21 year old ate THIS DIET and it caused BRAIN DAMAGE: Medical Case Report

Hey guys. I’m Siobhan, a 3rd year medical resident. Today I’m gonna be telling you about James. He’s a 21 year old healthy university student, never had any medical issues. He’s active, but he is a bit of a picky eater. Ever since he was a kid, he didn’t like a lot of food textures. And so he ends up just really eating bread, french fries and Cheerios, but without the milk. One day walking home from class, he noticed that his calf was a bit sore and he figured he must have just strained it at the gym. But throughout the week it started getting more painful and swollen and then so painful that he couldn’t even touch it. So he decided to go to the emergency department. After waiting for a few hours, he was finally seen by the emergency doctor. The doctor noticed that his right calf was 4 centimeters bigger than the left one and it was very painful. So he ordered some blood work and an ultrasound of that leg and then James was diagnosed with a deep vein thrombosis: a blood clot in his leg. But why would a 21 year old get a blood clot? The most common thing in a young person who gets any kind of diseases is a genetic cause or genetic predisposition. So they tested him for all the common ones including factor v. Leiden, some antibodies like antiphospholipid antibody and everything came back normal, with the exception of a high MCB. Which just means that your red blood cells are larger than they should be. So he was started on a blood thinner and then sent home with appropriate followup with a thrombosis clinic and they specialize in blood clots. Over the next few months James started to notice that he was having trouble concentrating and his marks were actually starting to slip a bit. Plus he felt like his legs were a bit weaker and then sometimes he would get this numbness and tingling in his feet that would come and go. He didn’t think much of it, but then the symptoms started getting more frequent and he was worried that maybe this had to do with the blood clot. So he went back to the hospital. So there he was back in the emergency department. The emergency doctor found that his legs were actually weaker. They were 4/5 in strength on both sides and you would definitely expect a 21 year old healthy man to have 5/5 strength. Plus he wasn’t able to feel his feet as well as you’d expect. So the emerge doc ordered some bloodwork and then called the neurology team, the specialist in the brain, the spine and the nerves, to come down and assess James. And again his blood work looked good except for those large red blood cells which were even larger than they were 3 months ago when the neurology team came to assess James. They did a ton of different physical exam findings to try to figure out what was wrong. They watched him walking and then they noticed that he was lifting his feet higher than you’d expect off the ground. When they got him to stand with his feet together and close his eyes, he couldn’t keep his balance and was gonna wobble and fall over. And when they were testing his sensation, he couldn’t feel any vibration underneath the level of his knee and they couldn’t get any reflexes from his ankles. Putting all of these little pieces together, the neurologists felt pretty confident that this was a sensory nerve problem. So the nerves that run from the tip of the toes all the way through the spine and up to the brain to tell the brain what position is the foot in. Otherwise your brain actually doesn’t know what’s going on with your foot. Those are the fibers that were having trouble. So right now we’ve got red blood cells that are too big and sensory nerve fibers that aren’t working well. And there are a ton of different things that can cause both of those and we’ve gotta figure out what crossover, what condition can cause both of these signs and symptoms. So now we send off even more blood work. This time zeroing in on what we suspect: low thyroid, low vitamin b12 levels and evidence of chronic alcohol use. And what we find is incredibly low levels of vitamin b12. After waiting for a while, we finally get the results of James’ brain MRI and the results are shocking. His brain actually looks like it’s 40 years older than he is. We can see that there is brain atrophy, which means the brain actually looks smaller than it should, plus there are lesions in the white matter on both sides of the brain. All of this is consistent with severe vitamin b12 deficiency. Plus this explains why he was having so much trouble concentrating at school. It actually explains everything from the blood clot to the nerve problems. B12 is involved in making myelin, which is kind of like insulation that can go over the nerves and help it send signals really quickly over long distances like your leg. And when there’s damage, that’s when you can get the weakness and the sensation changes and that’s actually why James was lifting his feet so high off the ground. Because he wanted to slam it into the ground and actually feel something because the lack of sensation he had. Vitamin b12 is also involved in blood clotting, but it’s a little bit more confusing, so stick with me. So b12 helps to convert one protein into another protein, simple enough. But if you don’t have b12, this conversion doesn’t happen. So you end up with a lot more of this protein over here and that’s called homocysteine. It’s a normal protein, we all have it, it’s amino acid. But at high levels it can put you at risk for having heart attack, stroke and blood clots. So low vitamin b12 caused the blood clot, his decrease in concentration at school, the decreased sensation in his legs, the weakness and of course those large red blood cells. So great, we’ve got a diagnosis! But that’s not enough… We need to know: Why are his b12 levels so low? So there are actually a bunch of different causes of vitamin b12 deficiency. It can be related to absorption or autoimmune diseases, but in James’ case this is most certainly to do with his diet. So vitamin b12 is actually only found in animal products like meat, dairy, eggs. And if you’re not eating those things because either you don’t like them like James or because you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s super important that you find other ways to get vitamin b12. There are some products where they fortify and put in b12. Or you can take a supplement, but you really want to stay healthy. The crazy thing is that the amount of b12 that’s fortified into different things like cereals is different in different countries based on regulations laws, things like that. So where I am or James is, it’s Canada. And we don’t have any b12 that’s put into cereals like Cheerios, whereas the US and UK hey actually add that in. So if you think about it… If James had actually lived in the US, this might not have happened. So luckily for James, he started getting vitamin b12 injections every day, then every week and then every month and slowly all of his symptoms went away within a couple of years. And since then he’s actually tried to go and seek psychological therapy and see if he could add in some more food into his diet. But despite his best efforts, he just couldn’t bring himself to do that. So he definitely will be on vitamin b12 pretty much forever. So be truthful: Did you think it was gonna be b12 that explained all of his symptoms or were you surprised? Let me know in the comments below or what you thought it was gonna be. Otherwise, I hope that you like this style of video. If you do, don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll be chatting with you in the next video. Bye for now!

