B12 Deficiency – an Unexpected Coronavirus Scandal

Dr Vernon Coleman MB ChB DSc FRSA

As some readers may remember, my wife Antoinette had a rough year in 2019. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and, as if that were not enough, she was also found to be suffering from sub-acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, a demyelinating disease caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. No one has yet found a cause for the B12 deficiency – but it’s almost certainly a mal-absorption problem.

In order to keep her neurological symptoms under control, and to keep her alive, she has to have injections of vitamin B12 every two months. In the UK, the injections used to be given every three months but the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (known as NICE) recently decreed that the treatment should be given every two months if patients have neurological problems.

B12 deficiency is not a rare condition and I firmly believe that it is far commoner than is generally realised. Indeed, as I have previously pointed out here, I firmly believe that many patients who have been diagnosed as suffering from multiple sclerosis may well be suffering from B12 deficiency – and that, if so, their symptoms could be controlled with regular injections.

Astonishingly, some GP practices are refusing to give B12 injections to patients at the moment because of the coronavirus hysteria. Antoinette’s GPs have agreed to give the injections but I gather that many patients have been told that they cannot have their life-saving injections.

This is a scandal. I can only assume that there must be GPs and nurses who do not understand how serious this disease is. Without regular injections, patients will die.

My advice is that patients who are told that they cannot have their life-saving injections should politely point out that the injections are vital and that if they are denied essential treatment they will make formal complaints to the NHS and either the General Medical Council or the General Nursing Council.

As a short term stop gap solution it is possible to buy vitamin B12 lozenges which should be dissolved under the tongue. (Patients with B12 deficiency are usually unable to absorb vitamin B12 in the usual way because of faults in their intestinal tracts.)

But the injections are every bit as vital as insulin injections are to the diabetic. Any doctor or nurse who refuses to give vital B12 injections (for whatever reason) should be struck off the appropriate register.

Doctors are under contract to the NHS and are paid to look after all the patients on their list – not just the ones who might or might not have the flu or the coronavirus.

The UK Government has already admitted that 150,000 Britons will die because of the absurd lockdown. Cancers are being missed and essential therapies are being denied.

If this sort of scandalous, uncaring and outrageous behaviour is widespread, then the UK deaths from the lockdown cure for this version of the flu will exceed half a million.

Copyright Vernon Coleman May 7th 2020

Vernon Coleman’s medical books include the international bestseller How to Stop Your Doctor Killing You and Coleman’s Laws – Twelve Essential Medical Secrets Which Could Save Your Life – both of which are available as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon.