Neural transmission requires substantial levels of Vitamin B12. By looking at everyday “annual physical” labwork, we quickly saw that Cheryl’s B12 was likely VERY suboptimal (in the mid 300s). That is, within reference range! But not nearly optimal. The drivers for her were unfortunately common: insufficient stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) and ongoing use of the diabetes drug metformin (notorious for depleting B12).
Cheryl started a trial of 1000mcg methylcobalamin twice daily, and within two weeks, she had no pain. Truly. Inspired, she started to reduce her own medication. And still no pain. Needless to say, Cheryl was indeed wildly-satisfied. She went on to accomplish many more aspects of wellness, but this was a perfect example of the power of Rapid Relief. She also referred a few of her friends to my practice.
With pain relief in hand – as well as Cheryl’s heightened enthusiasm – we could move on to the main reason she sought my help: reversing her type 2 diabetes. Some of you savvy practitioners have additional powerful tools to help with peripheral neuropathy (e.g. alpha lipoic acid); Cheryl eventually used this for a time too to help reverse her Type 2 diabetes, but taking full advantage of her immediate, available lab data helped to point to a true upstream root cause.
Be on the lookout for Vitamin B12 insufficiency (or even true clinical deficiency) in your clients. This is one of the most common opportunities I see in my clients, not a surprise when you realize several common categories of clients who frequently benefit from Vitamin B12 support. These include your clients who
1000mcg of methylcobalamin is a reasonable trial dose for your clients who wish to explore for 1-2 months for symptom relief from B12 support (e.g. Thorne, Pure Encapsulations, Jarrow). Note: there are some individuals who benefit most from a combination of the methyl form with the adenosyl form (due to suboptimal internal conversion), but for most, the methyl form is quite effective.
What benefits might your clients see from optimal levels of B12? Higher energy and physical stamina, improved memory and cognitive ability, relief from intermittent or chronic neuropathy (e.g. numbness or tingling in the extremities or other body parts), relief from cold hand/feet or cloudy thinking (from macrocytic anemia), relief from chronic cough (non-allergy-related), increased overall sense of well-being (from higher levels of serotonin), more consistent and deeper sleep (especially in seniors), relief from wheezing (especially in children with asthma).
Common lab markers. There are many more advanced markers to consider, but these two are typically run as part of an “annual physical” and can usually be covered by insurance and provided by almost any PCP upon patient request.
Organic acids testing allows you to get even more targeted by looking at functional Vitamin B12 sufficiency marker for a unique person. Learn more about methylmalonic acid here.
P.S. If you know that healthcare must be transformed to be sustainable and effective, and you believe strongly that Functional Medicine is key to making that happen, we urge you to learn about our semester program.
If you haven’t done so already, sign up to receive weekly clinical tips like this via email, and you’ll also get automatic access to a free mini clinical course.
Like us on Facebook to get more great clinical tips and to get notifications of my next Facebook Live!