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Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses
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Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  40 reviews
A silent crippler stalks millions of North Americans. It afflicts one person with tremors, makes another depressed or psychotic, and causes agonizing leg pains or paralysis in still another. It can mimic Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, early Parkinson's disease, diabetic neuropathy, or chronic fatigue syndrome. It can make men or women infertile or cause developme ...more
Paperback, 219 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Quill Driver Books
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  323 ratings  ·  40 reviews


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Margo Kelly
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm glad I read this, and I read the whole thing. And while I learned a lot from the book, I can't give it more than three stars simply because the writing was so over-the-top fanatical. Surely not every ailment on the face of the earth can be caused by a B12 deficiency ... okay, maybe the authors didn't say that exactly, but close.

I was also surprised to read on page 4, "B12 is produced in the gut of animals, it's also the only vitamin that you can't obtain from plants or sunlight. Plants don't
...more
Jodi
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Buy this book! Even if you think B12 deficiency is very unlikely to be the cause of your symptoms - buy this book. You may well be surprised.

B12 deficiency is far more common than many doctors are aware of. That includes nutritional doctors and authors of books on vitamins too.

It can be the sole cause of symptoms or a person can develop a B12 deficiency after years of being ill with something else. Many diseases which affect the gut or have an autoimmune component can put you at an increased ri
...more
Misssharice
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with a B12 deficiency, autism, MS, carers of elderly
Recommended to Misssharice by: A gift from my mum
This book is a complete lifesaver and that's no lie. I'm so glad I read this, it's like my Bible now. Really gave me some food for thought and has given me hope that one day I might start to feel well again. I was diagnosed with a severe B12 deficiency in October 2010 after feeling ill since the December 2007/January 2008. I am so grateful to the authors of this incredible book.
Peggy
Aug 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this book! Some say that it is simplistic to suggest that a B12 deficiency could be at the root of so many diseases, but as the author explains, B12 is more than just a vitamin, it is involved in digestion, cell reproduction and many more functions. I think the day will come when doctors will routinely check for this as they are now starting to check vitamin D levels. A vitamin B12 deficiency may cause different symptoms in different people. Some people are not able to conve ...more
Guillaume Belanger
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Essential information; way too long and repetitive
I think this book is an important read in order to grasp the importance of B12, the devastating consequences of B12 deficiency, and the generalised ignorance about this in the health care field. However, it should be a quarter of the size. There is a lot of things that are repeated several times in slightly different ways, and there are way too many reported case histories. I have written a concise article about B12 based on the book that I think
...more
Kris
Apr 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I began reading "Could it be B12" because I was researching possible problems related to my son's anti-seizure medications, and was reading about the fact that Lamictal (an anti-seizure med) can leech folate out of the system, thereby making it difficult to process vitamin B12. That, and the fact that my son is on the autism spectrum, and vitamin B12 shots are one of many possibly therapies tossed around to "improve" the symptoms of autism, made this book worth a read.

There is no doubt that the
...more
coffeedog
Excellent lay-person's guide to the importance of B-12 metabolism and the problems that may result in the absence of absorption of B-12 vitamin.
Marie Lyn (SassyUrbanite)
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Xzs
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must read for anyone working in the medical or health & wellness sphere. I don’t fall into either category but the book is equally valuable to the lay reader. Upon reading the first few pages, it became evident to me that my dad has been struggling with a B12 deficiency ever since undergoing cardiac bypass surgery last year. His doctor reluctantly agreed to test him, while prefacing that his B12 levels would most certainly come back normal. Low and behold his B12 came back in the ...more
Simone
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This book was published in 2011 so the issues with MTHFR weren’t as well known back then, though the authors DO mention genetic mutations inhibiting B12, as well as things like autism etc. so they were on the right track.

