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Posts Tagged ‘Megaloblastic’

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

Babies, B12, and Fertility- B12 Deficiency during Pregnancy

Thursday, December 8th, 2011



If you’re planning a pregnancy, you might want to check your B12 levels- numerous reports link vitamin B12 deficiency during pregnancy with miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and other fertility problems.  B12 deficiency anemia- pernicious anemia- makes it harder for women to conceive, as well as for men to produce fertile sperm.


Medical research proves the fertility-B12 deficiency link

One of the most famous studies on fertility and B12 deficiency examined fourteen women of childbearing age who suffered vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMAll women who participated in the study suffered severe vitamin B12 deficiency anemia in addition to low fertility- Four had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for two to eight years, and eleven experienced repeated miscarriages and spontaneous abortions.
  • Dr. Michael Bennett, hematologist of the Ha’Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel, implemented vitamin B12 supplementation to see if it would have any effect on their ability to conceive and have healthy pregnancies.
  • If fetal loss were to continue despite elevating B12 levels, it would prove that infertility was unrelated to B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia symptoms.
  • Instead, result showed that ten out of the fourteen test subjects experienced favorable results from vitamin B12 supplements. The results can be found in this study on vitamin B12 and fertility.

Dr. Bennett explains the connection

  • BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COMBennett notes that B12 deficiency, combined with folate deficiency, led to thrombophilia (blood clotting) in seven of the women studied, thus increasing their risk for miscarriage.
  • He believes that taking large amounts of folic acid, a nutrient prescribed to women of childbearing age, often masks B12 deficiency symptoms, making it harder to diagnose and treat.
  • In his conclusion, Dr. Bennett attributes raised homocysteine levels, a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, with repeated fetal loss, and over time, ovulation disorder.

“Correcting this deficiency can rapidly lead to a normal pregnancy,” states Bennett.  “This study illustrates the importance of measuring B12 levels…in every patient investigated for infertility or recurrent (miscarriage).”

Report findings are available by The Journal of Reproductive Medicine.


Why does my body need B12?

Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it helps to produce red blood cells, promotes DNA synthesis, guards the nervous system’s myelin sheath, maintains cognitive functioning, lowers homocysteine levels, and supports metabolism.  

Left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause severe nerve damage, cognitive disorders, and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

What symptoms are associated with vitamin B12 deficiency?

Since vitamin B12 interacts with so many different areas of the body, many seemingly unrelated symptoms indicate vitamin B12 deficiency.  Pernicious anemia masks itself as mood disorders, diabetes, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, hypothyroid, and other chronic conditions.

Some common symptoms of B12 deficiency:

  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • “Brain fog”
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Painful tingling, numbness or “prickly” sensations, mainly in the hands and feet
  • Sore, swollen tongue
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Loss of balance while walking, running, or jumping
  • Decreased fine motor skills
  • Muscular feebleness
  • Heart palpitations

Read more about B12 deficiency and pregnancy:

Pregnant Moms and Low B-12 Levels: Let ‘em Eat Steak!

Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency while Breast Feeding

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?


Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and recurrent fetal loss- PubMed, NCBI

Lack Of Vitamin B12 Linked To Repeat Miscarriage

Vitamin B12 deficiency, infertility and miscarriage

Pernicious Anemia

Image credits, from top:

Stuart Miles, Ambro, photostock, winnond

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