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Posts Tagged ‘Pernicious anemia symptoms’

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 2

Friday, March 1st, 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=

Is it Pernicious Anemia or Multiple Sclerosis? Part 1

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Early symptoms of multiple sclerosis often vary for the individual, making a diagnosis even harder to achieve.

Multiple sclerosis can be elusive; some days you may feel fine, while other times you experience unusual warning signs of nerve damage, pain symptoms that last for weeks, only to have them disappear again for months…or years at a time.

Like pernicious anemia, the first symptoms of multiple sclerosis usually occur in your 30s and 40s.

Early signs of multiple sclerosis may include:

  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (“pins and needles”)
  • Constant itchiness
  • Sore, burning tongue
  • Vision problems- blurriness, double vision, eye pain, partial blindness
  • Difficulty manipulating arm and leg movements, making it harder to walk or grasp small objects
  • Poor balance
  • Loss of muscle strength
  • Muscle spasms, tremors
  • Brain fog, disorientation
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness
  • Low sex drive
  • Poor bladder control

Symptoms of pernicious anemia

Symptoms of pernicious anemia occur as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency, which in turn triggers debilitating conditions caused by diminished red blood cells (and thus oxygen depletion) and damage to the nervous system (peripheral neuropathy).

It’s worth noting that may of the symptoms of pernicious anemia are almost identical to those experienced by multiple sclerosis patients.

Unlike symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which come and go in stages, pernicious anemia symptoms- chronic fatigue, muscle pain, dizziness- are ever present,  and continue to worsen until vitamin B12 levels get back to normal.

Signs of pernicious anemia include:

  • Brain fog (fuzzy thinking)
  • Debilitating fatigue
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet (“pins and needles”)
  • Difficulty balancing on one leg
  • Decreased motor skills
  • Gait disturbances
  • Sore, burning red tongue
  • Eye twitches
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Partial paralysis
  • Vision problems
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhea

Stay with us! Part 3 discusses ways your doctor may diagnose multiple sclerosis or pernicious anemia.

Your turn!

Have you been misdiagnosed with MS, when really you have low vitamin B12 levels?

How many years do you think you had vitamin B12 deficiency before you finally got a correct diagnosis?

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:

Early Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS): Tingling, Numbness, Balance, and More

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia?

Image(s) courtesy of renjith krishnan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pernicious Anemia Misdiagnosed as MS- It Happens!

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

 

 

Pernicious anemia is hard to catch in its earliest stages; oftentimes, pernicious anemia is misdiagnosed as belonging to a “copycat” illness. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one such disease that hundreds of doctors hastily assign to patients suffering from fatigue, numbness, and muscle pain- all symptoms commonly associated with B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia.

Pernicious Anemia Misdiagnosed as MS- It Happens! B12 Patch

Pernicious anemia, migraines, or…MS?

According to a study conducted by scientists at Oregon Health and Science University, over 95% of doctors have suspected a misdiagnosis in at least one MS patient coming to them for a second opinion.

A further 75% of doctors have noted a multiple sclerosis misdiagnosis in at least three patients the previous year.

As with many other mysterious chronic pain illnesses, such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, there are no foolproof methods for diagnosing multiple sclerosis.

 Doctors can issue MRIs in order to detect brain lesions, or they can hope to find evidence of oligoclonal bands (O-bands) in your blood supply, but for the most part, confirming MS is a process of elimination.

And eliminating other health conditions, such as pernicious anemia, that cause symptoms similar to MS isn’t so easy, because the list is long.

Below is a sort list of illnesses that are misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis:

  • Pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), a type of megaloblastic anemia that, like multiple sclerosis, also causes demyelination (damage to the nerve cells’ myelin sheath)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lyme disease
  • Lupus
  • Hughes syndrome
  • Optic neuritis
  • Migraines
  • Psychiatric disease

(Also read: 9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency)

PA vs. MS

It’s understandable that doctors would fail to detect vitamin B12 deficiency-pernicious anemia in patients complaining of arm numbness, chronic fatigue, or severe chronic pain.  Blood tests designed to detect low vitamin B12 levels are not always accurate, and there exist no tests that specifically determine multiple sclerosis.

