December 27, 2014

More on Importance of Vitamins B12 and D3

This topic is still being debated and I have had several of our new members on metformin say they don't believe they have a vitamin B12 problem. Of the seven new members that are using the VA, only two are on metformin and the rest are using insulin. On Thursday of last week, two members, Julie and Earl received their lab results and both were prescribed vitamin B12. Both have been on metformin for almost seven years. This was the reason for a few of us meeting at the restaurant to discuss what they had learned. Brenda, Allen, and I were there plus the two mentioned above.

When asked, Julie said her results were severe and she had received a shot and needed to see her primary care doctor for a second shot. Earl said he was low and the VA doctor had advised him to start on vitamin B12 immediately. Allen asked Julie if she was experiencing pain in her in her feet. She would not answer and Brenda told her that she could not hide this as Allen had been through this and we know what happens with severe vitamin B12 deficiency. She finally admitted that she was having pain in her feet and Allen said it was diabetic neuropathy. Earl said he was beginning to have minor pain in a couple of toes. Allen said that the quicker he worked to maximize his blood glucose management, the quicker the pain would possibly go away, and taking vitamin B12 is part of his diabetes management.

Brenda said this would be added to the program for January 10. Allen said good, as too many have been saying that they are having pain and will not let the doctor test them for vitamin B12 deficiency. Brenda said she has been hearing the same and she has been wondering why people will not do what is right.

Brenda then asked Allen and me if it would be correct to ask for a show of hands on how many had been tested for vitamin B12. I said the question needs to be asked and the other question that should be asked first is if anyone has a burning sensation in their feet or something that feels like a thousand pins sticking them. Allen agreed and said to ask the second question first and many will not associate their neuropathy with vitamin B12 deficiency. Then we will know who needs to be tested.

I then asked both Julie and Earl what their vitamin D results were. Both answered within the range, but at the low end of the range and that their doctor had advised taking a vitamin D3 supplement. I turned to Brenda and said this is another problem area everyone needs to be aware of and consider taking vitamin D3, not vitamin D2. Brenda said I remember you blogging about this and if you would send me the URL, I will review it and decide if we should use a slide.

Allen said that he was planning to present this to Brenda, but now that we had another experience with a member and she was in on it, she knew what needed to be included. Brenda said it would be nice to have Dr. Tom available, but she understood his needing to spend less time with our group. Allen said this may be a good thing and cause us to think more for ourselves as we did before.

We agreed and said things were right for the interventions and a few other things when we needed Dr. Tom, but now we needed to be on our own and work to help our members.

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