What is pernicious anemia

Written By The HealthMeth Team - Updated On Saturday, February 27, 2021 6:00 PM

Pernicious anemia

Anemia is generally defined as the body’s lack of a normal number of healthy red blood cells. Pernicious anemia is one of the types of anemia that occurs as a result of the body’s lack of vitamin B12, which the body uses to manufacture new red blood cells . It is worth noting The reason for calling pernicious anemia with this name is due to the fact that this type of anemia was not able to be cured by doctors, as it caused the death of the patient, but at the present time there are vitamin B12 supplements that can be given in the form of injections or pills, so it is possible Saying that leaving the patient without treatment causes damage to his life and the emergence of serious health complications, especially if the incidence of pernicious anemia is long-term, including nerve damage, and problems at the level of the digestive systemAnd damage to the heart, and problems with the level of memory, and unfortunately, these complications can be permanent, and the patient suffers from them permanently. In fact, pernicious anemia is a rare health problem, as it has been found that its prevalence is estimated to be approximately 0.1% among people under the age of sixty, while the incidence of pernicious anemia is estimated at 1% among people over sixty Age. [1]

Symptoms of pernicious anemia

In fact , it is possible to vary the symptoms of anemia malignant pain from an infected to another, but can be summed up the most important signs and symptoms that appear infected with this type of anemia as follows: [2]

  • Feeling of general fatigue; It has been found that the sufferers feel very tired despite sleeping enough hours.
  • Having difficulty concentrating .
  • Feeling depressed.
  • Feeling of chest pain.
  • Pale or yellowish color of the skin.
  • Cold extremities, i.e. hands and feet.
  • Feeling dizzy .
  • Feeling of burning in the legs or feet, and this problem usually gets worse at night.
  • Confronting problems with balance.

Causes of pernicious anemia

A person can suffer from pernicious anemia due to several reasons, the most important of which can be summarized as follows: [3]

  • Absence of the intrinsic factor: the intrinsic factor is defined as the protein that the stomach builds .Parietal cells), and that the absence of the internal factor leads to the suffering of the patient from pernicious anemia, and many researchers and specialists have explained the absence of the intrinsic factor as the occurrence of an autoimmune health problem. As the immune system mistakenly produces antibodies that attack the parietal cells responsible for manufacturing this factor, and thus the body is no longer able to absorb vitamin B12 through the small intestine, so its levels in the body decrease, and it should be noted that there is no known cause. Due to the truth of this autoimmune disorder, it is also worth noting that the internal factor may be absent as a result of the patient undergoing surgery to remove part of the stomach, as in these operations the number of parietal cells decreases, and finally the internal factor may also be absent in children as a result of their inheriting a health problem that causes its absence. This condition is congenital pernicious anemia.
  • Impaired absorption of vitamin B12 in the small intestine: There are many factors that cause this, including:
    • The presence of a high percentage of non-beneficial bacteria in the small intestine, and this results in these bacteria consuming vitamin B12 before the small intestine absorbs it.
    • The patient has undergone surgery to remove all or part of the small intestine.
    • Taking some types of drugs that cause changes in the balance of bacteria in the intestine or lead to preventing the small intestine from absorbing vitamin B12, and examples of these drugs are: some antibiotics and some medicines used to treat diabetes and epilepsy.
    • Infection with tapeworms, as these worms feed on vitamin B12.
    • Suffering from health problems that affect the ability of the small intestine to absorb vitamin B12, such as Crohn's disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease, and wheat allergy, which is an immune disease represented by the body's inability to absorb the protein known as gluten, and immunodeficiency virus human ( in English: human Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • Lack of food for vitamin B12: The lack of food in vitamin B12 is one of the rare causes that lead to the suffering of a sufferer from pernicious anemia, and examples of cases in which a patient suffers from this problem: Cases of vegetarians are very restricted, as they do not get any food from sources Animal, milk and its derivatives increase the chance of them being exposed to pernicious anemia, and it is worth noting that fetuses born to very specific vegetarian women and depend on breastfeeding may suffer from pernicious anemia, and in such cases the specialist doctor gives the infant doses of vitamin B12 as he deems appropriate . Finally, it should be noted that the elderly, as well as people who drink alcohol, are more likely to have this problem.


  1. "Pernicious Anemia" , www.healthline.com , Retrieved July 25, 2018. Edited.
  2. "What Is Pernicious Anemia?" , www.webmd.com , Retrieved July 25, 2018. Edited.
  3. "Pernicious Anemia" , www.nhlbi.nih.gov , Retrieved July 25, 2018. Edited.