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Posts Tagged ‘Autoimmune Disorders’

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Monday, December 12th, 2011



What is pernicious anemia, and how is it different from vitamin B12 deficiency or megaloblastic anemia? That is one of many questions that people have about pernicious anemia- questions that are answered here.


PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM1. What’s the difference between pernicious anemia and megaloblastic anemia?

Pernicious anemia, a form of megaloblastic anemia, is a disease that impairs red blood cell distribution through vitamin B12 deficiency; for that reason, it is also called vitamin B12 malabsorption anemia.



(It is worth mentioning that pernicious anemia is only one of many factors that causes vitamin B12 deficiency.)

Other names for pernicious anemia are Biermer’s anemia, Addison’s anemia, and combined systems disease (a disorder of the nervous system).

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM2. What is the relationship between intrinsic factor and pernicious anemia?

Whenever you eat foods that contain vitamin B12- protein foods like beef, chicken, seafood, cheese, and eggs- your digestive system produces a chemical called intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme.

Intrinsic factor then grabs the vitamin B12 from your stomach, bonds to it, carries it through the small intestine, and delivers it to the ileum, at the base of your small intestine.

From here, the vitamin B12 is then either absorbed and dispersed into your bloodstream as “active vitamin B12,” or it is stored in the liver. That is how most people digest vitamin B12.

People who suffer from pernicious anemia are not able to manufacture or regulate the intrinsic factor enzyme.  Even if they eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin B12, they are unable to digest the essential vitamin, and the result is a catastrophic depletion of vitamin B12 levels in the blood.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM3. What are the symptoms of B12 deficiency- pernicious anemia?

The most common pernicious anemia symptoms are:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Depression
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Painful tingling sensations in hands and feet
  • Hands and feet often “falling asleep” or going numb
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Constant stumbling while walking
  • Clumsiness
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Pale complexion
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pains
  • Trouble sleeping

Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency causes low red blood cell production, forgetfulness, severe nerve damage, and increased risk for heart attack , stroke, and osteoporosis.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM4. What natural remedies work best for pernicious anemia?

Since pernicious anemia results from vitamin B12 deficiency, the only remedy you need is…more B12!  The real question is: How much vitamin B12 do you need? Only your doctor can answer that by taking blood tests, determining if your body makes intrinsic factor, and prescribing the proper venue of vitamin B12 supplementation.

If it is determined that you lack intrinsic factor, then you will need to take vitamin B12 supplements, most likely for the rest of your life, in order to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency again.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM5. Why is a pernicious anemia patient unable to take vitamin B12 orally?

Without intrinsic factor, your body cannot digest dietary sources of vitamin B12- and that includes vitamin B12 pills.  As a rule of thumb, if vitamin B12 passes through a digestive system that does not produce intrinsic factor, then the B12 will pass through without being broken down or digested.  In order to get vitamin B12 into your blood supply, you have to insert it there directly- usually through B12 shots.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM6. How long does it take before you start to feel the benefits of vitamin B12 supplements?

Assuming you are getting the correct dose of vitamin B12, and are taking an efficient method of B12 supplements…most patients start to feel notably better within 24 hours of vitamin B12 supplementation.


Family history is one of many causes of pernicious anemia.  If your family has a history of suffering from pernicious anemia, then you should take routine blood tests for vitamin B12 deficiency throughout your life.


What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM8. If I have one autoimmune disease like pernicious anemia, am I more likely to have another autoimmune disease?

Scientists have noted a high correlation between pernicious anemia and many other autoimmune disorders. When other diseases are a factor, pernicious anemia often occurs from drug interactions, comorbid symptoms, or a cyclical relationship with that disease.  Below are some conditions that may accompany pernicious anemia:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Diabetes
  • Leaky Gut Syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Gastritis
  • Chronic heartburn
  • Hypothyroidism

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM9. I’m only 20 years old.  Could someone my age have pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia can happen to somebody of any age group.  Because your body stores vitamin B12 in the liver for several years, you may not know that your body has stopped absorbing it until you start to feel the symptoms, by which time your B12 levels will have dropped severely.  If you suspect you have any of the symptoms of pernicious anemia, then do not hesitate to get a blood test.