100 thoughts on “21 year old ate THIS DIET and it caused BRAIN DAMAGE: Medical Case Report

  1. This is really valuable information, I thought he had a thyroid condition or low iron at first until I heard about the other symptoms, but yeah, I've always been a meat eater and I couldn't see myself becoming a vego anytime soon even with supplement, so I think this information was very helpful!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  2. I really like these types of videos. This was what I subscribed to chubbyemu for, but I feel like their videos aren’t as enjoyable as before. Yours is better imo

  3. This is why you should always consult with a nutritionist for a full work up of your vitamin levels before and at least every couple of years through out your life, especially before making changes to the way you eat. Vitamin toxicity is more common than deficiency, so just adding a multivitamin (most of which are not assimilated in the body proper anyway) can cause problems as well.

  4. A lot of things like this are lack of nutrient absorption due to no or improper intake of enzymes or supplements.
    For 2 years, I had a massive bruise on both my insteps. Went on a ketogenic diet, and the bruises have disappeared.
    Tip: nutritional yeast.

  5. This is what the depo shot did to me among other issues such as bleeding every single day. Had to stop getting it cause it was depleting my body of all its vitamin B12. Ended up getting pregnant. Just pull out guys! Hormonal Birth control is toxic Poison especially the depo shot!

  6. What causes Hollow Jolly bodies, high platelet count, asplenia , Hyperthyroidism not associated with any disease, low TSH and Vitamin D?

  7. Just ask him to eat some dirts. Vitamin B12 in animal products? Vitamin B12 only produced in animal's intestine (by the normal flora colon bacteria) while eggs I believe it's in the yolk (for the baby to grow their own nervous system). While in meat because of fortitied injections by the farmers. And the most abundant, the dirt soil bacteria =)

  8. Put the blame on the parents who allow this picky eating nonsense nowadays. When I was a kid you sat up at the table and ate your vegetables and what was put on your plate and you did not leave the table until you did so unless you wanted to be at the business end of a paddling. There were no children with picky eating. Vegetables and all the things good for you are an acquired taste–the primitive brain is programmed to seek out salt, fat, and sugar, but that doesn't mean the parents have to allow it.

