Tamworth's Marilyn Cody is driving an awareness campaign for a debilitating disease

Marilyn Cody

Marilyn Cody

FIFTEEN doctors and seven specialists couldn’t diagnose Marilyn Cody, who was floored by a mystery illness in 2013.

Suffering neurological symptoms such as tremors, headaches, pins and needles, ringing ears and high blood pressure, Mrs Cody couldn’t pin down what the debilitating illness was.

Even after blood tests, brain scans and thyroid scans, the disease was still not diagnosed.

After two visits to a “holistic GP” in Sydney, Mrs Cody’s mystery ailment was diagnosed as Vitamin B12 deficiency.

The Tamworth woman says she “slept most of 2013”, but a remarkable turn around sees her now advocating for more awareness for the little-known disease.

Mrs Cody recently returned from Melbourne, where she spoke at a fertility awareness conference about the effects of Vitamin B12 deficiency on fertility and reproduction.

But Mrs Cody, a registered nurse and midwife, wants to see broader recognition and awareness for the obscure disease.

In America, September 19 to 25 is recognised a “B12 awareness week”, but there is no similar recognition of the disease in Australia.

“Not as yet,” Mrs Cody said.

“I have sent an email to the government’s department of health to get more awareness for Vitamin B12 deficiency

“I looked through the calendar and couldn’t see any week for the disease.”

Mrs Cody said she now treats her deficiency with a course of B12 injections and folate supplements.

The nurse said her deficiency is caused from a genetic mutation which leads to malabsorption of the vitamin.

But Mrs Cody isn’t carrying it as a burden.

“I see it as a gift and I want to raise awareness so others can be saved,” she said.

Mrs Cody said a deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to further neurological illnesses down the track, including dementia and can also be linked to clotting diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

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