Gastritis- painful inflammation of the stomach lining- has many possible causes.  The most common are alcohol abuse, chronic vomiting, and overusing drugs such as aspirin. Untreated, chronic gastritis can cause blood loss.  Other causes of gastritis are:

  • Pernicious anemia
  • Stomach infection
  • Bile reflux
  • Viruses


When scientists first discovered vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, they deemed it a fatal disease, and thus named it “pernicious (malicious) anemia.”  Without B12, your body is unable to make sufficiency red blood cells.  Today, doctors are easily able to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency through blood tests, administer treatment in the form of pure vitamin B12, and prevent further escalation of pernicious anemia.  Untreated, pernicious anemia can lead to life-threatening illnesses, such as heart attack, stroke.


Pernicious anemia may cause gastric polyps, increasing one’s risk for getting stomach damage or gastric carcinoid tumors.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM13. Are there any support groups for others with pernicious anemia?

There are many advocacy groups for pernicious anemia, and most of them are on Facebook.  Here are a few:

Pernicious Anaemia Society

Vitamin B12 Deficiency on Facebook

Pernicious Anemia Awareness on Facebook

Pernicious Anaemia – What do you know?…And what they don’t tell you! on Facebook

Read more about pernicious anemia and vitamin B12:

Painful Tingling in Hands and Feet- What’s Up with That?

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy


Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)- University of Maryland Medical Center

Gastritis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments, and More

Pernicious Anemia- Medscape

Pernicious Anemia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention on MedicineNet.com

Image credits, from top:

Danilo Rizzuti, digitalart, Salvatore Vuono

Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms and Causes

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011



What causes Leaky Gut Syndrome? Scientists aren’t positive- could be Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, or any number of autoimmune disorders.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS), also called intestinal hyperpermeability, is a breach in the barrier that lines the intestinal tract.  Leaky Gut causes damage to your digestive system, making it difficult for your body to digest nutrients, in addition to “leaking” bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles from your intestines and into the rest of your body.

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

What causes Leaky Gut?

Scientists aren’t clear what exactly causes Leaky Gut Syndrome, but they have noted some strong correlations; conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, and gluten intolerance have a cyclical relationship with LGS, causing symptoms that cause further damage to the intestines, thus making Leaky Gut Syndrome even harder to control.  Leaky Gut could result from a chronic disease, or it may signal the onset of life-threatening illness such as AIDS.

AIDS with B12 Deficiency

What are the symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Doctors are hesitant to diagnose Leaky Gut Syndrome; it hasn’t yet been fully accepted as part of conventional medicine, and there are multitudes of seemingly unrelated illnesses that are theorized as being linked with Leaky Gut Syndrome.  Not surprisingly, most doctors choose to treat each symptom separately, and rarely get to the root of the illness that might be LGS.

Below are some common symptoms associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Multiple joint pain
  • Muscular soreness
  • Headaches
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Brain fog
  • Depression
  • Skin rash
  • Chronic allergies

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

What diseases and are associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome?

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, or pernicious anemia
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Chronic depression
  • Arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Acne
  • Hives
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis
  • Unexplainable infections
  • AIDS

What can I take for Leaky Gut Syndrome?

If you are diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome, your doctor might advise one or more of the following:

  • Glutamine
  • N-acetyl cysteine
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin B12 supplements

Long-term lifestyle changes are effective at preventing further occurrences of Leaky Gut Syndrome, including restrictive diet for Leaky Gut, probiotics, alcohol moderation, and weaning off non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Read more about autoimmune diseases and vitamin B12 deficiency:

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Dressing after Crohn’s Surgery- 5 Post- Ostomy Fashion Tips

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety


Do You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome?

What Is Leaky Gut?

Autism and GI Problems

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011



Are you at risk for developing vitamin B12 deficiency, one of the fastest growing forms of malnourishment today?  Most people with B12 deficiency don’t even know they have it.  Find out why vitamin B12 is important for healthy living. Are you are getting enough?


What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient called cobalamin, occurs naturally in meat and other protein foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  Vitamin B12 is one of the B-complex vitamins, and plays many important roles in your healthy lifestyle, and unless you get enough vitamin B12 from your diet or from vitamin B12 supplements, then you might experience the following symptoms:

  • VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY. ARE YOU AT RISK? WWW.B12PATCH.COMConstant tiredness, fatigue for no apparent reason
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Lack of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Lack of concentration
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Muscular aches
  • Tingling, numbness or pain in your hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen red tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Hallucinations
  • Difficulty walking smoothly
  • Poor hand-eye coordination and motor skills


Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to neurological damage, increased risk for heart attack and stroke, memory problems, and misdiagnosis of severe mood disorders.

Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

So, who’s at risk for B12 deficiency?

Even if you eat plenty of meat and milk, you may be susceptible for vitamin B12 deficiency, as there are many other risk factors involved…

If you fit into any one of the following categories, then you are highly susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Do you have diabetes? If you are diabetic, and you take metformin, then you are vulnerable to B12 deficiency, since metformin blocks your ability to digest vitamin B12 properly.
  • Have you had weight loss surgery? If you have had any bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, or any other gastrointestinal surgery that involves removing a piece of the small intestine called the ileum, then you need to take vitamin B12 supplements regularly.  The ileum is the bottom-most part of the small intestine, and is principally responsible for absorbing vitamin B12.
  • Do you suffer from autoimmune disorders? If you suffer from any autoimmune disease that involves damage to the digestive system, then you are at risk for many forms of malnourishment, including vitamin B12 deficiency.  Examples of autoimmune disorders that correlate with vitamin B12 deficiency are Crohn’s disease, celiac disorder, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and lupus.
  • VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY. ARE YOU AT RISK? WWW.B12PATCH.COMAre you a senior citizen? The elderly are highly susceptible to B12 deficiency.  As you age, your body produces fewer stomach acids that are necessary for digesting vitamin B12 from the foods you eat.  Also, older people tend to eat less and have sensitive stomachs, all of which can lead to malnourishment. In order to avoid B12 deficiency, it is crucial to include extra B12 supplements in your daily vitamin regimen.
  • Do you take heartburn medication? If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or if just take many antacids, then you might become deficient in vitamin B12, as stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamins such as B12 from your food.
  • Are you an alcoholic? Frequent alcohol use inhibits your body’s ability to absorb nutrients like vitamin B12 properly, and causes malnourishment.
  • Does vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia run in your family? Some people are unable to produce intrinsic factor, an essential chemical your stomach makes to access and digest vitamin B12 from food sources.  If you have this autoimmune disorder, then you must supplement with a form of vitamin B12 that dispenses the vitamin directly into your bloodstream.


How can I find out if I have vitamin B12 deficiency?

The only way to find out if you have vitamin B12 deficiency is to visit your doctor and ask for a vitamin B12 blood test.  If you test positive, then he will likely prescribe a regimen of vitamin B12 supplements.

Read more about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency:

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

WhichTests check Absorption of Vitamin B12?


Vitamin B12 Deficiency Risk Factors – Am I at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency? – Third Age

Vitamin B12- Mayo Clinic

What Is Vitamin B12 Deficiency? What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Image credits, from top:

heather aitken, ValetheKid, soylentgreen23, Martin Kimeldorf’s Pixel Playground

Lupus and Vitamin B12 Deficiency- What’s the Connection?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011



Is there any connection between lupus and vitamin B12 deficiency? That’s a question asked often both by people with low B12 and diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Both autoimmune diseases share similar symptoms, and it’s important to know how to tell the difference.


Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

What is lupus?

Lupus, or systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is an autoimmune disease that can cause damage to your muscles, bones, organs, and skin tissue.  Like other autoimmune disorders, lupus causes your body’s immune system to attack healthy cells tissue, causing swelling, inflammation, and pain.  Damage to your system may include kidney damage, heart attack, lung damage, joint pain, and blood diseases such as anemia (more on this later).


100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Symptoms of B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in the US. Even if you eat plenty of sources rich in vitamin B12 (meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk), your B12 levels may be at risk if you have had bariatric surgery, take antacid medicine for acid reflux, are among the elderly, have a gastrointestinal autoimmune disease like Crohn’s or celiac disease, or if you are a diabetic taking metformin.

6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

How does lupus mimic vitamin B12 deficiency?

Many symptoms of lupus mimic those of vitamin B12 deficiency, making it difficult to determine low B12 levels without taking a vitamin B12 blood test.