I would recommend the book to everyone as it’s likely you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of B12 deficiency... it is so common. At the very least you will know what to look out for, and signs that are often missed or contributed to other deficiencies. Even things li
...more
Chrissy
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book could save your life - it did mine! I had no idea I was B12 deficient as my symptoms were strange - shortness of breath, fast heartbeat, dizzy, anxiety, insomnia, aches/pains, tingling in my feet, I just thought I was getting old! I was deficient. I now take Methyl B12 and feel much better. Thank you Sally Pacholok!
Louise
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book should be read by every family

Every household should have a copy of this book. Every doctor's surgery should have it and each doctor, nurse and every other staff member should be made to read it and use it as their Bible! That is how important this book and the information it contains. A life saver!
Jackelynf
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
B12 has been an immense help to me

B12 is helping me immensely and before I discovered my B12 problems I was getting very serious symptoms! Thanks ti the unfo in this book my life has probably been spared serious impairment!
TLBL
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
This is one of the best books on health that I have ever read, and I read a lot of them. It is not only an eye opener, but can also save your life.
kim manzari
Jul 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
I found reading this book has helped me need not to be on certain meds like lycera and tramadol.too.
Sasha
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Barbara Rodgers
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great information!
NotreallyMe
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book explains why B12 is necessary to save your life even when the doctor has told you you’re not deficient because your “normal” blood serum is fine .
User friendly and brilliant links .
AshO
Nov 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to know about B12 deficiency and what it can do to your health. It's amazing how a deficiency of B12 will wreak havoc on pretty much ALL of a person's body systems. You will start to have symptoms of SO many diseases.

I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia (an autoimmune disease where my body is not able to take in and use B12 because my body attacks intrinsic factor in the stomach) at the end of 2010, but I've had symptoms of it since before I was 12 years old. I had so many sympt
...more
Bunny
**originally posted on www.bunnycates.com **

“Vitamin B12 deficiency is an epidemic causing more health damage than the polio epidemic and it can now be prevented through simple screening and treatment.” -–Sally M. Pacholok, RN,BSN

My Thoughts:
Ok guys, so this book is a non-fiction self help type book. These are really hard to review since there isn’t really a story or plot to critique. The best I can do here is tell you what the book is about and whether I think they did a good job compiling the
...more
Margo Brooks
Sep 22, 2011 rated it liked it
As much as these authors try to not blame everything on B-12, I found their tone to be a little overdrawn. That said, it is scarey to hear what horrible symptoms simple, easily fixed vitamin defficiency can cause. These include symptoms that can mimic multiple sclerosis, dementia, autisim, cause infertility and a variety of additional problems. The elderly, vegetarians, and those with stomach problems or pernicious anemia are at most risk, but since a defficiency through malabsorption or diet ca ...more
Josh
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, it is B-12.

Two matters I missed reading:
1. With the recommendation to test before supplementing, I wonder why it should matter because, if supplementation is helping and working, and effective serum levels can be measured over time during supplementation, then I see no reason to require a baseline amount (based on diet rather than isolated supplementation).

