Pernicious anemia (PA) is a condition that occurs with vitamin B12 deficiency. Getting help for pernicious anemia requires intense supplementation of vitamin B12, in addition to treatment of any underlying causes that may interfere with your ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.
What is Pernicious Anemia?
Pernicious anemia is a condition that can occur as a result of an autoimmune dysfunction or gastritis (damage to the parietal cells of the stomach). With pernicious anemia, your body is unable to digest satisfactory amounts of vitamin B12 from foods such as beef, chicken, fish, or dairy products. As a result, you begin to suffer the ill effects of severe vitamin B12 deficiency.
One of the most devastating signs of pernicious anemia is your body’s inability to produce enough healthy, functional red blood cells, which are needed to deliver oxygen to your brain, organs, and tissues. Many of the ailments you experience with pernicious anemia (brain fog, fatigue, memory problems) are a natural result of insufficient oxygen in your blood supply.
Getting Help for Pernicious Anemia
First, visit your doctor regularly for blood tests, vitamin B12 supplements, and check-ups. Outside of your doctor’s office, getting help for pernicious anemia can be as simple as spending a few hours on the internet combing the various websites that provide the most up-to-date medical publications and advice for vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia.
Pernicious Anemia Support Groups
There are few support groups available for pernicious anemia- perhaps because it is no longer deemed a life-threatening illness, thanks to the modern invention of vitamin B12 supplementation. Listed are a few advocacy groups online that provide helpful information about pernicious anemia.
Pernicious Anemia on Facebook
Facebook has many advocacy and support group pages for pernicious anemia that can also be wonderful resources. Some of these groups are closed, so you will have to ask the administrator permission to join.
- The Pernicious Anaemia Society
- Pernicious Anemia Awareness
- Pernicious Anemia Awareness Group!!
- B12 pernicious anemia group
- Neuropathy Support Group
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Pernicious Anaemia – What do you know?…And what they don’t tell you!
- Vitamin B12 deficiency stories of misdiagnosis
Read more about Pernicious Anemia
- Pernicious Anemia Fact Sheet: What is PA?
- Pernicious Anemia Fact Sheet: Risk Factors and Treatment
- Pernicious Anemia (MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia)
Pernicious Anemia Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency blood testing is just one way of diagnosing pernicious anemia- and it’s not really the most accurate indicator, as the blood tests are designed only to catch lethally-low levels of vitamin B12, not medium-low levels that can still cause debilitating symptoms, such as nerve damage, memory loss, and immobility.
The best gauge for measuring vitamin B12 levels is the existence of symptoms that correlate strongly with pernicious anemia. That’s why it’s vitally important to recognize the signs and inform your doctor should they appear.
Typical symptoms of pernicious anemia include:
- Constant fatigue
- Long-time depression
- Short-term memory loss
- Slow speaking
- Painful numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Brain fog (confusion)
- Poor attention levels
- Poor problem-solving
- Muscle spasms
- Partial paralysis
- Poor motor skills coordination
- Poor balance
- Electric shock sensations in the neck
We’d love your opinion!
Can you add to our list of support groups or advocacy associations that offer help for pernicious anemia?
If you suffer from pernicious anemia or vitamin B12 deficiency, have you found this helpful?
What is your favorite method for supplementing vitamin B12- injections or alternative forms of vitamin B12 that dissolve into the bloodstream?
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