This week the New York times once again gave celiac disease a role in the magazine section. The story was of a man who had trouble walking and twitching muscles. He felt generally lousy. His motor skills declined. He was hospitalized and they ran a battery of tests. They could not find any of the common problems. The twitching stopped and they sent him home only to have him end up back in the ER again within two weeks. Eventually they figured out what was wrong with him.

He had a B12 deficiency. Which is incredibly common especially in people over the age of 50. It is easy and inexpensive to test for and easy to find.

Except that they never looked for it.

This is the original article in Diagnosis

Now I am not a doctor, but I can read. And the New York Times did an article on what B12 deficiency looks like. Its a combination of motor and neurological and mental (sometimes) deficits.

Does this collection of symptoms sound familiar to anyone else?

There are tales of children with severe autism who temporarily improve after b12 shots. Like these (read down to the comments for the “me too”s)

Or this (skip down to the actual study where again it didn’t work on every child but when it worked…it worked.)

Because children with autism tend to be deficient in the vitamin

Which brings me back to the original issue. Where there are neurological issues why isn’t B12 status routinely checked? Its not expensive or invasive and ruling it out would seem like a very good thing. Celiacs often have it, yet I do not recall any doctors requesting blood work to test for vitamin deficiencies.

I think routine checking for this is a good thing, but that is just my opinion.

What do you think?