  9. A lot of doctors are musicians as well, and play in combos, bands and orchestras? Good on you for sticking with your violin!!🎻

  10. I thought James was going to get an autism diagnosis. My autistic son is very picky and eats a limited diet. He walks on his toes to feel more sensation. In his case, he has had anemia. I wish i had the money to actually do the sleuthing James’ doctors did regarding his nutritional deficiencies.

  11. If they had questioned him about his nutrition from the beginning, he could have been diagnosed a lot sooner.
    But that’s a problem with western medicine … not enough emphasis on nutrition, exercise and preventing stress. It’s get out the prescription pad and this pill will fix it.

  12. Holy misinformation- ALL of these symptoms point to vaccine damage, which damaged his gut, resulting of malabsorption/B12 deficiency- the body produces all that we need if we get out of it’s way and don’t poison ourselves- this is a garbage video

  13. Omg I was so surprised. I thought he ate too much soy sauce when I first saw the title of the video. I thought that too much salt damaged brain. Never thought it was lack of vitamin B12

  14. When I was 100% vegan my b12 was great because of all the nutritional yeast I ate and the vegan multivitamin. But after reverting to an omnivore whole plant food diet (in the u.s.) my b12 tanked– I had all those symptoms. I just finished an 8 month course of injections. B12 is made from microbes living in soil, and animal products only have decent amount of b12 if they're, well, dirty enough. But meat processors are getting better about ensuring less and less fecal matter remains in meat products or on eggshells so being an omnivore isn't foolproof way of getting enough b12, especially if you have digestive disease.

  15. Honestly I want to see more research into reversing the damage from b12 deficiency bc I had some decreased sensation in different ‘patches’ of nerves all over my body. I started drinking milk like a baby cow and got the sensation back. A lot of people have said it’s not going to heal but here you say that it will but takes a long time. So I’m super interested in if nerve growth can be affected or if it’s like a genetic thing how fast it’ll grow

  16. Wow. I really like your channel. I'm a superb care-giver to the elderly; however, I take better care of them than myself. Your video about James is a lesson for me to step up my self-care. Ty. I'll pick up B-12. The pharm might have it in liquid form. God bless!

  17. As a female doctor, I thought you may find this story of interest. (A different type of brain issue.)

    In Men, It’s Parkinson’s. In Women, It’s Hysteria.

    Neurologist Laura Boylan suffered from tremors and loss of balance that she attributed to a cyst in her brain. Why didn’t her doctors believe her?


    Thank you for your channel.:)

  18. Getting a B12 depot Shot with 1000-1500mcg Hydroxocobalaminacetate every 6 months. My Holo TC and B12 is high 😅 i also use B12 toothpaste

  19. I also want to point out that a lot of vegan milks are fortified with b12 and can meet b12 needs. Because too much b12 can also cause health problems like heart disease. I would recommend that vegans (and anyone really) should get their blood tested every few months, just to make sure they are getting the right amount of b12 and D vitamins.

  20. Right from the beginning I figured the guy was a vegan. I still maintain that there aren't ANY old vegans. That diet is NOT compatible with human life! All the people below who take supplements are not truly vegan.

  21. Wow….Dr….B12 is not ONLY found in animal products. B12 is a microbe that blankets the earth smh. Animals get it from feeding off the land, drinking natural waters and, in the case of factory farmed animals, supplementation. First video ive seen and it will be my last 🙄. Thanks for helping the spread of misinformation.

  22. Dried seaweed is one food product that contains B12 and not an animal product. I wonder the people in East Asia has a less B12 deficiency because they consume dried seaweed and fish products on a daily basis?

