Pernicious anemia is a condition in which the body is unable to produce a sufficient number of healthy red blood cells. In many instances, a lack of vitamin B12 in the body is a contributing cause to the development of this condition. Choosing the right type of pernicious anemia treatment typically involves assessing the root cause for the condition and just how little B12 is in the body, and then taking action to correct the imbalance and stimulate the production of healthy red blood cells.
Depending on the range of symptoms that are exhibited by the patient, it may be possible to employ a pernicious anemia treatment that focuses on the use of oral supplements of B12. In some cases, the attending physician may urge the patient to take a B complex vitamin supplement along with a separate B12 supplement. The reason for this is that all the B vitamins help to support the absorption of one another. As a result, the B12 is able to enter the bloodstream with greater efficiency, and provide the building blocks needed to encourage healthy cell production.
When oral supplements are used as part of the pernicious anemia treatment, it is not unusual for the supplements to be taken with each meal. This provides a continual supply of the vitamin to the body throughout the day. As the levels increase, the body finds it easier to produce healthy red blood cells and symptoms such as fatigue begin to fade.
An alternative to a pernicious anemia treatment series that involves oral supplements is the administration of B12 shots. This is sometimes necessary when the lack of the vitamin in the system is more pronounced, and there is a need to stimulate production of red blood cells immediately. The shots are likely to occur on a regular schedule, including anywhere from once a week to three or four times each week. Once levels are back within a normal range, the physician may switch the patient to a daily oral supplement, or recommend a B12 booster shot once a month.
In more severe situations, patients may be provided substantial amounts of B12 through an intravenous feed. While a pernicious anemia treatment of this type may take place in a doctor’s office, there are situations where the treatments must take place in a clinic or hospital, where the reaction of the patient can be monitored closely. As with other forms of treatment, once levels of B12 are back within a normal range and the red blood count is improved, some form of maintenance treatment may be used in lieu of the IV feeds.