Pernicious anemia occurs when the body is not able to absorb the right amounts of vitamin B-12, which is essential for making the body to create red blood cells. Although this condition is rare, it is important to take the right health measures to avoid it. Some of the symptoms that indicated the possibility of Pernicious anemia include weight loss, chest pains, weakness, headaches and neurological symptoms in some cases. There is no known way of preventing this condition, but there are things you can do to improve vitamin B-12 levels. Some of the measures you can take to prevent Pernicious Anemia include:
Eat foods rich in vitamin B-12
Eating foods that have a high content of vitamin B-12 can help to keep the levels of this nutrient high, hence reduce the risk of this condition. Some of the foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat (poultry, fish, liver, and beef), dairy products, eggs, vegetarian burgers and soy-based beverages. Strict vegetarians are more likely to suffer vitamin B-12 deficiency, hence the need to have the nutrient levels checked. Once the doctor identifies that there is a shortage of vitamin B-12 in your body, he/she will suggest the best solution to solve the problem.
Treating Pernicious Anemia
The treatment considered for this condition is by replenishing the level of vitamin B-12 in the body. In most cases, the doctor will inject vitamin B-12 until the body is in the right condition. The process of injecting vitamin B-12 is done gradually and the number of injections will decrease with time. The doctor will also measure iron levels in the blood serum to identify the kind of deficiency to be solved. Blood tests help to know what kind of nutrient is lacking, and what levels need to be added to solve the condition.
According to medical experts, patients are expected to limit their physical activities during the treatment period. You need to remove physical activities especially during the first weeks of treatment. Once the vitamin B-12 deficiency is solved, you will need to go for the injection once a month. You can also consider regular doses instead of the injections.
Pernicious anemia can lead to severe health effects in the long run if not well treated. One of the riskiest complications is gastric cancer. Visiting a doctor for regular checks will help to prevent such severe effects. In other cases, the patient can experience digestive tract problems, heart damage, nerve damage and memory issues. These problems can be permanent, especially if patients do not seek help in a timely manner.
Who is at risk of Pernicious Anemia?
This condition can mostly affect people whose family has a history of the disease. People of Scandinavian descent or from Northern Europe are also at a higher risk of experiencing this condition. If you have type 1 diabetes or an intestinal disease, you have a higher possibility of having Pernicious Anemia.
Taking foods rich in vitamin B-12 will help to reduce the effects of Pernicious anemia. It’s good to go for a blood test to keep this condition in check.