  • LUPUS AND VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY- WHAT’S THE CONNECTION? WWW.B12PATCH.COMCognitive functioning and mood disorders. Anxiety, depression, headaches, and short-term memory loss are symptoms common to both lupus patients and vitamin B12 deficiency sufferers.
  • Chronic fatigue. Chronic fatigue shares a comorbid relationship with lupus and B12 deficiency.
  • Nerve damage. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes neurological damage such as aching joints and arthritis-like muscular pain.  Lupus causes swollen joints, arthritis, and inflamed joints.
  • Shortness of breath is a symptom of low B12 and lupus.
  • Hair loss. B12 deficiency may cause premature hair loss and greying.  Hair loss is also a symptom common to lupus patients.
  • Mouth ulcers are typical for vitamin B12 patients and lupus sufferers.
  • Skin rashes are a side effect of chronic B12 deficiency.  Likewise, lupus patients suffer skin rashes across the cheeks and nose (malar rash).
  • Anemia. One of the most highly correlated symptoms shared by vitamin B12 deficiency patients and lupus patients alike is the susceptibility to anemia.  Left untreated, pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe nerve damage, red blood cell depletion, and cognitive impairments. More than half of all lupus patients suffer from blood disorders like anemia.
  • Heart disease. Lupus and pernicious anemia patients alike are at high risk for contracting heart disease.
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis) is a risk factor for lupus patients and individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Read more about B12 deficiency and autoimmune diseases:

Vitamin B12 and your Bones- Osteoporosis from B12 Deficiency

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info

7 Celebs with Lupus


Lupus Hope- Get Your B12 Levels Checked!

Lupus Foundation of America- Blood Disorders

Vitamin B12 For Lupus & Crohn’s Disease- LIVESTRONG.COM

What is Lupus?

Image credits, from top:

Ton Haex, taysm, grietgriet

Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

Friday, June 24th, 2011



Hip-Hop Music star Missy Elliott is one of many celebrities to suffer from thyroid disease, a condition that causes the thyroid gland to malfunction.  The award-winning rap singer opened up about her recent diagnosis for Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that impairs the neurological system and causes hyperthyroidism.

Graves’ Disease: It’s a Thyroid Thing

The symptoms of hyperthyroidism are:

  • Anxiety
  • Inattentiveness
  • Visual disturbances
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Tearing
  • Low energy
  • Overactive bowel
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Sensitivity to heat
  • Excess perspiring
  • Insomnia
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Loss of muscular strength
  • Hypertension

Fifteen celebrities who also battle with thyroid disorders

Grammy award-winning Missy Elliott had the shock of her life recently; while driving, her leg wouldn’t respond as she attempted to step on the brake pedal.  She almost had a car accident.  A recent diagnosis indicated Graves’ disease, a condition that impairs neurological functioning.  She says, “I couldn’t write because my nervous system was so bad — I couldn’t even use a pen.”

Oprah Winfrey, the talk show legend who recently called it quits, admitted in 2007 that her weight gain of 20 pounds was a result of having thyroid disease.

Jillian Michaels, former fitness trainer of The Biggest Loser, keeps her thyroid and weight problems in check by exercising daily and eating a low-fat diet.

WeedsMary-Louise Parker doesn’t let an underactive thyroid get in the way of her movie star fame.

Sex & the City siren Kim Cattrall revealed that she suffers from Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland.

Katee Sackhoff, who played Dana Walsh on 24, underwent surgery for her thyroid in 2009. Although the operation was successful, the scars remain.  “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through,” she admitted in 2010. “I’m still in therapy trying to get over it.”

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara successfully battled thyroid disorder in 2002.  The actress who also recently gave voice to The Smurfs’ character, Odile, told reporters, “I’ve been through it all, so I don’t take life’s little dramas too seriously.  I say, don’t sweat the small stuff, because there’s bigger stuff that can really make you sweat.”

Tipper Gore, wife to former vice president Al Gore, underwent surgery to have half of a nodule removed from her thyroid gland.

Kelly Osbourne, daughter of heavy metal giant and reality TV star Ozzy Osbourne, blames her longtime struggle with her weight on a thyroid condition.

Rock star Rod Stewart required surgery when a benign tumor developed on his thyroid gland.  Thankfully, the famed musician suffered no damage to his vocal chords.

Catherine Bell, star of the hit TV series Army Wives, is one of many thyroid surgery survivors.

Linda Ronstadt suffers from a lifelong underactive thyroid condition.

Model Kim Alexis claims that diet and exercise have helped her avoid weight gain, a symptom of her hyperthyroidism diagnosis.

Former president George Bush and his wife, Barbara, both suffer from Graves’ disease.

Film critic Roger Ebert gives two thumbs down to living with thyroid disorder, a condition with which he has had his battles.

Also read:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

B12 Vitamin’s Chemical Functions

7 Celebs with Lupus


Hashimoto’s disease

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