Pernicious anemia, the most common type of megaloblastic anemia, is caused by malabsorption of vitamin B₁₂. It’s characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor, which is needed to absorb vitamin B₁₂ and widespread RBC destruction.
If not treated, pernicious anemia is fatal. Its manifestations subside with treatment, but some neurological deficits caused by this condition may be permanent.
How it pernicious anemia occurs
Pernicious anemia is characterized by decreased production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach and a deficiency of intrinsic factor, which is normally secreted by the parietal cells of the gastric mucosa and is essential for Vitamin B₁₂ absorption in the ileum. The resulting Vitamin B₁₂ deficiency inhibits cell growth, particularly of RBCs with poor oxygen-carrying capacity. It also causes neurologic damage by impairing myelin formation.
Pernicious anemia causes
Pernicious anemia results when the body lacks intrinsic factor-a protein produced by the parietal cells of the stomach lining. Without it, vitamin B₁₂ cannot be properly absorbed in the ileum.
An inability to make intrinsic factor is the most common cause of the disease. In adults this may be a result of chronic gastritis or of surgery to remove the stomach. Rarely, infants are born with congenital pernicious anemia, a recessive inherited disorder in which the intrinsic factor produced is ineffective.
Other causes of pernicious anemia include autoimmune malfunctions in which the body produces antibodies that destroy either stomach lining or the intrinsic factor.
Pernicious anemia symptoms
Pernicious anemia symptoms may include:
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Appetite loss
- Paleness of skin
- Difficult concentration
- Bleeding gums
- Red, swollen tongue
Some other nervous symptoms may include
- Tingling and numbness of hands and feet
- Loss of balance
Diagnosis of pernicious anemia
In order to diagnose pernicious anemia physical examination is very necessary. Diagnostic tests mainly include:
- Bone marrow examination
- Reticulocyte count
- Complete blood count
- Schilling test
- Methylamalonic acid level
- Vitamin B₁₂ level
Some other tests may include:
- Cholesterol test
- Leukocyte alkaline phosphatase
- Peripheral smear
Homeopathic treatment for pernicious anemia
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat pernicious anemia but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat pernicious anemia that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of pernicious anemia:
Arsenic Album, Calcaria Carb, Carcinosin, Crotolus H, Manganum Act, Natrum Mur, Phosphorous, Picric Acid, Thyreoidinum, Trinitrotoluenum, Ferrum Met, Sulphur, Ferrum Phos, and many other medicines.