childhood asthma being a case in point.

  • Oh how I wish that were true! To be up to date would require having some knowledge in the first place, and mine certainly don't.

    I took in up to date guidelines (gleaned from all here) and...they ignored them!! Still refusing B12 for ongoing symptoms (including neuro), which they never treated appropriately in the first place. No interest whatsoever in trying to find out the cause of the deficiency and no referrals until after I pressed for them (4 years later, after loosing 2 stone in weight over six weeks).

    The most frustrating and incomprehensible thing I have found is the complete lack of interest or desire to do any further research when confronted by a patient who is clearly 'ill', completely breathless and who has barely left the house in over a year!

    Fbirder says if he won 30 million, he'd set up a research lab. Well, If I won 30 million, I'd fund him to do it and then set up a national rolling programme to deliver B12 deficiency training to ALL GP surgeries' together with a national distribution of Martyn's book.

    Having this disease is bad enough but trying to understand medics' absolute refusal to 'learn and treat'....well, words fail me on this one.

    I shout with joy on the rare occasions I see a post with news of good treatment.

  • You have covered everything I would have said. Treatment not even up to NHS standard - ignoring neuro, symptoms and no more injections. Blood test in 6 months. This from a B12 103 ( 180 - 1000)

  • Hi beginner1. Seem to recall from previous posts that you were fighting to get your B12 injections reinstated. Just curious... Did you manage to do so?

    Excuse me being nosey, but your B12 is very low and I expect that you're probably feeling quite ill!

    Do give Martyn Hooper a call at the PAS if you need any help. He can intervene on your behalf, if it would help.

    Take care.

  • I think it is a crime that we are finding it so widespread that gp's have such little knowledge about the whole PA B12 issue. It is not a 'fashionable' problem - so very very little interest.

  • "the answer was that oh well they would be up to date with any new changes!! "

    If only that were true......

  • The only GP to test me for B12 was Asian and had experience with testing his vegetarian patients (Hindu, I think), he said he had a hard time with the lab refusing and rejecting the samples. (he had to add covering note of long time vegan)

    So it might be an advantage to find a doctor experienced in treating vegetarians! I assume he'd done the NHS standard test and could see something still wasn't right in a lot of his patients.

  • I had my Terminal Ileum removed over 40 years ago - and yet no-one along the way has mentioned that I would have B12 issues and would need treatment. My B12 has bumped along around the 300 mark for many years - until I learned more. I live with what I think are the consequences which I am sure no Doc would admit.

    I now have weekly injections .... and suck lozenges in between.

    Very little training at Med School on Vitamins and Minerals - Nutrition - or Preventative Medicine ..... Until the modern medical model is changed I fear things will stay the same. It will possibly be even worse if the NHS is privatised and the Insurance Companies pick up the tab for very expensive medications. Inexpensive treatments for B12D and thyroid could save the NHS a fortune ....

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