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Posts Tagged ‘Megaloblastic anemia’

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

 

 

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia that occurs with severe vitamin B12 deficiency. To find the right treatment and understand symptoms of fatigue, depression, and chronic pain, it helps to understand how pernicious anemia impairs your red blood cells and what you can do for prevention.

Is Pernicious Anemia Megaloblastic?

Megaloblastic anemia

There are several types of anemia, and they are usually classified by the way they impair red blood cells in size and shape. Specifically, megaloblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which red blood cells called megaloblasts become too large to function properly, resulting in fewer healthy red blood cells needed to deliver oxygen throughout your body; symptoms of memory loss, extreme fatigue, dizziness, and agitation occur when your vital organs and tissues don’t receive enough oxygen.

Quick facts:

  • With megaloblastic anemia, your body starts producing red blood cells that are overlarge, misshapen, and poorly developed.
  • New red blood cells do not mature- they die before their life expectancy.
  • Healthy red blood cells become replaced by these distorted megaloblasts.
  • Bone marrow starts producing fewer red blood cells.
  • Your body starts receiving less oxygen, causing a breakdown in various bodily functions of the organs, tissues, and nervous system.

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 malabsorption, the inability to digest vitamin B12 found in meat, fish, dairy, and egg products. Since vitamin B12 is crucial for healthy red blood cell production, long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can progress into severe pernicious anemia, a once-fatal condition that is now prevented through vitamin B12 supplementation.

Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

Quick facts:

  • Pernicious anemia occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Pernicious anemia used to be fatal, until scientists discovered that symptoms could be cured with vitamin B12 supplementation.
  • Foods richest in vitamin B12 are seafood and organ meats.
  • Even if you eat plenty of beef, chicken, and fish, you may still have vitamin B12 deficiency through lack of intrinsic factor, an enzyme needed to digest and absorb vitamin B12.
  • Pernicious anemia is one type of megaloblastic anemia; another type occurs with folic acid deficiency.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Type of Anemia: True or False?

Please tell us…

Have you been diagnosed with pernicious anemia or another type of megaloblastic anemia? If so, what kind of vitamin B12 supplements do you use- vitamin B12 shots or over-the-counter vitamin B12?

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, twitter, or Facebook.

Like this? Read more:

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency: The Invisible Epidemic!

Getting Enough Vitamin B12? Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be

Image courtesy of Genista/flickr

Myokymia is not a Hawaiian Island- Eyelid Twitching and Eye Spasms

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

 

 

Are constant eyelid twitching and eye spasms driving you batty?  Myokymia might be a sign of pernicious anemia caused by low vitamin B12 levels.  Learn how to stop eye twitching by halting vitamin B12 deficiency in its tracks.

MYOKYMIA IS NOT A HAWAIIAN ISLAND- EYELID TWITCHING AND EYE SPASMS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

What is myokymia?

Myokymia is a disorder that causes muscles in your body to twitch involuntarily.  Myokymia twitches can affect any groups of nerves or muscles in your body, including your arms, legs, fingers, and back. 

It can also occur on your face- hemifacial spasms are muscular twitches that begin on one side of your face, usually the eye.  Over time, hemifacial spasms can expand to include the rest of your face, on one side.

Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

Why is my eye twitching?

Myokymia is a type of nerve damage called trigeminal neuralgia.  When your eyelid keeps twitching out of control, it is because the nerves that control the opening and closing of your eyes have been damaged. Eye twitches can occur in either the lower eyelid or upper eyelid,

Causes of myokymia

Causes of eye twitching may include stress, excessive alcohol usage, and staring at a computer screen for long periods of time.  Eye spasms can also be a reaction to caffeine, or may signify low levels of cobalamin- vitamin B12.

B12 deficiency symptoms

Vitamin B12 benefits include red blood cell production, protection of the nervous system’s myelin sheathe, cognitive functioning, DNA synthesis, and lowered homocysteine levels.

If your body does not store adequate amounts of vitamin B12, you may get B12 deficiency, and ultimately severe pernicious anemia, a type of megaloblastic anemia blood disease.

