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Written by a patient
3rd January 2018

After 12 years with exhaustion, an endocrinologist diagnosed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 2008. In 2015 I saw a neurologist with various symptoms including bouts of constipation, numbness and chest tightness. Although I had queried MS with my GP, I really believed it was a B12 problem and said so to both the neurologist and my GP. I was already on B12 - 12-weekly injections at the time GP referred me, increased to 8-weekly by the time of the appointment and my symptoms were fading. The neurologist told me there was nothing wrong - if I believed him it would all go away! He gave me a website to look at written by Dr Jon Snow in Edinburgh about "functional symptoms". I looked up some research papers by Dr S to find functional symptoms are the new term for psychosomatic. I do not recognise myself in any of the patients in these studies. I topped up my B12 further with medical grade tablets from a friendly pharmacist. Symptoms improved dramatically over next 6 months. I have now moved 150 miles away to the beautiful Lake District and joined 3 walking groups. Life was good until new GP focused on the neurologist's diagnosis and has cut my 8-weekly regime as unnecessary, instead I am being referred to a "functional symptoms" clinic! CFS is now recognised as probably autoimmune neurological in origin. B12 deficiency is common in autoimmune neurological conditions. I am already developing numb patches and a sluggish bowel. Dr S et al need to drop this lazy functional symptoms cop out before they do some serious damage. All symptoms could be due to CFS which is no longer considered psychosomatic by most of the medical profession. However, I feel no doctor will ever take me seriously again. I have now ordered B12 injections from Germany in desperation. I can only hope they are genuine and I resent being driven to these desperate lengths.

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