Pernicious anemia

General or Other | - Others | Pernicious anemia (Disease)


Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have a sufficient number of red blood cells or hemoglobin.

Hemoglobin is present within red blood cells and is important for carrying oxygen to all tissues of the body. In males, anemia is typically defined as hemoglobin level of less than 13. 5 gram/100ml, while in women, a hemoglobin level of less than 12. 0 gram/100ml is considered to be indicative of anemia. These definitions may vary slightly depending on the source and the laboratory reference used.

Causes and Risk factors

Pernicious is a term that means destructive, injurious or deadly. By definition, pernicious anemia refers specifically to vitamin B-12 deficiency resulting from a lack of production of IF in the stomach.

Common causes of pernicious anemia include: weakened stomach lining (atrophic gastritis), an autoimmune condition in which the bodys immune system attacks intrinsic factor protein or the cells that make it.

However, vitamin B-12 absorption is a complex process, and other causes of vitamin B-12 deficiency exist.

Very rarely, pernicious anemia is passed down through families. This is called congenital pernicious anemia. Babies with this type of anemia do not make enough intrinsic factor or cannot properly absorb vitamin 12 in the small intestine.

In adults, symptoms of pernicious anemia are usually not seen until after age 30. The average age of diagnosis is age 60.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Pernicious anemia may also affect the results of the following tests: bilirubin, cholesterol test, gastrin, leukocyte alkaline phosphatase, peripheral smear, TIBC.

Treatment for pernicious anemia includes vitamin B12 supplementation, which is administered through injection. Oral vitamin B12 supplements are not absorbed well because patients with pernicious anemia lack adequate intrinsic factor in the stomach lining. Treatment with vitamin B12 injections can prevent the permanent neurological damage that may result from deficiency of this vitamin. ...