Pernicious Anemia: Not Just in the Past or Downton Abbey – B12 LOVE is Here to Help!

Does the condition “pernicious anemia” sound old-fashioned to you? Like you can’t possibly have such a condition nowadays? Pernicious anemia is actually a common, treatable condition. We here at B12 LOVE are hoping the final episode of Downton Abbey prompts many internet searches of “pernicious anemia” when viewed.

Coined in 1872 by German physician Anton Biermer, 50 years before Vitamin B12 was discovered, the term is still widely used in the medical community. Pernicious anemia, also known as Addison’s anemia or Vitamin B12 anemia, is important to diagnose as early as possible. See your doctor if you are often feeling lightheaded, have ongoing fatigue, shortness of breath, an inflamed stomach, an unhealthy pale appearance (not your usual vibrant looking self), and an uncomfortable sensation of pins and needles in your hands and feet.

If you find you do have pernicious anemia, B12 LOVE has good news. Unlike the final episode of Downton Abbey where such a diagnosis was considered grave news with lowered life expectancy, this condition is easily and effectively treatable with Vitamin B12 injections! Pernicious means having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way. Having an undiagnosed or untreated Vitamin B12 deficiency could also be described as such.

Pernicious anemia is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B12, which is an essential vitamin needed for the healthy, normal production of red blood cells. Pernicious anemia is often hereditary, so knowing your extended family’s health history is important. There are also general risk factors including a history of autoimmune endocrine disorders and Scandinavian or Northern European heritage.

Also, if you are given a generalized finding that you are anemic, it is important to learn the specific type of anemia, as there are many forms. Anemia in general is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. Having anemia tends to make you feel especially tired and weak in your day-to-day activities.

There are many forms (more than 400 types!) of anemia, each with its own cause, such as iron deficiency anemia, sickle cell anemia, megaloblastic anemia (also related to B12), along with pernicious anemia. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe. See your doctor if you suspect you have anemia.

Treatments for anemia in general range from taking supplements, Vitamin B12 injections, to undergoing medical procedures. You also should be eating a healthy, varied diet. We here at B12 LOVE believe in the power of Vitamin B12, and the many health benefits associated with it! Check out our 7 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area!

All the best,
B12 LOVE Team

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