Can You Spot a Person with Vitamin B12 Deficiency at the Airport?
If you see a person standing with their feet planted further apart than usual, it is quite likely that they may have a vitamin B12 deficiency that is affecting a part of the spinal cord (dorsal column) that controls balance. These nerves allow you to stand with your feet together or even walk toe-to-heel. There are many causes for degeneration in these nerves and people who have this learn to keep themselves steady by spreading their feet. Even though 2/3 of vitamin B12 deficient patients develop anemia before neurological signs and symptoms, it is not always the case and early recognition allows treatment with vitamin B12 and a better chance at slowing down or reversing symptoms. Why the airport? This is one of the best places to observe a lot of people while you are delayed or hanging around waiting to board.