2. What are helpful dietary sources? Are they all listed on, for example, this NIH list of dietary sources for B-12?
...more
Leah
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting. I do believe there are a lot extreme examples that might allow others to shake their head and thus discount this book ... But really what if it is B12? I just found out I'm severally anemic and my b12 was 104. Reading this and looking back I see where a lot of my health concerns stem from or are exacerbated by my b12 deficiency. Something so simply corrected is causing so many problems.
Lynn
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Nutrition is a complex topic, but this book is written in a very approachable, understandable way. Many, varying conditions can be tied to B-12 deficiency, since B-12 is used in so many processes of the body. It's important to get B-12 levels checked (and get the correct test!) before taking medications for your condition. It might not actually be dementia, chronic fatigue, or (fill in the blank), it could just be an easy to diagnose and treat B-12 deficiency!
Katherine
Feb 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Makes you want to go be tested for B12 levels (which I did, and I'm fine, so it was a little anti-climactic). But you don't really want or need to read the whole book to believe her case. I found myself saying "okay, sure, this is possible," and that reading any more than like 1/3 of the book wouldn't really change my opinion much in any particular direction.
Barbara
Some blood tests came back showing that I'm severely B12 deficient, so I'm reading up on all the horrific things that can result from this. It certainly at least helps explain many of the weird symptoms I've been suffering from, like numbness and tingling in my arms and face, weakness throughout my body, vertigo, foggy brain, some memory issues, extreme fatigue, and mood swings.
Mwalkes
May 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
A convincing, however somewhat redundant summary of what cheap insurance supplementing with B vitamins can be. A healthy gut will make its own, but few have a healthy gut in this day of processed foods, antibiotics, and pesticides.
Blueforever10
Feb 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book literally saved my life after seven doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me (including an MS clinic!) If you have ANY neurological symptoms at all read this book! Thanks to Sally and Dr. Jeff for writing it!
Diane Kerner
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: health, non-fiction
priceless information. pernicious anemia/B12 deficiency can cause irreversible neurological damage, including dementia and even death. Many people over 60 are deficient and their symptoms relegated to aging or conditions already known. Insist on a blood test.
Sarah
Apr 03, 2010 added it
Yikes.
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“COULD IT BE B12 DEFICIENCY? The neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency that occur in young and middle-aged people are very similar to those in older people. They include the following: • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations of the hands, feet, extremities, or truncal area, often misdiagnosed as diabetic neuropathy or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) • Tremor, often misdiagnosed as essential tremor or pre-Parkinson’s disease • Muscle weakness, paresthesias, and paralysis, sometimes attributed to Guillain-Barré syndrome • Pain, fatigue, and debility, often labeled as “chronic fatigue syndrome” • “Shaky leg” syndrome (leg trembling) • Confusion and mental fogginess, often misdiagnosed as early-onset dementia • Unsteadiness, dizziness, and paresthesias, often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis • Weakness of extremities, clumsiness, muscle cramps, twitching, or foot drop, often misdiagnosed as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) • Psychiatric symptoms, such as depression or psychosis (covered in greater length in the next chapter) • Visual disturbances, vision loss, or blindness In contrast, a doctor ignorant about the effects of B12 deficiency can destroy a patient’s life. The” 1 likes
“CHRONIC PROTON-PUMP INHIBITOR USE: Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been available for more than 20 years. Doctors prescribe these drugs for patients who have gastric or duodenal ulcers, for patients hoping to prevent stress ulcers, and also for patients who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), laryngopharyngeal reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, gastrinomas, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Initially, proton-pump inhibitors were only intended for short-term use. However, most patients now remain on these drugs indefinitely. The majority are taking them to control symptoms of GERD. Doctors are complacent about prescribing these drugs, perceiving them to be very safe. This is a misconception, because doctors are failing to remember the stomach’s role in the absorption of vitamin B12. Proton-pump inhibitors reduce stomach acid, which is needed to separate B12 from proteins—the first step in absorption. As a result, patients who take these medications chronically can easily become B12 deficient, especially if they have low B12 stores to begin with. In 2008, $25.6 billion dollars were spent worldwide on proton-pump inhibitors. In 2001, General Motors Corporation spent $55 million just to buy Prilosec for its employees and retirees. Proton-pump inhibitors do have their uses, but we question why older adults are frequently placed on them, given that 30 percent of seniors suffer from inadequate stomach acid and gastric atrophy. Proton-pump inhibitors offer no value to these patients. Instead, these drugs reduce their existing B12 absorption as well as depleting their pocket books. Gastroenterologists who perform endoscopies should always measure the stomach pH as part of the procedure. Many patients may have hypochlorhydria or achlorhydria. These patients may improve their symptoms by taking apple cider vinegar with meals, eating smaller and more frequent meals, and avoiding lying down after meals. Some patients may also have H. pylori and need an accurate diagnosis and treatment.” 0 likes
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