Both multiple sclerosis and pernicious anemia are demyelinating illnesses that cause peripheral neuropathy, or peripheral nerve damage.

With multiple sclerosis, doctors aren’t certain exactly what causes deterioration of myelin, a fatty coating what protects your nerve cells from damage or destruction.

Vitamin B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia is more easily explained, as vitamin B12 is active in sustaining myelin, and a depletion of vitamin B12 likewise causes neurological ailments that exactly mimic the symptoms experienced by multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms of pernicious anemia and MS

Symptoms of multiple sclerosis that mimic pernicious anemia include:

  • Painful tingling and numbness in the extremities, including hands, feet, arms, legs, and tongue
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Muscle pain and twitches, or spasms
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion, or “brain fog”
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty controlling arm or leg movements
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Please tell us…

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:

Pain and Numbness in the Arms- 13 Causes

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Sources:

Why hundreds of patients a year are misdiagnosed with MS

The Differential Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Diseases That Mimic MS

What causes MS?

Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

 

 

People who’ve been diagnosed with pernicious anemia have a lot of questions…One is, “Is pernicious anemia a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency, or is it the other way around?” In order to explain, it helps to understand a few things about how vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia occur.

Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Which Causes Which? B12 Patch

What is pernicious anemia?

Pernicious anemia is a lack of red blood cells due to an inability to digest vitamin B12 from the foods you eat.  People get pernicious anemia when they are unable to absorb vitamin B12 through the digestive system, resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency.

Other names for pernicious anemia are vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and megaloblastic anemia, meaning that hemoglobin count decreases due to deformed red blood cells.

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is one of the B complex vitamins. Vitamin B12 is essential for neurological health, in addition to red blood cell production, cognitive functioning, and energy production.

Sources of vitamin B12 include beef, chicken, fish, cheese, and eggs

What causes pernicious anemia?

There are two possible causes of vitamin B12 malabsorption:

  • Damage to the stomach lining (gastritis)
  • Autoimmune condition that attacks intrinsic factor, a digestive enzyme required in order to absorb vitamin B12

Any time there is damage to the stomach, vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia are likely to occur. Risk factors for this type of pernicious anemia include gastrointestinal disorders (Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, and fibromyalgia), bariatric surgery (gastric bypass), alcoholism, and frequent vomiting from migraines.

Risk factors for developing autoimmune pernicious anemia include immune response disorders such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and celiac disease.

(Also read: Anemia: Frequently Asked Questions, Answered)

Are there any other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Yes- pernicious anemia is just one way to develop vitamin B12 deficiency.  There are other possible causes, including:

  • Vitamin B12 malabsorption from medications, such as metformin or protein pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Vegan diet
  • Removal of the ileum (ileostomy)

(Also read: Vitamin Deficiencies and the People who are affected by them)

    What are the symptoms of pernicious anemia-vitamin B12 deficiency?

    Symptoms range for each individual, depending on the severity and duration of vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia.

    Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

    • Chronic fatigue
    • Depression
    • Confusion (brain fog)
    • Memory loss
    • Anxiety
    • Paranoia
    • Hallucinations
    • Dizziness, vertigo
    • Muscle spasms
    • Muscle pain
    • Painful numbness and tingling in the extremities (hands, feet, arms, legs)
    • Partial paralysis
    • Sore, burning red tongue
    • Altered sense of taste
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Tinnitus (ear ringing)
    • Vision problems
    • Poor muscle coordination
    • Difficulty grasping objects without dropping them
    • Difficulty walking without stumbling
    • Difficulty balancing on one foot
    • Restless legs syndrome
    • Infertility
    • Frequent miscarriages
    • Poor bladder control

    Diagnosis and treatment

    To diagnose pernicious anemia, your doctor will run a few blood tests, including vitamin B12 blood count and intrinsic factor antibody. However, symptoms indicating vitamin B12 deficiency the most conclusive in reaching a diagnosis, as many vitamin B12 blood screenings are inaccurate.

    For treatment, doctors generally prescribe several rounds of vitamin B12 injections, to be given over a predetermined time period.

