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Old 03-23-2010, 11:57 AM
 
23 posts, read 53,261 times
Reputation: 14

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Does anyone know a doctor that is skilled in treating B12 deficiencies--not just saying "take some" but up with current understanding of how serious this is and able to treat and test properly? I'll go anywhere, Va beach, Hampton, Newport News, Wmsbg, Richmond, Charlottesville.
This is one of those black holes in mainstream medicine, using outdated protocols and low concern--and that is when they even think of checking for it.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:46 PM
 
Location: va beach
270 posts, read 442,314 times
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Is your B12 deficiency related to malabsorption? If so, check out Gastroenterology Associates (I have worked for them for years). They have 2 offices, one in Norfolk, one in Chesapeake; 6 doctors and several NP's. All great physicians-my whole family goes to them! 757-627-6416. Hope they can help you!
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:24 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,261 times
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Thank you so much for this referral. I do not know what is behind my B12 deficiency yet, because my mainstream doc did not treat the issue properly from the get-go. Did not even mention testing of any kind. I had been seeing a doctor for feeling awful for 18 months and B12 was never mentioned. Around the 18 mo mark when I was short of breath, tired, had cramping chest muscle pain, palpitations, mental forgetfulness, anxiety, horrible sleep and many more symptoms(all being blamed on menopause)---my CBC came back showing enlarged red blood cells, a decreased number of them and some other off value that "then" the doc says, "Oh usually this is B12--time to take some." That was all I was told! I get home, begin to research and find what a serious thing this is and how undertreated and how substandard the care is for B12 historically! This can lead to serious neurological problems and many other issues. Since I see it is a rare doc that truly is up to date and knows how to test and treat with the proper active forms of B12 injections (usually only from compounding pharmacies) and knows the proper follow up etc--I am so needing to connect to some good care. B12 is complicated. It is difficult and scary for a lot of us out there, trying to figure this out on our own because the docs are very misinformed and biased about B12--if it is even on their radar. Didn't mean to overload you with TMI, but do you think still your office is hip to the latest with B12--active forms of it and injection protocol and the proper testings to determine the source of the deficiency and assess cellular uptake, not just serum levels?
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:19 AM
 
5,951 posts, read 8,936,941 times
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Hey I have a lot of those symptoms. Maybe I'll try a supplement. I haven't had a blood draw since I had surgery last summer, but it was just your typical preop stuff. They weren't looking for anything serious.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:48 AM
 
23 posts, read 53,261 times
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The recommendations are now that people get themselves checked for B12 twice a year. Hardly anyone does and many doctors just overlook this simple test. ALWAYS get a B12 blood test drawn before taking any supplement, so you have that reference point to go by and also the symptoms that you had at that level. You may have a level that is acceptable by the accepted levels--and be very symptomatic. An excellent $9 book available on Amazon.com on this issue is Could It Be B12.
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:41 PM
 
Location: va beach
270 posts, read 442,314 times
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It sounds to me that it's most likely you have pernicious anemia, based on your CBC results (I'm a laboratory technologist ...the 'other' off thing may have been a decrease in your platelets). I would definitely suggest some follow-up tests, and my doctors can definitely help with that, at the very least. The small intestine produces intrinsic factor, a requirement for B12 absorption, so if you have a problem with your intestine, you can have B12 deficiency. Obviously, this is only one cause of B12 deficiency...but for example, you could have celiac disease, and autoimmune disorder where your body is basically allergic to gluten (wheat). Our doctors test/diagnose this frequently, and the office manager actually has celiac disease so they are very aware of treatment! Sorry, I hope I'm making sense...I'm watching Top Model as I type...

Good luck, and let me know if you have any other questions!
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:48 PM
 
Location: va beach
270 posts, read 442,314 times
Reputation: 283
Oh, and an oral supplement may or may not help. With B12, if the reason you're deficient is because you lack intrinsic factor, that supplement will just pass right through your body without being absorbed. The B12 shot bypasses this problem by being absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Other causes of B12 deficiency include alcoholism, surgery to remove intestines, Crohn's disease, and veganism...so it's always good to rule everything out
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:23 PM
 
23 posts, read 53,261 times
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I appreciate your help SO much. I mentioned this to my husband and he was asking if it would be just as well "for starters" to go to his GI guy in Newport News.( My husband had a colonoscopy and an endoscopy there a year ago. ) Then if he isn't B12 savvy, we could go to your group---trying to start the closest and move outward, I guess My question for you is--do you think the GI guys differ that much for the B12 arena? I know that sounds stupid--like asking if all surgeons are the same (and we know they are not) but I trust you'll know what I mean.
Thanks once again.
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Old 03-25-2010, 04:08 PM
 
Location: va beach
270 posts, read 442,314 times
Reputation: 283
It's no problem! I would THINK that most are pretty up on the B12 thing...I'm not familiar with the Peninsula docs so I guess you will have to experiment If you wind up having something like Crohn's (hope not!!!!), you'll want to be close to home anyway because you'd have to see the doc a lot, so def go to your hubby's guy if he seems to know his stuff! Oh, and I forgot that my group has its own website now so you can always bookmark it for later

Gastroenterology Doctors Chesapeake, VA | GI MDS

Feel better soon!!!
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:50 PM
 
Location: Squirrel Hill
1,350 posts, read 3,277,491 times
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Sorry to hear about your experience.

You should probably see a hematologist (blood doctor). Its not really that complicated of a medical issue and is relatively straightforward problem for someone that knows what they are doing which anyone dealing in blood problems should. Its probably a good idea to try and establish why you are B12 deficient, this could involve seeing a GI doctor too at some point. Some GI docs may be perfectly comfortable doing it all themselves, some may be people that mainly do procedures and not a lot of clinical stuff so I think your results will be a little more variable.

Be careful how much stock you put into things you read, in my experience they often aren't well grounded in science and are may be written by people with their own agenda. I haven't read the book you mentioned so I can't comment specific to it... but on amazon's page, the first quote about the book is from the developer of UMMA which I imagine is what the book tells you everyone should get tested twice a year? Do you think he might possibly have some personal motivation to suggest this? Food for thought...
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