Megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B-12 deficiency due to impaired absorption. The impaired absorption of vitamin B-12 is secondary to atrophic gastritis and loss of gastric parietal cells.

Symptoms of Pernicious Anaemia

The following features are indicative of Pernicious Anaemia:
  • chest pain
  • feeling tired
  • shortness of breath
  • pale skin
  • a smooth red tongue
  • numbness in the hands and feet
  • poor reflexes
  • poor balance
  • confusion
  • depression
  • loss of appetite
  • desire to eat ice or other non-food things
It is possible that Pernicious Anaemia shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Pernicious Anaemia

The following are the most common causes of Pernicious Anaemia:
  • lack of vitamin B12 intake
  • weakened stomach lining
  • an autoimmune response
  • surgical removal of part of the stomach
  • tapeworm infection
  • celiac disease

Risk Factors for Pernicious Anaemia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Pernicious Anaemia:
  • older people
  • family history
  • Addison's disease
  • Graves' disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • intestinal infections
  • use of certain seizure medicines
  • Northern European and African descent people

Prevention of Pernicious Anaemia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Pernicious Anaemia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • intake of foods high in vitamin B12 content
  • eat well balanced diet

Occurrence of Pernicious Anaemia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Pernicious Anaemia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Pernicious Anaemia can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Pernicious Anaemia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Pernicious Anaemia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Pernicious Anaemia:
  • Physical exam and medical history: To diagnose pernicious anemia
  • Complete blood count (CBC) test: To measure the hemoglobin and hematocrit levels
  • Reticulocyte count: To determine the number of young red blood cells in the blood
  • Bone marrow tests: To evaluate whether the bone marrow is healthy and making enough red blood cells

Doctor for Diagnosis of Pernicious Anaemia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Pernicious Anaemia:
  • Hematologist

Complications of Pernicious Anaemia if untreated

Yes, Pernicious Anaemia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Pernicious Anaemia is left untreated:
  • gastric carcinoid tumors
  • gastric cancer
  • nervous system problems
  • depression
  • memory loss
  • excessive fatigue

Self-care for Pernicious Anaemia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Pernicious Anaemia:
  • Get enough vitamin B12 in the diet: Helps in preventing pernicious anemia caused by dietary factors

Patient Support for Treatment of Pernicious Anaemia

The following actions may help Pernicious Anaemia patients:
  • Genetic counseling: Beneficial for affected individuals and their families

Time for Treatment of Pernicious Anaemia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Pernicious Anaemia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Pernicious Anaemia.

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