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Pernicious Anemia

An auto-immune condition that affects the body's ability to absorb B12!

Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious Anemia! (Per-nish-uhs) Anemia!

What is it?
Is is an auto-immune condition that prevents your body from absorbing vitamin B12.
Without adequate vitamin B12, you have fewer red blood cells carrying oxygen throughout your body.
You can have Pernicious Anemia for several years before noticing changes in your body.
Left untreated, can cause serious, irreversible damage to your nervous system.

With the word Pernicious in the name, Pernicious Anemia can sound like a frightening diagnosis. The word Pernicious, meaning fatal was used to describe this particular condition when it was first discovered and thought to be a deadly disease. This was before vitamin B12 treatments were available.
However, science and medicine have come a long way, and today Pernicious Anemia is relatively easy to manage.

* The stomach contains cells that produce a protein called intrinsic factor as well as hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid works by helping B12 release from food, while intrinsic factor works by absorbing B12. If the parietal cells, intrinsic factor or hydrochloric acid is not working properly, or there is a lack of intrinsic factor, then a person may be at risk of developing Pernicious Anemia!

Some people do not have symptoms and symptoms may be mild!
* Please do not self-diagnose! We recommend you seek advice from a medical professional for a correct diagnosis!
They may include:
Diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, lack of energy, or lightheadedness, loss of appetite, pale skin (mild jaundice), shortness of breath, heartburn, swollen, red tongue or bleeding gums.

If you have a low vitamin B12 level for a long time you may affect your nervous system.
Symptoms may include:
Confusion, short-term memory loss, depression, loss of balance, numbness, and tingling in the hands and feet. Problems concentrating, irritability, hallucinations, heart palpitations, migraines, delusion and optic nerve atrophy.

Vitamin B12 becomes a lifeline when living with Pernicious Anemia. As sufferers cannot absorb B12 from food, it has to be administered directly into the bloodstream. This is usually done via B12 injections - intramuscular or subcutaneously.
People diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia must take B12 supplements for life, regular B12 boosts will help combat symptoms, help you feel energized, and keep your body functioning as it should.

Living with PA:
Understanding the potential harm if Pernicious Anemia is left untreated is essential.
Vitamin B12 is critical for making red blood cells and DNA and maintaining a healthy nervous function. When B12 levels are consistently low it can lead to severe complications.

Thank you everyone!

Maya ❤️ @b12_pernicious_anemia
A community member who has taken the time to submit this information in the hopes of helping raise awareness about her condition by sharing her lived experience with it.

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