This anemia, or megaloblastic anemia, is a decrease in red blood cells when the body cannot absorb vitamin B12 well from the digestive tract. The absorption of vitamin B12 is achieved thanks to the intrinsic factor; This is a protein produced by stomach cells. When this process does not work properly, we are facing a pernicious anemia.
Due to gastric cell damage, you will suffer from a lack of intrinsic factor. This causes heartburn and autoimmunity problems that act against the intrinsic factor. Other causes can be the following: alcohol, diet glorious in nutrients rich in vitamin B12.
This condition can also be associated with the following diseases of autoimmune origin, such as: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diabetes, Addison’s disease, hypoparathyroidism, thyrotoxicosis, vitiligo. Generally pernicious anemia occurs in people over 60 years of age. Few cases have occurred in people in their 30s.
Its symptoms are:
- In most cases there is a great deal of fatigue and a lack of appetite
- Lack of sensation in the extremities.
- Red and painful tongue.
- Lack of concentration.
- Respiratory problems.
Doctors say that diet in this condition is very important. They recommend foods rich in vitamin B12. Vegetarians or strict vegans tend to be deficient in vitamin B12 (do not eat meat, fish, eggs or any dairy products).
In addition to animal protein, people can take a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 in eggs and dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese, kefir, etc.). Other foods to combat it are: vegetables, almonds, whole grains, pumpkin, carrots, kiwi, blueberries, grapes, etc.
People can also resort to natural therapies. These are:
- Specialists say that acupuncture and moxibustion have the role of strengthening the defense and calming the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
- Aromatherapy: rub the extremities (hands and feet) with a sweet almond base oil where we add about 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of lemon balm, giving a light massage on the hands and feet for numbness caused by vitamin B12 deficiency in pernicious anemia.