    Additionally, you may boost vitamin B12 levels quicker by taking extra doses of over-the-counter (OTC) vitamin B12 as a supplement to vitamin B12 shots.

    Please tell us…

    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:

    Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue

    Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid- What’s the Connection?

    Sources:

    Pernicious anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

    Image(s) courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Movement Disorders- How They Relate

    Monday, January 16th, 2012

     

     

    What does Vitamin B12 deficiency have to do with movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease and restless leg syndrome?  Vitamin B12 protects your nervous system, and many of the symptoms of pernicious anemia from B12 deficiency result in poor muscle control, including muscular spasms, nervous eye twitching, decreased motor skills, and difficulty walking.

    VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND MOVEMENT DISORDERS- HOW THEY RELATE, B12 PATCH

    Vitamin B12 benefits the nerves

    Cyanocobalamin or Vitamin B12 benefits your body in many ways- it lends itself in red blood cell production, DNA synthesis, healthy cognitive functioning, energy production, and homocysteine control.  Also, vitamin B12 helps your body produce myelin, a fatty substance that protects your nervous system’s sensitive nerve fibers in the brain and the spinal cord.

    Without sufficient levels of vitamin B12, you may develop severe nerve damage- peripheral neuropathy.

    Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency- peripheral neuropathy include:

    • painful tingling and numbness in the hands, feet, and ankles
    • sore tongue
    • burning mouth syndrome
    • muscular weakness
    • muscle spasms
    • decreased motor control
    • frequent clumsiness and tripping
    • difficulty balancing on one foot
    • eye twitching

    VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AND MOVEMENT DISORDERS- HOW THEY RELATE, B12 PATCH

    Vitamin B12 deficiency and other movement disorders

    It should come as no surprise, then, that other movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease (PD) have close ties with vitamin B12 deficiency.  Involuntary muscular movements may or may not be caused by low B12 levels, but

    • In some movement disorder cases, scientists have noted improvement with vitamin B12 supplements.
    • Even when pernicious anemia is not a cause of muscle spasms or walking difficulties, researchers sometimes notice a comorbid relationship with vitamin B12 deficiency.
    • Another occurrence in diagnosing movement disorders is a tendency for doctors to misdiagnose vitamin B12 deficiency as a more serious illness, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or Parkinson’s disease.

    Parkinson’s disease

    In a scientific report on Parkinson’s and neuropathy, researchers confirmed a high rate of vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with Parkinson’s disease, and recommended close monitoring of B12 levels and routine administration of vitamin B12 supplements. Results were published in Neurology.

    Chorea- focal dystonia

    Chorea is an abnormal involuntary movement disorder, part of a group of neurological disorders called dyskinesia.  Chorea is a symptom of Huntington’s disease, but it can also occur in other illnesses, including focal dystonia.  In one of many studies on vitamin B12 deficiency and focal dystonia, scientists saw favorable results with cyanocobalamin supplementation, attributing it to decreased homocysteine levels.

    Restless leg syndrome

    The most common symptom of restless leg syndrome is the urgent need to shake your leg to relieve “creeping, crawling” sensations, usually between the kneecap and ankle.Restless leg syndrome occurs often with peripheral neuropathy, a symptom of pernicious anemia.    Other possible causes are kidney disease, diabetes neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, and drug interactions.

    Stiff person syndrome

    Stiff-person syndrome (SPS) is a rare neurological disorder that occurs with autoimmune disease. Symptoms of SPS are muscle spasms in the limbs and trunk, hypersensitivity to touch, noise, and stress, and stiff posture.  People who often suffer stiff person syndrome are patients of pernicious anemia (vitamin B12 deficiency), diabetes, thyroiditis, and vitiligo.

    Gait ataxia

    Ataxia is an inability to control muscular movements used in walking, jumping, balancing, or holding objects. Chronic ataxia is one of the earliest symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, along with muscular weakness, poor reflexes, spasticity, vision impairment, dementia, and psychosis, according to a Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center study of 153 patients suffering from cobalamin deficiency neuropathy.

    Eye movement disorders

    Nystagmus, uncontrollable movements of the eyeballs, might be caused by low vitamin B12 levels, according to a study focusing on downbeat nystagmus and vitamin B12 deficiency.  Another phenomenon common with B12 deficiency is myokymia- eyelid twitching.


