The name "pernicious anemia" was coined in 1872 by the German physician Anton Biermer because it was often fatal as there were yet no treatments available. The disease, even today, can be severe if it is not treated in time. It is especially common in older adults.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a number of factors. A diet low in this vitamin, like a strict vegetarian diet that excludes meat, fish, dairy products and eggs is the main culprit. However, most of the average North American diets of today are sadly lacking in B12. Breastfed infants of strict vegetarian mothers can develop anemia in a short time because they don't have enough vitamin B12 stored in their bodies.
Chronic alcoholics and the aged are prime targets for this disease as they tend not to eat nutritious meals and have digestive troubles. The main causes are insufficient stomach acid, or Intrinsic Factor, to digest food in the intestine, parasite infections, an overabundance of intestinal bacteria, and medicine. B12 is very hard to digest and is dependent on sufficient Intrinsic Factor to be absorbed from the intestines into the blood stream. Celiac disease, a genetic disorder of intolerance to gluten, and Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease, can also precipitate anemia.
The main risk factors for developing pernicious anemia include a family history of pernicious anemia, diabetes, a malfunctioning thyroid, and intestinal disorders.
The most common symptom of anemia is feeling tired and weak. As anemic blood is not carrying enough oxygen, it causes the heart to work harder to get enough oxygen to the body's organs and tissues. There is a plethora of other symptoms. These include a smooth bright red tongue, pale or yellowish skin, low-grade fever, mental changes, nervous disorders, dizziness, shortness-of-breath, heart palpitations, tingling and numbness in hands and feet, giddiness, and digestive disorders.
As mild to moderate anemia may have no signs or symptoms, it may initially be hard to discover.
Anemia is usually diagnosed by a general practitioner by means of checks on your family and medical history, physical examinations, and diagnostic tests and procedures including a complete blood count (CBC).Depending on the symptoms and/or conditions, neurologists, cardiologists, hematologists and gastroenterologists may diagnose your condition.
Typical treatment for pernicious anemia is lifelong vitamin B12 injections. A lack of folic acid, however, can also cause anemia. Due to the lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid, the arteries of an anemic person are clogged with homocysteine as well. Without treatment, therefore, pernicious anemia can cause serious problems and can be fatal.
People with pernicious anemia also have an increased risk for developing stomach cancer and should be closely monitored by their health professionals.
The good news, and yes there is good news, is that you can not only prevent this condition, but also treat it naturally and without painful, expensive injections! A tiny sublingual tablet combining B12, B6 and Folic acid is now available to cleanse arteries as well as boost both mood and energy speedily as it dissolves directly into the blood stream! These three vital vitamins each work best when combined with the others.
Enjoy your health. It's your most precious commodity. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
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