What is B12 Awareness?
B12 Awareness is bringing vitamin B12 deficiency to the forefront by educating the public and health care community to the dangers of B12 deficiency. An estimated 15% to 25% of older adults have a B12 deficiency, but many of them are never tested or diagnosed. B12 deficiency causes suffering and serious injury—even death. Yet many health care professionals mistakenly attribute signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency to aging. B12 deficiency causes symptoms such as paresthesias, dementia, mental illness, tremor, difficulty ambulating and frequent falls. It is commonly misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, diabetic neuropathy, vertigo, and mini-strokes. B12 deficiency not only strikes the elderly, but it can also mimic multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and post-partum depression/psychosis. It can make men or women infertile and cause developmental disabilities or autistic-like symptoms in children. It lurks silently, increasing its victim’s risk of deadly disease ranging from stroke and heart attacks to cancer. Other groups at risk for B12 deficiency include vegans, vegetarians, alcoholics, and people with celiac disease (gluten enteropathy), Crohn’s disease, gastric bypass, autoimmune diseases, and AIDS.
B12 Awareness involves reeducating the health care community, educating the public, and holding health care professionals and health care institutions accountable to the patients they serve. B12 awareness will save lives, prevent injury, disability, and save billions of health care dollars.
It is exposing health care’s dirty little secret and puting an end to not screening symptomatic and at risk people. We cannot tolerate one more B12 related injury. Until the health care community is reeducated and up to date, the public is at great risk for unnecessary injury and poor health.
B12 Awareness Mission Statement and Goals
Mission statement: Unmasking the epidemic of undiagnosed vitamin B12 deficiency through education, prevention, and advocacy.
B12 Awareness Goals:
- Raise awareness of the dangers of B12 deficiency by reeducating the medical community and educating the public.
- Promote early diagnosis and treatment to prevent neurological and cognitive injury, disability, poor outcomes, and premature death.
- Educate society and healthcare professionals on the role B12 deficiency plays in poor overall health, developmental and intellectual disabilities, cognitive decline, fall-related trauma, neurologic injury, mental illness, anemia, and vascular occlusions.
- Promote screening during preconception, pregnancy, and breastfeeding.
- Promote screening of infants and children.
- Promote screening of older adults and psychiatric patients.
- Enlist help from the public, the media, Congress, governmental agencies, healthcare organizations, and attorneys to expose and eliminate billions of dollars of waste in the healthcare system due to undiagnosed B12 deficiency.
- Promote health, protect the public, and save lives.
- Promote further research.
- Pass legislation in the U.S. that recognizes September as B12 Awareness Month.
- Work with other countries to create a Worldwide B12 Awareness Day.