preview

Pernicious anemia

Satisfactory Essays
Anemia is a disorder of the blood. It occurs when your body does not produce enough erythrocytes or red blood cells. Without the erythrocytes oxygen cannot be adequately delivered to the tissues and organs throughout the body. There are several different types of anemia. Some of these include haemorrhagic, iron-deficiency, aplastic, and pernicious. Pernicious anemia is one of many types of the larger family of megaloblastic anemias. It is a condition in which the body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells because it doesn't have enough vitamin B12 circulating in the blood. It is characterized by an abnormal or megaloblastic type of erythropoiesis in which red blood cells appear larger than regular red blood cells. These large numbers of immature or incompletely developed cells do not function like healthy red blood cells leading to oxygen deficiency throughout the organs and tissues of the body. Since these cells are underdeveloped they also have a shorter life expectancy.

Pernicious anemia has been studied by many different researchers, starting in the late 17th century. Between 1876 and 1877 William Osler and William Gardner studied a patient they suspected of pernicious anemia. Their findings were that the patient had the following symptoms: numbness in the fingers, hands, and forearms, the gastric mucosa was atrophic, and high levels of red bloods cells containing nuclei were found in the bone marrow. Further studies found that the blood of a patient with this type of anemia had abnormally large red blood cells with low haemoglobin levels. Doctors during the 20th century knew that patients were anemic but common cures for anemia did not work. This was until the 1920’s when two physicians, George Minot and William Murphy,...

... middle of paper ...

...heir health. Although PA is relatively easy to treat, signs and symptoms can go unnoticed and this disease can be fatal. If untreated, the body cells attack its own cells in the body until there isn’t any fight left. First, this disease starts on a cellular level, destroying cells. This starts a domino effect in the body because the body doesn’t have enough oxygen rich red blood cells, but the body is still producing cells without haemoglobin. This loss of haemoglobin leads to low blood pressure, and thus causing edema in the ankles. The heart slowly loses the contractility of the muscles, and causes heart murmurs as well as cardiac pain. Then the spinal column is affected from the loss of oxygen in the blood, causing lower spinal issues which leads to trouble walking, and holding yourself upright. As is evidently clear if left untreated death will eventually occur.
Get Access