Pernicious Anemia – Causes, Symptoms, Tests, Treatment, Prevention

Pernicious anemia is a disease in which large, immature and nucleated cells form in the blood and do not work as blood cells. The main cause of Pernicious anemia is impaired intake of Vitamin B12. The disease is termed as Pernicious as this disease can be cured with Vitamin B12 and most of the people who suffers Pernicious anemia died. Human body gets Vitamin B12 from animal meat and dairy products which is stored in human body for long time thus it is considered that the in adequate intake of Vitamin B12 should be prolonged in order to reach the deficiency of Vitamin B12.

Causes and symptoms

Vitamin B12 is a necessary element to produce red blood cells and in order to absorb
vitamin b12 from the food the body uses a protein called intrinsic factor which is released in the stomach by the cells. Vitamin B12 bound with intrinsic factor is absorbed in the last part of small intestine and when stomach fails to produce enough intrinsic factor the intestine is unable to absorb vitamin b12 which leads to Pernicious anemia. The malfunction inn stomach can happen due to weakened stomach lining and can also be caused when the immune system of body starts attacking the cells which are behind the formation of intrinsic factor. Pernicious anemia can also happen due to family history of diseases or the patient has a medical history of autoimmune endocrine disorder. Pernicious anemia takes time to show its time, it is examined that the symptoms of Pernicious anemia do not occur before the age of 30 in adults.

The symptoms of Pernicious anemia are fatigue, lack of energy, loss of appetite, diarrhea, problem in concentrating, bleeding gums, swollen and red tongue, pale skin. Pernicious anemia also causes nerve which can lead to depression, loss of balance, numbness, tingling of hands and legs, confusion or dementia. There are very rare cases in which infants and children are born with the inability to produce enough intrinsic factor. Pernicious anemia happens at the time of birth is inherited which means that both mother and father of the children have defective gene.


The recommended tests for the proper diagnosis of Pernicious anemia are schilling test, complete blood count, bone marrow examination, serum LDH, cholesterol test, bilirubin, gastrin, TIBC and peripheral smear.


The first and foremost recommended treatment for Pernicious anemia is the monthly
injections of Vitamin B12 which helps in increasing the quantity of Vitamin B12 in the
body. In people who are suffering from severe Pernicious anemia these injections are
recommended more often in a month. The elderly patients are recommended to take
Vitamin B12 supplements from mouth in addition to the regular injections as taking
Vitamin B12 supplements from mouth is highly effective. The patient suffering from
Pernicious anemia needs to have a well balanced diet which is full of elements like folic
acid, iron and vitamin C which encourages the development of healthy blood cells.


Till today there are no Known ways to prevent Pernicious anemia.