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Fight for sufferers of Pernicious Anemia

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Due to the distribution of B12 serum as a weight lose catalyst, among other uses, a shortage of B12 serum has become a possibility in multiple communities. B12 serum is used to treat Pernicious anemia, Pernicious Anemia is a genetic condition that causes a vitamin B12 deficiency.It also causes a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the body cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 (folate) from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper development of red blood cells, A person with pernicious anemia is missing the stomach cells that produce intrinsic factor, a protein that is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.
People with mild anemia may have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. More typical symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia include:
-Diarrhea or constipation
-Fatigue, lack of energy, or light-headedness when standing up or with exertion
-Loss of appetite
-Pale skin
-Problems concentrating
-Shortness of breath, mostly during exercise
-Swollen, red tongue or bleeding gums
-Nerve damage caused by vitamin B12 deficiency that has been present for a longer time may cause:
*Confusion or change in mental status (dementia) in severe or advanced cases
*Depression
*Loss of balance
*Numbness and tingling of hands and feet

Because pernicious anemia is so "rare", doctors usually find it in the search for other causes such as heart disease, neurological disorders, and other forms of anemia. Pernicious Anemia is routinely misdiagnosed, leaving sufferers searching for answers. Pernicious anemia is known by many other names, to include:  megaloblastic anemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, combined systems disease, and congenital pernicious anemia. 

Pernicious anemia has been misdiagnosed from mental issues such as Bipolar, depression, an schizophrenia, to things like Acute Luekemia, in which patients have almost recieved fatal doses of radiation. 

There are three main ways of acquiring pernicious anemia.
Inability for the stomache to produce a protein in the stomach called intrinsic factor, This protein is made by the cells in the lining of the stomach, when this protein is not produced B12 is not absorbed by the body resulting in pernicious anemia. There is no cure, but it is treatable through B12 injections.
Eating a vegetarian diet lacking in B12 or eating a poor diet, This generally can be resolved by a change in diet to foods that contain more B12. This is "cureable"
Intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease interfere with bodily absorption of B12, this can also affect the body's ability to produce Intrinsic Factor. Curing the disorder may cure the deficiency, but there isn't much research suporting any such thing. Treatable, may not be curable.

Due to rapid demand for B12 serum as a weight loss catalyst, among other things, a while ago it has began to become unavailable, or more difficult to obtain, to patients suffering from pernicious anemia, and what was available was not enough to last, or would become a financial strain on sufferers attempting to pursue their treatment.

During this time of unavailabilit, or "shortage", B12 was no long sold in a majority of small town stores and only sold by large stores such as C.V.S or Wall-greens, who were beginning to carry and distribute less and less quantities of B12 serum due to the incline in its use as a weight loss catalyst among other things. Though this is not a continuing problem now, it does not need to become one.

If It becomes more and more difficult to purchase B12 serum again, due to that difficulty, a a financial strain to purchase B12 serum may occur and many patients suffering from Pernicious Anemia may go untreated, be it by choice, or by inability to seek treatment or afford it.

Pernicious anemia needs to be treated with supplementation of vitamin B12 and folic acid. If it is not treated, the nerve cells will ultimately die and neuropathy takes place.
People with untreated pernicious anemia for the long term may be subject to heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, stomach cancer, confusion, and memory loss. If left untreated the patient will have difficulty with activities involved in daily living and may suffer damage to the heart, nervous system, and digestive tract.

While there is no cure for this disorder, regular injections of vitamin B12 will prevent further damage to the body systems. Sufferers will notice immediate results within hours of being injected with vitamin B12.

In order to prevent this shortage (that almost happened), B12 needs to be handled appropriately, there either needs to be an increase in production of B12,  a decrease in the demand for B12, or monitoring of the use of B12.
Action needs to be taken, and Awareness needs to be raised.

I ask that you sign this petition, To assure that those suffering from this disease can continue to recieve treatment and live a long and healthy life, as well as to Raise awarness of this disease inorder to prevent the misdiagnosis of such. The word "Pernicious" means "Deadly", because in the past, before treatment was available, it was a fatal disease, Don't allow ignorance of this disease to allow it to become fatal again. Sign your name, and share what you have learned from reading this with your friends and family, tell people what Pernicious Anemia is and what it does. Educate yourself and others, so that in this way, people will not have to suffer due to misdiagnosis, so they will not be at the mercy of "deadly" anemia.


For more information about Pernicious Anemia:
 http://journals.lww.com/smajournalonline/fulltext/2004/03000/pernicious_anemia_presentations_mimicking_acute.19.aspx
 
http://www.nytimes.com/ref/health/healthguide/esn-anemia-ess.html?pagewanted=all
http://www.oasisadvancedwellness.com/health-articles/2011/10/misdiagnosed-b12-deficiency-know-the-symptoms.html
 
http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/condition_info_details.asp?disease_id=278
 
http://b12awareness.org/about-b12/incidence/ 



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