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Though rare, medication can be cause of ED

By Keith Roach, M.D. on

628 Virginia Dr.

Orlando, FL 32803

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DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife and I had a discussion about pernicious anemia. I've had it for over six years. Is there a cure? -- B.M.

ANSWER: There is not a cure for pernicious anemia, which is caused by an autoimmune destruction of the stomach cells that secrete a protein called "intrinsic factor," which is required for vitamin B-12 to be absorbed efficiently. Without vitamin B-12, anemia is common, but people also may develop neurologic defects, especially numbness, and sometimes psychiatric changes as well.

Fortunately, there is very effective and easy treatment. B-12 can be given by monthly injection, eliminating the need for intrinsic factor. Even easier is giving massive oral doses of vitamin B-12: An oral dose of 1 milligram is 1,000 times more than what is normally needed (1 microgram), and allows enough B-12 to be absorbed. Both injection and oral B-12 are good treatments. I recommend oral treatment, but many of my patients are so used to getting a monthly B-12 shot that they continue to do so, even though a pill a day is cheap and effective.

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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or request an order form of available health newsletters at 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. Health newsletters may be ordered from www.rbmamall.com.

(c) 2016 North America Syndicate Inc.

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