  23. Me – I just wanted to find out what the kid was actually eating. B12 deficiency was my go-to response (neuro issues being a common symptom), but admittedly the enlarged erythrocytes were a 'gotcha'. Sorry to hear he ended up with CNS damage; major suckage there.

  24. I'm surprised that this is a real case. One would think that the macrocytic anemia (and the eating habits of the patient from the history) would prompt at least a peripheral smear to look for hypersegmented neutrophils or a B12 level. Aside from my surprise about the approach to this patient, the video was a great way to get the word out about taking a B12 supplement.

  25. Apparently many people have a shortfall of Magnesium which can really help with anxiety and depression. Found in leafy greens like spinich, legumes like chickpeas, Salmon Dark chocolate Avocados and nuts like brazil almonds flax and chia seeds. whole grains. Everything in moderation plenty of variety is the key..

  26. I actually thought it was going to be one of two things, both diet related. Either a deficiency or damage caused from incredibly high consumption of processed foods since there's a link between brain health and poor diet.

  27. People should get their shit together and eat like adults. Just eat a Salat and some apples and stop reclining on fucking artificial vitamin infused bread other crap.

  28. I knew it was B12 because my mother in law was diagnosed with pernicious anemia a year ago (her body can't absorb it anymore even though her diet is fine). She now gets the shots every week although she might need them sooner because of the symptoms.

  29. I hate when doctors and nurses wear their stethoscope s around their necks.It's such show off behaviour.😜😜😜😜😜😜😜

  30. "Only found in animal products"….. So why does the back of my jar of nutritional yeast say that one serving (one tbsp) contains 40% of DRV of B12?
    B12 should be included as part of our supplement routine regardless of dietary choices.
    The reason we are lacking is because it's a bacteria, and our standards of hygiene are not conducive to B12 being consumed naturally. The animals that are raised for human consumption are often supplemented, so people that eat animal products are just sort of getting the b12 second hand.

  31. I didn’t expect b-12 but I do myself have a b-12 deficiency so much so that I once had a doctor say my levels were non existent. I’m also in Canada.

  32. This is a great testimony to the incompetence/corruption of mainstream medicine.
    These docs looked at diet LAST! The doc in this video is exposing herself as a member of
    the inept, corrupt medical cartel. Wake up wom an! Get out of this deadly crime cartel!

  33. I'm vegan, but most of my foods I eat are already fortified with b12 and vitamin D (like in the cereals I eat, the alternative milks I drink, etc.) 😀
    My little sister who doesn't eat vegan (she's very much on a mac-n-cheese, burgers from McDonalds, and chicken nugget diet) actually had a bad case of B12 deficiency. She became very lethargic and felt physically weaker. She went through a few rounds of B12 injections as well and today takes B12 supplements because she's still every bit not willing to change her diet lol
    I hope everyone remembers to track their vitamin intake! Not just vegans or vegetarians, but omnivores too! It's important we all keep track of our health and intake daily to sustain a healthy body (and potentially decrease the future likelihood of getting certain ailments that could possibly be linked to our food choices we make today).

  34. I think this proves that having a balanced diet is exteremly important. And the fact that, everyone is different and location plays a role in our diet as well.

  35. Once upon a time I was vegan and had bloodwork done…It came back with too much B12 which can have the same negative affects as having a deficiency. Most vegans supplement with B12 or take multivitamins-like meat eaters. My guess is that this guy had nutrient absorption problems as well.

  36. Generally when I bump into B-12 issue is with alcoholics who get admitted to the hospital. It puts them at risk for Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. We almost always start them on thiamine, folic acid and a prenatal vitamin with b-12 right away to prevent these kinds of issues (separate from their detox). Poor kid, he wouldn't strike me as being at risk for these kind of problems at a glance. Though, it would have been helpful for him to mention that he had an unusual diet.

  37. I had these symptoms more then 20 year now and no body ever told me the relation that it has with my thyroid, this the first time that I really understand what is happening with me 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

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