Pernicious anemia is a type of vitamin B12 anemia. The body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. You get this vitamin from eating foods such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products. A special protein, called intrinsic factor (IF), binds vitamin B12 so that it can be absorbed in the intestines.
How do you develop pernicious anemia?
Pernicious anemia is one cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia. It’s thought mainly to be caused by an autoimmune process that makes a person unable to produce a substance in the stomach called intrinsic factor. This substance is needed to absorb dietary vitamin B-12 in the small intestine.
What is the main cause of pernicious anemia?
Pernicious anemia is a rare blood disorder characterized by the inability of the body to properly utilize vitamin B12, which is essential for the development of red blood cells. Most cases result from the lack of the gastric protein known as intrinsic factor, without which vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed.
Who is most at risk for pernicious anemia?
Pernicious anemia is more common in people of Northern European and African descent than in other ethnic groups. Older people also are at higher risk for the condition. This is mainly due to a lack of stomach acid and intrinsic factor, which prevents the small intestine from absorbing vitamin B12.
Is pernicious anemia curable?
As pernicious anemia is an autoimmune condition, people may need life-long treatment to control symptoms. Doctors can treat the vitamin B-12 deficiency. However, there is not yet a cure for the immune system reaction that causes this deficiency to occur.
Does pernicious anemia shorten your life?
Currently, early recognition and treatment of pernicious anemia provide a normal, and usually uncomplicated, lifespan. Delayed treatment permits progression of the anemia and neurologic complications. If patients are not treated early in the disease, neurological complications can become permanent.
Can pernicious anemia turn into leukemia?
Individuals with pernicious anemia were also at significantly increased risk of developing myeloma (OR: 1.55), acute myeloid leukemia (OR: 1.68) and myelodysplastic syndromes (OR: 2.87).
Can you drink alcohol if you have pernicious anemia?
Do not drink alcohol while you are being treated. Alcohol can prevent the body from absorbing vitamin B12. Eat foods that have folate (also called folic acid).
What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?
A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:
- vision problems.
- memory loss.
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.
Do B12 tablets work for pernicious anemia?
For long-term maintenance therapy, oral vitamin B12 replacement can be effective in patients with pernicious anemia.
At what age can you get pernicious anemia?
Babies with this type of anemia do not make enough intrinsic factor. Or they cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 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.
How often should you have B12 injections for pernicious anemia?
For Pernicious Anemia
B12 may be injected into a muscle or under the skin at 100 mcg daily for a week, every other day for another week, and then every three or four days for a month. Thereafter, 100 mcg should be injected once a month for life.
What blood test shows pernicious anemia?
Your doctor may draw a sample of your blood to check for antibodies to intrinsic factor. Their presence indicates pernicious anemia. Methylmalonic acid test. You may undergo a blood test to measure the presence of a substance called methylmalonic acid.
How long does it take to recover from pernicious anemia?
Recovery from vitamin B12 deficiency takes time and you may not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment. Improvement may be gradual and may continue for up to six to 12 months.
Does pernicious cause weight gain?
Despite the numerous processes in which vitamin B12 is involved, there’s little evidence to suggest that it has any influence on weight gain or loss.
What is the difference between pernicious anemia and B12 deficiency?
Pernicious anemia is a deficiency in red blood cells caused by lack of vitamin B12 in the blood. Pernicious anemia is defined as a type of vitamin B12 deficiency that results from impaired uptake of vitamin B-12 due to the lack of a substance known as intrinsic factor (IF) produced by the stomach lining.