B12 deficiency causes emotional and cognitive disorders such as:

  • MYOKYMIA IS NOT A HAWAIIAN ISLAND- EYELID TWITCHING AND EYE SPASMS, WWW.B12PATCH.COMChronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased mental focus
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Hallucinations

Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Pernicious anemia symptoms include severe nerve damage, such as eyelid spasms caused by myokymia.  Lower eyelid twitches are most common with vitamin B12 deficiency patients.  

Other symptoms of nerve damage caused by pernicious anemia include:

  • Numbness and painful tingling in the hands and feet
  • Arms or legs constantly “falling asleep”
  • Prickly feeling in the tongue
  • Altered taste perception
  • Sore or swollen tongue

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Stop eye twitching

If you suspect that you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then consult your physician and request a blood test for B12 levels. If diagnosed with low B12, then your doctor will prescribe vitamin B12 supplements. 

If you have pernicious anemia, then you might have to get routine B12 shots indefinitely. Once you start taking vitamin B12, you will notice a decrease in pernicious anemia symptoms immediately, and total reversal of symptoms by the time your B12 levels return to normal.

MYOKYMIA IS NOT A HAWAIIAN ISLAND- EYELID TWITCHING AND EYE SPASMS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM


Multiple Sclerosis and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Sources:

Hemifacial Spasm Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Signs of B12 Deficiency

Myokymia – Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Eyelid Myokymia

Image credits, from top:

cameronparkins, graur codrin, Tambako the Jaguar

Treat Vitiligo with Vitamin B12: Say Goodbye to White Skin Patches

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

 

 

Vitiligo is a skin disease that often occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency- Find out if taking B12 supplements can treat your vitiligo symptoms and get rid of white patches on your skin forever.

TREAT VITILIGO WITH VITAMIN B12: SAY GOODBYE TO WHITE SKIN PATCHES, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

What is vitiligo?

Vitiligo is a skin disorder that causes you to lose brown pigmentation, resulting in white patches on your skin.  Hair growing in white skin spots caused by vitiligo may turn white, as well.  About 1% of all people in the world have vitiligo, including roughly two million US citizens.  Although vitiligo affects people of all races, it is more noticeable in darker skinned ethnic groups.

Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

What causes vitiligo?

Doctors are uncertain what exactly causes the skin disorder vitiligo, but they believe it might be an autoimmune disorder.  Also, they have noticed strong correlations with certain chronic conditions.  People who suffer vitiligo usually fall into one of four groups:

  • Hyperthyroid (overactive thyroid gland) patients
  • Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency) patients
  • Addison’s disease (underactive adrenal gland) patients
  • Alopecia areata patients (people with patches of baldness)

What are the symptoms of vitiligo?

Vitiligo causes telltale patches of white skin (depigmentation), typically on parts of your body that get the most sun exposure, like your hands, feet, and face, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and lips.  

Vitiligo can also occur on covered-up parts of your body, like your stomach, hips, and armpits, though that is not as common. 

Other symptoms of vitiligo may include premature hair greying, including grey eyelash hair.  White patches can also occur in the inside of the mouth.

For some, vitiligo symptoms remain only in one area of the body.  For others, patches of white skin may slowly spread over years to other parts of the body.

How will taking vitamin B12 supplements affect my vitiligo symptoms?

In one clinical study, vitamin B12 and folic acid were administered to patients who suffered from vitiligo.  They were also instructed to keep records of sun exposure.

  • More than half of the 100 vitiligo patients noticed dramatic results- 37 of which had opted for sun exposure.
  • Six volunteers who took the vitamin B12 and folic acid supplements experienced noticeably superior results.

Scientists confirmed that supplementing with vitamin B12 and folic acid, combined with sun exposure, is more beneficial for vitiligo patients than simple sun exposure alone.

