Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious Anemia Pernicious anemia is a form of anemia caused by the lack of intrinsic factor , a substance needed in order to absorb the vitamin B12 from the intestines. Without this intrinsic factor there is a vitamin B12 deficiency. This deficiency then affects the bone marrows ability to create red blood cells. The main cause of this disorder is best linked to heredity. It mostly occurs in men over 50 from a Northern European decent.

The main symptoms are weakness in arms and legs, sore tongue, nausea, apetite loss, bleeding gums, clumsiness, pale lips, yellow eyes and skin, shortness of breath, depression, confusion and dementia, headaches, and poor memory. Some of the things that might cause pernicious anemia are eating a vegetarian diet, having stomach surgery ( removing a part of the stomach that produces intrinsic factor). Another cause could come from having diabetes mellitus or thyroid disease. The main treatment for this disease is the replacement of vitamin B12 into the body. Since people with pernicious anemia cannot absorb B12 taken by mouth, they take a B12 injection into their blood about once a month for the rest of their lives. Without this injection or treatment the patients prognosis is very severe.

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The ending result would be possible congestive heart failure or possible neurological effects( brain damage).


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