    Read more about B12 deficiency and your nervous system:

    Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

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

    Sources:

    The Movement Disorder Society- MDS

    Eye movement disorders in vitamin B12 deficiency: two new cases and a review of the literature

    Neuropathy in Parkinson disease

    Reversible Chorea and Focal Dystonia in Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    Restless leg syndrome

    Neurologic aspects of cobalamin deficiency- PubMed NCBI

    Stiff-Person Syndrome

    Images, from top:

    eye2eye, milos milosevic


    Pernicious Anemia and B12 Deficiency- Historically Fatal, Still Formidable

    Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

     

     

    Vitamin B12 deficiency, Addison-Biermer’s anemia- Pernicious anemia (PA) has been called many things.  Though we have a cure in vitamin B12 supplements, symptoms of pernicious anemia remain similar to historical descriptions of this once fatal disease.

    PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COM

    “Starvation in the midst of plenty”

    In 1849, if a doctor diagnosed you with pernicious anemia, he would have told you to say your prayers.  That’s because back then, the survival rate was 1-3 years.  Many scientists tried various experiments to find out what caused this fatal disease, which was as dreaded as leukemia is today, causing symptoms like tiredness, painful tingling in the arms and legs, muscular weakness, and finally, death.

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

    Anybody care for a shot of liver juice?

    PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COMFinally, Dr. William B. Castle made an important scientific breakthrough.  He conducted an experiment that involved feeding regurgitated raw hamburger meat to patients of pernicious anemia, and discovered the presence of intrinsic factor, an essential chemical found in gastric juices that is lacking in pernicious anemia patients.  Like many medical discoveries, the next one that occurred somewhat by accident.  In trying to find a cure for anemia resulting from blood loss, Dr. George Whipple produced the first cure for pernicious anemia- raw liver. Later, in 1926, scientists developed a more concentrated antidote based on the same therapy- raw liver juice, to be swallowed or injected.

    Juvenile Vitamin B12 Deficiency- the Dinosaur of all Disorders, say Scientists

    Vitamin B12 is born

    It wasn’t until two decades later that scientists finally discovered the potent ingredient in raw liver juice. In 1948, two chemists from the US and Britain isolated cobalamin as the health-giving nutrient, and named it vitamin B12.  For patients of pernicious anemia, dosages of 1000 to 4000 mcg, prescribed daily, were given orally as vitamin B12 pills or through intramuscular injection, as a vitamin B12 shot. Another method of supplementing vitamin B12 are sublingual B12 tablets.

    PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COM

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

    Pernicious anemia symptoms

    Scientists today understand that pernicious anemia is a form of megaloblastic anemia, resulting from weakened DNA synthesis in red blood cells.  People with pernicious anemia suffer from an autoimmune condition that inhibits your body’s ability to produce intrinsic factor, thus resulting in vitamin B12 deficiency.  Rarely does pernicious anemia ever result in death, since doctors today know how to diagnose the symptoms early on, and confirm diagnosis with a vitamin B12 blood test. Still, many of the symptoms of pernicious anemia are disabling, and often confused with other conditions like clinical depression, thyroid disorder, and diabetes.

    Typical symptoms of pernicious anemia are:

    • PERNICIOUS ANEMIA AND B12 DEFICIENCY- HISTORICALLY FATAL, STILL FORMIDABLE, B12PATCH.COMDiarrhea
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Pale complexion
    • Decreased appetite
    • Dizziness
    • Loss of concentration
    • Shortness of breath while exercising
    • Painful tingling or numbness in the hands and feet
    • Sore, red swollen tongue
    • Bleeding gums
    • Altered taste perception
    • Depression
    • Short-term memory loss
    • Frequent stumbling
    • Clumsiness

    Read more about pernicious anemia and B12:

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency- 4 Causes, 1 Solution

    Top Ten Signs of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

    What is vitamin B12, and why is it so important?

    Sources:

    William B. Castle

    Pernicious anemia

    Images, from top:

    HikingArtist.com, Frank Muckenheim, Mario Caruso, genericlook

    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

    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.

    BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

    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.

    BABIES, B12, AND FERTILITY- B12 DEFICIENCY DURING PREGNANCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

    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?

    Sources:

    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

    Low B12 means Low Thyroid- Hypothyroidism and B12 Deficiency

    Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

     

     

    Being tired all the time is a symptom of B12 deficiency, but it can also signal hypothyroidism (low thyroid), a thyroid disease that occurs with low B12 levels.  Because hypothyroid symptoms are similar, vitamin B12 deficiency often goes undetected.

    LOW B12 MEANS LOW THYROID- HYPOTHYROIDISM AND B12 DEFICIENCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

    B12 deficiency causes fatigue, depression, and other mood disorders often associated with an underactive thyroid. If you’ve been diagnosed with thyroiditis, then it’s also important also to recognize the symptoms of B12 deficiency, and know whether you might require more vitamin B12 (cobalamin).

    What is hypothyroidism?

    Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune thyroid disease (AITD) that occurs in the thyroid gland, causing inflammation, and reducing its ability to produce sufficient amounts of thyroid hormones.
    Hashimoto’s disease is one example of thyroiditis that causes low thyroid levels.  

    Sometimes, thyroid treatment for hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid), such as radioactive iodine or surgery, can backfire, causing underactive thyroid symptoms.

    Why am I always tired?  Symptoms of hypothyroidism

    Symptoms of low thyroid include:

    • Empty facial expressions
    • Husky, gravelly voice
    • Chronic fatigue, tiredness
    • Sluggish, droning speech patterns
    • “Brain fog,” or confusion
    • Depression
    • Uncontrolled weight gain
    • Droopy eyelids
    • Puffy, bloated face
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhea
    • Dry skin and hair
    • Sparse hair, including eyebrows
    • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
    • Muscular pain
    • Feebleness
    • Slow resting heart rate
    • Orange-colored skin on the hands and feet
    • Heavy menstrual periods in women

    LOW B12 MEANS LOW THYROID- HYPOTHYROIDISM AND B12 DEFICIENCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

    Vitamin B12 for Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

    Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms

    Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is responsible for making red blood cells, controlling DNA synthesis, regulating the nervous system, and improving cognitive functioning.  Without proper levels of vitamin B12, you may suffer neurological damage, dementia, or heart attack resulting from elevated homocysteine levels.

    Low B12 symptoms include:

    • Depression
    • Chronic fatigue, tiredness
    • Anxiety
    • Short-term memory loss
    • “Brain fog,” or confusion
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Neurosis
    • Altered taste perception
    • Swollen, red tongue
    • Tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
    • Awkward hand movements
    • Loss of balance
    • Clumsiness and stumbling
    • Sleep problems

    LOW B12 MEANS LOW THYROID- HYPOTHYROIDISM AND B12 DEFICIENCY, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

    Balance your B12, Balance your Nerves

    Thyroid disease and low B12 levels

    In a study conducted in Sapir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, Israel, patients with autoimmune thyroid disease received blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency.  Researchers noted a significantly high percentage of people with AITD who also had vitamin B12 deficiency caused by pernicious anemia, a disease that inhibits proper absorption of vitamin B12.

    Another study conducted in Pakistan by Aga Khan University produced similar results; namely, a 40% prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency among patients with hypothyroidism.

    Hypothyroidism treatment

    If you are a patient of hypothyroidism, then physicians strongly recommend routine blood testing for vitamin B12 deficiency, regardless of thyroid hormone levels.


    Read more about B12 deficiency:

    6 Degrees of Vitamin B12- B12 Deficiency and Autoimmune Disease

    Worried about Low B12 Lab Results?

    Female Rapper Missy Elliot, 15 Celebs with Thyroid Disorders

    Sources:

    Prevalence and evaluation of B12 deficiency in patients with autoimmune thyroid disease- PubMed NCBI

    Hypothyroidism- PubMed Health

    Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism- PubMed NCBI

    Hypothyroidism & Vitamin B12 Deficiency- LIVESTRONG.COM

    Vitamin B12 deficiency common in primary hypothyroidism

    Image credits, from top:

    vitasamb2001, jscreationzs, Ambro

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