Pernicious Anemia – A Condition Caused by a Lack of Vitamin B12

Pernicious Anemia – A Condition Caused by a Lack of Vitamin B12

Pernicious anemia is an anemic condition which occurs or happens when an individual’s body or the sufferer is not able to absorb enough of the B12 vitamin from their gastrointestinal tract. The human body requires the B12 to produce red blood cells as well as to maintain the nervous system.

When the vitamin B12 in the body becomes insufficient, the bone marrow is unable to produce red blood cells which divide normally. These cells are then too large and many can not pass through the bone marrow to the body and this creates a shortage of these cells which are needed to carry oxygen throughout the body.

The Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency as well as Pernicious Anemia

In many cases of pernicious anemia, the condition itself is not diagnosed until after signs of a neurological problem appear. There are many symptoms associated with this type of anemia including those which are typical of all types of anemia and include tiredness and fatigue. Other symptoms include bleeding gums, sore mouth, tongue problems, impaired sense of smell, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, and a pale skin color.

Other symptoms which may occur and are due to the lack of vitamin B12 can include numbness or tingling in the hands as well as feet, loss of balance, and muscle weakness. In severe cases of a vitamin B12 deficiency it is possible for an individual to experience memory loss, dementia, confusion, and depression.

The Most Common Treatments for Pernicious Anemia

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Pernicious anemia was actually given its name due to the fact that “pernicious” is defined as “deadly”. The reason for this was because at one time vitamin B12 treatments were not available; however, at these days pernicious anemia is treated fairly easy by building up the vitamin B12 in the body.

This can be done easily through vitamin B12 shots which are given in the more severe cases of pernicious anemia as well as may be on a daily or weekly basis until the B12 reaches sufficient levels in the body. In less severe cases vitamin B12 pills are usually taken in very large doses. Vitamin B12 is also made available in a nose spray as well as gel which is sometimes beneficial for individuals who have problems with swallowing pills. Prescription medications may also be given to treat this kind of condition which is causing the body’s inability to absorb the B12.