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Pernicious Anemia and Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

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Pernicious anemia facts

  • Pernicious anemia is a condition caused by too little vitamin B12 in the body. It is a form of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
  • Vitamin B12 helps the body make healthy red blood cells and helps keep nerve cells healthy. It is found in animal foods, including meat, fish, eggs, milk, and other dairy products.
  • The most common cause of pernicious anemia is the loss of stomach cells that make intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor helps the body absorb vitamin B12 in the intestine. The loss of parietal cells may be due to destruction by the body's own immune system.
  • Pernicious anemia can cause permanent damage to nerves and other organs if it goes on for a long time without being treated. It also raises the risk for developing stomach cancer.
  • Common signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia are:
    • Feeling tired and weak
    • Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
    • A bright red, smooth tongue
  • Pernicious anemia is diagnosed using family history and medical history, a physical exam, and diagnostic tests and procedures.
  • Pernicious anemia is easy to treat with vitamin B12 pills or shots as well as diet changes. Life-long treatment is needed.
  • Complications caused by untreated pernicious anemia may be reversible with treatment.
  • Doctors don't know how to prevent pernicious anemia that is caused by the immune system destroying stomach cells.
  • Eating foods high in vitamin B12 and folic acid can help prevent vitamin B12 deficiency caused by a poor diet.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/4/2013

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Pernicious Anemia - Symptoms Question: The symptoms of pernicious anemia can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?
Pernicious Anemia - Treatments Question: What was the effective treatment for you pernicious anemia?
Pernicious Anemia - Share Your Experience Question: What was the cause of your megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia? Please share your experience.
Pernicious Anemia - Causes Question: Was there an underlying condition that caused your pernicious anemia?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/pernicious_anemia/article.htm

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