Usually, the presence of a condition called macrocytic anemia is
what makes doctors suspect and begin to look for vitamin B12 Deficiency.
But macrocytic anemia is the result of years of vitamin B12 deficiency.
This means that until a doctor is willing to even LOOK FOR the easily
correctable problem of vitamin B 12 deficiency, a patient will have
suffered for years with symptoms. This would have been prevented
if they had looked for the deficiency based simply on one of the
most common physical complaints that patients have – fatigue.
a problem that affects most of the population at one time or another,
but when it becomes chronic it can seriously affect quality of life
to the extent that people become disabled. While fatigue can have
MANY different causes, one underappreciated cause of fatigue is
Vitamin B 12 deficiency.
suspect vitamin B12 deficiency, they will often do a routine blood
test that checks for a condition called macrocytic anemia. Macrocytic
anemia is characterized by particularly large red blood cells that
are accompanied by a decreased number of total cells. It is often
a consequence of vitamin B12 deficiency, but can have several other
causes as well.
anemia, however, is NOT vitamin B12 deficiency, and Vitamin B 12
deficiency can exist with or without the presence of macrocytic
anemia. In fact, macrocytic anemia may not occur for up to 2 years
after the start of vitamin B12 deficiency, yet the ‘standard of
care’ that doctors use has them look for vitamin B12 deficiency
ONLY if macrocytic anemia is present!
features that are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency may indeed
precede evidence of macrocytic anemia"
~ How B12 Deficiency Can Impact on the Individual
B 12 deficiency were a rare problem that required expensive and
invasive testing in order to find, this would be a reasonable way
to look for this problem. But vitamin B12 deficiency is VERY common
and testing is as easy as a simple blood test done right in the
same lab that tests for macrocytic anemia! In addition, just like
other medical problems that are evaluated on their OWN signs and
symptoms, vitamin B12 deficiency ALSO has its OWN signs and symptoms
that can be evaluated in the same way.