In only a quarter of the people the deficiency was discovered within one year after the start of the symptoms.
When one considers that the delay in the diagnosis and treatment may cause irreversible symptoms, it is clear how important it is that practitioners test much earlier for a vitamin B12 deficiency.
What symptoms did you have at the discovery of the deficiency?
- (extreme) fatigue (87.9 %)
- concentration problems (“brain fog”) (68.9 %)
- word finding problems, misspeaking (65.8 %)
- irritability, nervousness (65.0 %)
- muscle weakness & myalgia (62.5 %)
- memory problems (60.6 %)
- feeling cold (60.1 %)
- tingling (57.9 %)
- dizziness (48.7 %)
- intestinal complaints (48.2 %)
- nerve pains, burning sensation in the legs, feet and/or arms (45.5%)
- palpitations, heart rhythm disorders (40.9%)
- depression (39.9%)
- ataxia: unexplainable falling, unsteadiness, bumping agains things, etc (35,7 %)
- a “walking on cotton wool” feeling (35.2 %)
- shortness of breath (35.6 %)
- menstrual problems (23.9 %)
- inflammation of the tongue (glossitis – burning/thick/painful tongue) (23.6 %)
- loss of appetite, weight loss (20.5 %)
- reduced pain sensation, reduced smell & taste (12.6 %)
32.4 % of the people mentioned additional symptoms, including:
headache, tinnitus, miscarriages, sleeping problems, hair loss, nausea, infertility, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, increased susceptibility to illness, blurred vision, increase in urinary frequency, bruising, restless legs, pigmentation disorders, muscle cramps, derealisation, numb feeling, partial paralysis, hypersensitivity to sound and incontinence.
To what extent did you experience your symptoms as troublesome before treatment?
Up to 81 % of the people mentioned the fatigue as serious or very serious.
Also experienced as serious or very serious:
- Concentration problems: 45.8 %
- Irritability: 45.9 %
- Muscular aches and pains, muscle weakness: 44.4 %
- Intestinal problems: 36.8 %
- Memory problems: 35.7 %
- Nerve pain: 34.7 %
- Word finding problems: 32.9 %
- Tingling: 31.2 %
- Dizziness: 30.4 %
- Depression: 29.8 %
Are there other deficiencies in addition to B12?
In this group one in four had both deficiencies.
In addition, vitamin D deficiency was frequently mentioned.
Other deficiencies which were mentioned fairly frequently were vitamin B1 & B6.
Also mentioned were: calcium, potassium, zinc, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5 and magnesium.
Firstly, because it may provide information about a possible cause (for example in an intestinal disease, multiple deficiencies occur frequently).
Secondly, because a patient can still have symptoms despite the treatment with vitamin B12, resulting in a wrong conclusion that the vitamin B12 is not working sufficiently and the treatment is stopped.