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Posts Tagged ‘Pernicious anemia (PA)’

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

 

 

Pernicious anemia (PA) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are both autoimmune disorders that cause fatigue, chronic pain, and physical handicaps, but that is where their similarities end. If that’s the case, why are so many doctors quick to diagnose multiple sclerosis before testing for simple vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia?

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple=

Pernicious anemia

Pernicious anemia (PA) is a medical condition that causes vitamin B12 deficiency. Over time, plummeting levels of vitamin B12 cause many debilitating symptoms- muscle pain, numbness, spasms, fatigue- all as a result of diminished red blood cells and impaired neurological functioning.

Without enough vitamin B12 in your system make plenty of healthy blood cells, you wind up feeling constantly tired, unfocused, disoriented, and depressed.

Vitamin B12 is also needed to produce myelin, a substance which protects your nerve cells from harm. That’s why pernicious anemia symptoms such as chronic pain, numbness, tingling in the arms and legs, and mobility difficulties may reveal a weakened nervous system caused by insufficient vitamin B12 levels.

Gradually, depleted vitamin B12 may cause further irreparable damage to the nervous system, in addition to increased risk for stroke, heart attack, and age-related dementia.

Only immediate vitamin B12 supplementation can reverse the symptoms of pernicious anemia, and prevent future relapses.

Multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis also affects the nervous system, causing severe muscle pain, paralysis, and multiple neurological problems, some of which are similar to those experienced with pernicious anemia, only on a much higher level.  People with MS struggle to manage relapses their whole lives, as it is a chronic illness that is difficult to control.

While pernicious anemia is easily treated with strict vitamin B12 supplementation, multiple sclerosis is much harder to manage, requiring various medications formulated to relieve specific symptoms.

Pernicious Anemia Misdiagnosed as MS- It Happens!

What causes multiple sclerosis?

Scientists aren’t positive exactly what causes multiple sclerosis, but they do know that Caucasian females are the highest risk factor for MS.

Like pernicious anemia, multiple sclerosis symptoms may be part of an autoimmune disorder. Scientists believe that MS may be triggered by an infection, which the immune system begins to attack. After fighting off the infection, your body continues to attack, this time mistaking your nerve cells’ myelin- the same substance supported by vitamin B12- as a threat. So the cycle continues, creating damage to the central nervous system and prolonging debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

This article continues in Part 2, including symptoms of multiple sclerosis and diagnosis…

Your turn!

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, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Can Vitamin B12 Repair Nerve Cells?

15 Chronic Pain Causes and 15 Treatments (Vitamin B12 is one)

Sources:

Multiple Sclerosis Overview

Image courtesy of A Health Blog/flickr

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

Monday, May 28th, 2012

 

 
Pernicious anemia (PA), or vitamin B12 deficiency, can sneak up on you…perniciously. Some of the earliest signs of pernicious anemia include brain fog- here are some symptoms that mean you should get a vitamin B12 blood test, pronto.

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

How can I get pernicious anemia?

Vitamin B12 is in much of the food you eat every day, but that doesn’t mean you’re necessarily digesting it.  A large group of people don’t have the digestive enzyme needed in order to absorb vitamin B12 naturally from protein foods like beef, chicken, fish, milk, and eggs.

Without intrinsic factor, which is made in the stomach, you eventually (sometimes over the course of decades) get vitamin B12 deficiency, which in turn causes a breakdown in your overall health.

Causes of pernicious anemia range from autoimmune disorder to damage to the digestive system.

PA cognitive decline

The first thing you’ll notice with the onset of pernicious anemia is a general decay in your thinking skills, which some describe as “brain fog.” This is due to decreased oxygen in the brain, resulting from less red blood cell production, a common symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you have pernicious anemia or other forms of vitamin B12 deficiency, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms of cognitive decline:

How to keep Vitamin B12 Deficiency from Shrinking your Brain

Brain fog

If it seems like you’re always in a daze, or fog, then you’re suffering a condition common to many autoimmune disorders, including pernicious anemia, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Brain fog, or brain drain, is often described as “thinking in autopilot,” having a “senior moment,” or thinking in “slow-mo.”

Brain Fog: 20 Ways to Deal

Constant confusion

Another sign of brain fog is feeling like you don’t understand things happening around you, even if it just takes you a second longer than usual to “get it.” Again, this is not something to be ashamed of, but it does signify a medical condition that requires immediate attention.

Brain Fog from Pernicious Anemia- Telltale Signs

6 Surprising Causes of Memory Loss

Chronic fatigue

Do you wake up feeling exhausted, lethargic, or just too tired to get out of bed, even though you slept well the whole night? Do mundane chores like shopping, running errands, or performing work duties make collapse before the day’s end?  Do you always feel achy and weak, as if you ran a marathon, even though you refrain from physical exercise? These are all common signs of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disabling condition that often correlates with pernicious anemia.

Breathlessness

Don’t confuse this symptom for panting or being short of breath, which is a sign of hypertension or stress.  People with brain fog from pernicious anemia often feel the need to sigh deeply, and sometimes feel that they can never take a long comfortable breath. Like frequent yawning, this is also a sign of insufficient oxygen in the brain.

Forgetfulness

Difficulty remembering things occurs frequently with pernicious anemia, as vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining brain health.

Symptoms of decreased memory include:

  • Inability to recall familiar words or names of people
  • Inability to memorize a short list of familiar words
  • Difficulty remembering numbers or numerical codes
  • Recent decline in math skills
  • Forgetting important dates, like birthdays of close family members
  • Needing a memo to remember close-pending appointments
  • Repeating questions frequently
  • Forgetting conversations you had a few days previously


Mental health

BRAIN FOG FROM PERNICIOUS ANEMIA- TELLTALE SIGNSA number of mental illness symptoms correlate strongly with cognitive decline from vitamin B12 deficiency, leading many psychiatrists to misdiagnose patients as insane, when vitamin B12 supplements would significantly reduce the symptoms.

Pernicious anemia may lead to mental disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Uncontrolled crying spells

Other pernicious anemia symptoms

In addition to your cognitive health, pernicious anemia also affects your

  • Central nervous system
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Red blood cell production
  • DNA synthesis
  • Energy levels
  • Vision
  • Motor skills
  • Sexual health
  • Bone health
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Hormones
  • Immune system
  • Hair, skin, and nails

Read more about B12 and the brain

Here’s Your Brain on B12 Deficiency- Memory Loss and Aging

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Please tell us…

If you suffer from brain fog, do you take vitamin B12 supplements?
Have you noticed a decrease in brain fog symptoms with weekly vitamin B12 supplementation?
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, Facebook, or Google+.

References:

Sub-Acute Combined Degeneration of the Cord Secondary to Pernicious Anaemia PDF

B12 Deficiency – a Multi-system Polyglandular Multi-point syndrome

Images:

ZERO CREATIVES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYNow and Zen Photographygraur codrin

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