Patient Comments: Pernicious Anemia - Symptoms

The symptoms of pernicious anemia can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Comment from: boopscor, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 06

At age 25 I became short of breath, and had weight loss due to constant vomiting and hemoglobin of 3. I was tired, very tired, and was admitted to hospital. I thought I had leukemia. Bone marrow showed no leukemia. Schilling test proved pernicious anemia. I was treated with B 12 injections every month since. That was 42 years ago and I have bloodwork and endoscopy routinely. I was able to be an emergency department nurse for 45 years. I feel great!

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Comment from: frustrated, Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I am a 29 year old female. I have been having symptoms of fatigue, hot spots, tremor on one side, foggy brain and bone pain. Here is the kicker that we can't figure out. I have pernicious anemia but my B-12 is fine.

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Comment from: Pammiepi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 18

My symptoms of pernicious anemia (PA) were weakness, fatigue, numbness in the legs, no feeling in the feet, urinary/bowel incontinence, and awful stomach pains on top of zero appetite. I was also 'off-balance', even falling a few times, and have ringing in my ears which is driving me nuts. Since I had also injured my back, they chalked it up to nerve damage due to my back and sent me to a spine doctor and physical therapy. It wasn't until I developed a wicked urinary tract infection (UTI) that I told the doctor I was concerned about my appetite because I can't eat and vomit pretty much every morning. This prompted a blood test for anemia (due to the history I gave) and revealed I had pernicious anemia. I was given an antibiotic for the UTI, and B12 super potency (6000 MCG) for the anemia. I have had a bad stomach for years (since 20) due to an H. pylori infection which landed me in the hospital for 1 week. My stomach has never been the same since and I still to this day suspect the H. pylori infection, which caused a multitude of ulcers in my stomach and I was later also diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (which I still blame on H. pylori). Now years later I have PA.

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Comment from: Kim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

After my 40th birthday, my general overall health went downhill. I was tired all the time, found it hard to focus, and was not interested in people or their conversations. I had to push myself to be polite to show interest. Then I got ill with pneumonia, took two rounds of antibiotic to treat it. Soon I was diagnosed with shingles. My hands felt numb, 'asleep' all the time. My gums bled when I brushed my teeth. Cold bothered me and I started to lose body hair. My doctor told me I was depressed, tried to prescribe me anti-depressants. I found a new doctor who listened to me. He ran tests and found I was severely vitamin B12 deficient; pernicious anemia. I take monthly shots now, and feel much better. Find a doctor who will listen to you. You know your body best.

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Comment from: Hummingbird, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 10

I suffered from extreme neurological pain and muscle spasms all over for years. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia for over 15 years. Then I started getting lost, disoriented and lost use of the toes on one foot. An elderly physician recognized the systems, tested and found I had pernicious anemia. I was retired on disability after 30 years; with 2 masters and previously lots to offer. My brain is better but still, like today, I am confused and it is like the floor falls out from below my feet. I feel tired and depressed. The neurological pain has improved 90% but the brain dysfunction is a real issue. On these days, I do not dare drive and almost fell in the shower tonight. Pernicious anemia symptoms can indeed be permanent. I know it has definitely changed my personality. I have a hard time finding joy and happiness even though I am intelligent enough to recognize how good I have it in life and am in love.

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Patient Comments

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