The Times today: Dr Mark Porter has... - Pernicious Anaemi...

Pernicious Anaemia Society

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The Times today


Dr Mark Porter has written a column on b12 deficiency. I have emailed him to ask if he could take it further and look into how difficult it is to get the b12 so many of us need. I quote ' treatment is a series of b12 injections, but these need to be given with some urgency in more extreme cases to prevent long-term damage'. Perhaps some of you might email him with your experiences.....

22 Replies

This is a link to the article - its the Q&A half way down - but not sure if it will work if you don't have a subscription

Gambit62Administrator in reply to Gambit62

and there is also this article in the Guardian today

nice to see Tracey Witty getting a mention

disappointing to see the lack of awareness of the limitations of serum B12 as a single diagnostic tool expressed by the spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association. I scarcely think that a test that is likely to miss 25% of deficient people if the figures are taken on their own is one that I would describe as "largely reliable" but ...

jillc39 in reply to Gambit62

Ha! just read the article - 'placido effect' my foot!

sputnik in reply to jillc39

That sounds my antidepressants, which MUST be a placebo, and not only that, do not work! Increase your dosage, I am told by my GP, so I do, and then run out of meds which do not seem to be working at all!

Hidden in reply to Gambit62

There are quite a number of postings on that article online. Including a GP who 'knows' that it is all imagination and tests are all accurate, and anomalies are very rare.!

VulpusVulpus in reply to Hidden

Urgh, I think I know the who you mean. Not genetic either apparently. My mum, dad, both grandmothers and uncles have/had PA. Fancy that, what a coincidence. :)


Frodo in reply to Hidden

I read the Guardian article and the comments. It seems to me that the medical profession is becoming increasingly polarised about B12. The more that is learnt about it, the more some medics are resisting. At the same time, there still don't seem to be any medical specialists emerging in the field (as far as I'm aware) who actually know what they are talking about or accurate tests being developed.

Oh - apart from that GP who knows, somehow, it is all placebo, and patients are too stupid to understand that, and that his predecessor didn't know what he was doing. We should get him in to educate everybody - he clearly has access to research nobody else knows about.

Ree2705 in reply to Frodo

😂😂 my goodness I'm wondering if that my GP 😂😂 sounds just like him!!!


VulpusVulpus in reply to Frodo

Sounds like a typical GP that gaslights his patients.

sputnik in reply to Hidden

seems very unlikely chris, so presumably many other conditions are 'all imagination'. If it's not IMMEDIATELY life threatening, where AandE is a necessity, some of our GP's must be taking the easy way out. No pa tests are always accurate, and the NHS guidelines state this! thanks


Hillwoman in reply to Gambit62

Just read the BTL comments (something I usually avoid) on the Guardian article, including those by the GP "Longasyourarm". You can lead an arrogant git to the facts, but you can't make him think.

Gambit62Administrator in reply to Hillwoman

yes, the sort of idiot who would get right up my nose if he was a GP - no willingness to work with his patients or listen to them and totally closed down to any scientific evidence that doesn't support his view!

It may be progress, but hidden as it is behind the NI paywall, it's unlikely that many of the people who need to see this information will actually do so.

I find Porter anodyne and orthodox to a fault (I'm thinking particularly of a dismal edition of BBC R4's Case Notes on hypothyroidism), but it can't hurt to email him with our thoughts and experiences.

jillc39 in reply to Hillwoman

yes hillwoman - please do.

Having listened to him presenting a recent weekend R4 program I have concluded he is functioning as blotting paper. When one of his panel said; "The guidelines are not railway tracks..." Dr Porter did not pick him up. The general GP/surgery/Consultants behaviour seem a much better guide to what is actually happening on the ground as far as Vitamin deficiencies/Adrenal/Thyroid problems are concerned. After all the PR effort of the media is not necessarily in the patients interests.

I read it too. I emailed him about 8/9 months ago - fat lot of good it did me. I got a polite email back, agreed with me, but he practices in Gloucestershire, and those who have read my previous posts will know Glos. has its own wayward guidelines.

How very depressing this is for all of us! The future of medicine.... worse than the dark ages.

I must defend Dr. Porter though. He was great with me when no one else was. Started me on Thyroxine for my undiagnosed thyroid problem. He did wrinkle his brow at my bloods though and ponder why I had large red blood cells when all the results were 'normal'? So I think I also had undiagnosed b12 deficiency there too.

sputnikangy - to Jill and all concerned. Have wrritten via email to Dr Mark Porter in response to his article in the 'Times' and asked him to lobbt MP's/government and even make a TV appearance on behalf of all the people being dismissed/undertreated for low B12/pernicious anaemia. Hope it helps! Thanks


From sputnikangy

Have written to Dr Mark Porter and asked him to lobby MPs / government about this matter. Presently waiting to see a GP re my low B12 and symptoms. Waiting 3 weeks for appointment! Is it not URGENT? Apparently NOT at my surgery!

Hope this helps a little.

sputnik in reply to sputnik


I wrote to my GP surgery because I have most of the symptoms of B12 deficiency including brain fog, vertigo and neuropathy, and despite having had these on and off for years, all usually get are anti-depressants. I hate to think my anxiety and depression could all be linked to this. I had a thyroid test privately, and although mine is OK and within range, they said my B12 levels were low (196) and I am a vegetarian, aged just seventy. (feel more like 90!) Not overweight but my GP did a full blood count when I last saw him and it seems I have high cholesterol (6.9), mostly bad type and am pre-diabetes! Yet I believe low B12 can also cause these problems? I am trying to cut down on sugar but still think he has ignored my low B12 so far. Never had a B12 test before in my life, despite having severe depression in my twenties and treated with ECT which worked, even though it is not used so much today. I believe lowB12 can also be a cause of depression. Can I have been low in B12 all my adult life? I know pa used to be a killer before as my mother-in-law had it in her 60's. She did eventually have treatment, but died of dementia in her 70's after a low quality of life for many years.

Any comments wecomed please,


CherylclaireForum Support

sputnik, in my medical centre, 196nmol/L is BELOW range (starts at 197!)

I am also vegetarian- eat a lot of eggs and cheese - and I was 196, so B12 deficient and have a cholestrol level of 6.9 and not much overweight (okay, a bit) and also mostly bad fats. Not my main concern at the moment, as I've now been told I have functional B12 deficiency/ insufficiency at tissue level meaning I have lots of B12 in my blood now, not much being useful though. Yes, you can have been limping along for years as some of the things I now know to be symptoms, I've had for 8 yrs. Go back and get help.

Hi Cherylclaire,

So sorry you've had B12 deficiency for so long. Hope you're getting treated now. I will go back to my GP. Have an appointment next Tuesday March 7.

Just out of interest, which part of the UK do you live in? I live in Northwich Cheshire which close to Manchester and Chester.

Thank you,


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