Read more about B12 deficiency:

Eat this to Prevent Hair Loss- 5 Foods for Healthy Hair

7 Commandments for Taming Frizzy Hair

Sources:

Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure- PubMed, NCBI

Vitiligo Treatment, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Signs on MedicineNet.com

Image credits:

Stuart Miles

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.COM

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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM7. Is Pernicious anemia genetic?

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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM10. Can pernicious anemia cause gastritis?

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

PERNICIOUS ANEMIA: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM11. Can pernicious anemia shorten your life?

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: YOUR 13 MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS, ANSWERED. WWW.B12PATCH.COM12. Can pernicious anemia cause stomach damage?

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

Sources:

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

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

 

 

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency, then it is important to recognize the symptoms of pernicious anemia, as low levels of B12 (cobalamin) may be caused by this form of megaloblastic anemia, a potentially life-threatening disease.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERNICIOUS ANEMIA- B12 DEFICIENCY? WWW.B12PATCH.COM

What is pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia is a digestive disorder that causes vitamin B12 deficiency. Because one of the side effects involves grossly misshapen and enlarged red blood cells, pernicious anemia has been classified as a type of megaloblastic anemia.

With pernicious anemia, your body is unable to digest vitamin B12 from food sources, due to a lack of the intrinsic factor digestive enzyme. As a result, after several years, your vitamin B12 stores plummet to a dangerous low.

Since vitamin B12 is crucial for all sorts of biochemical reactions, such as protecting your nerve cells through myelin production, converting fat into energy, and supporting red blood cell production, the results of pernicious anemia can be debilitating.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERNICIOUS ANEMIA- B12 DEFICIENCY? WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Avoid vitamin B12 deficiency

The best way to avoid getting vitamin B12 deficiency is to include animal-based protein foods in your diet, particularly beef liver, clams, oysters, poultry, eggs, milk, and yogurt.

Still, eating meat and dairy products does not guarantee you will not become deficient in vitamin B12, as there are many risk factors that can inhibit proper absorption of this vitamin.

Who’s at risk?

People at risk for developing B12 deficiency are:

  • people who exclude primary sources of vitamin B12 from their diet (vegans)
  • the elderly
  • people who have had bariatric surgery
  • diabetics taking metformin
  • anybody using long-term medication for acid-reflux
  • individuals with gastrointestinal disease (IBD, celiac)
  • people who cannot produce intrinsic factor, a necessary hormone for digesting vitamin B12

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERNICIOUS ANEMIA- B12 DEFICIENCY? WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Signs of megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia

The most common symptoms of pernicious anemia are:

  • Muscular weakness
  • Frequent tingling or numbness in your hands and feet, described as “pins and needles”
  • Difficulty walking balanced
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Swollen, red tongue
  • Irritability
  • Chronic fatigue, constant tiredness
  • Hypertension

What tests diagnose pernicious anemia?

The only way to find out if your vitamin B12 deficiency has turned into pernicious anemia is to request the following diagnostic tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Vitamin B12 blood levels
  • Methylmalonic acid (MMA) levels
  • Holotranscobalamin II levels
  • LDH levels
  • Reticulocyte count
  • Bone marrow examination

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PERNICIOUS ANEMIA- B12 DEFICIENCY? WWW.B12PATCH.COM

What is the treatment for pernicious anemia?

Patients of pernicious anemia need to get routine doses of vitamin B12 supplements, usually in the form of vitamin B12 shots.  The amount and frequency of B12 injections depend on the severity of the pernicious anemia symptoms.

For extra doses of vitamin B12 between doctor visits, B12-anemia patients have the option of supplementing with over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12, as well.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:

“I’ve heard of the X Factor and Fear Factor…But what’s Intrinsic Factor?”

WhichTests check Absorption of Vitamin B12?

Cruising for a Bruising? Choose Vitamin B12 Shots or Anemia

Sources:

Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Megaloblastic (Pernicious) Anemia

Pernicious Anemia – Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment of Pernicious Anemia – NY Times Health Information

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

Image credits, from top:

blakespot, ssoosay, jimbrickett, James Tan Chin Choy

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