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Pernicious Anemia
Posted by: Elise
Date: December 1, 2001 3:57 AM

After back surgery, I was referred to a neurologist. I relayed my symptoms and after blood tests plus a Shilling's test I was diagnosed with Pernicious Anemia. The symptoms intensified but I have experienced them since childhood. I am 45 year old woman in relatively good health. Since the time of diagnosis, I have had weekly B12 injections. These at first seem to be a miracle cure as the pain I was experiencing seem to lessen. Having felt the pain for many years, this was a welcome relief. I continue to take the injections but am experiencing great pain again. My legs, feet and ankles burn with a tingling sensation almost to the point of crippling me. The numbness is extremely uncomfortable. I have made an appointment with a neurologist for December 10. My concerns are exactly what I need to relay to him and is this diagnosis a correct one? From what I have read I'm not sure if a neurologist is the correct physician to seek answers. I have mentioned this condition to my gynecologist and general practicioner and neither were familiar with it.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at July 2, 2007 2:31 AM by Dr. Kennedy.

RE: Pernicious Anemia
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: December 1, 2001 12:03 PM

The Shilling's test is the best test we have to make that diagnosis. That plus the fact that you responded to treatment makes the diagnosis pretty solid. Assuming no other illness has intervened in the meantime to account for your symptoms, what may have intervened is the passage of time. As the body ages the ability to absorb and metabolize nutrients declines. (For example, a deficiency in folic acid will mimic the symptoms of PA almost perfectly.) In most people this can be compensated for by presenting the body with high concentrations of nutrients (high quality vitamin preparations) and making sure there is a sufficiently acid condition in the stomach for absorption (see my article Hypochlorhydria). Severe hypochlorhydria can mimic PA very effectively as well. Finally the form of B12 which is used for injection can make a difference. The best form, and the only one I would use if I had PA is methyl-cobalamine. If you give other forms of cobalamine, they must be methylated and there can be a problem with methylation.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at July 2, 2007 2:34 AM by Dr. Kennedy.



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