Reminder from Italy: Get B12!
The good news is that we rarely hear reports such as this coming from the United States these days, so the word seems to have reached most vegans here. But a case report from Italy of a 36-year old vegan was just released. I have added it to Individual Cases of Deficiency of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It? and reproduced here:
A 36-year-old woman developed numbness, tingling and sensory loss in her hands and feet, weakness in the lower limbs, and disequilibrium, with difficulty in writing, gait, walking up and down stairs, driving. She was a dance-master, and after 3 months she was not able to work. The patient was treated with intramuscular injections of cyanocobalamin. Oral vitamin D3 and calcium were also given. After 3 months, the patient reported paresthesias and gait improvement. Six months later, weakness, sensory disorders, and paresthesias had fully disappeared, and she reported that her skin got clearer and hair loss stopped. After 1 year, spinal cord MRI, nerve conduction studies, and somatosensory evoked potentials were normal. Neurological examination, 2 years from the onset, showed reduced vibration sense in the lower limbs and normal tendon reflexes.
I should add that it can be difficult to get the message about vegans and B12 to non-English speakers. Anyone should feel free to translate posts such as this and send them to vegetarian societies in non-English-speaking countries. You don’t even need to ask me for permission.
De Rosa A, Rossi F, Lieto M, Bruno R, De Renzo A, Palma V, Quarantelli M, De Michele G. Subacute combined degeneration of the spinal cord in a vegan. Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2012 Feb 6. | link