Pernicous Anemia Information

Pernicious Anemia (PA) is a deficiency anemia that only invovles vitamin B12 and comes from a need of intrinsic factor.

PA is most likely an autoimmune disease. Cells are destroyed by the immune system in the stomach that emits intrinsic factor. It is common to have both chronic swelling of the stomach lining (atrophic gastritis) and antibodies fighting intrinsic factor cells.

PA is commonly referred to as any anemia with a deficiency in vitamin B12. This deficiency may be caused by malabsorption of dietary B12, even though normal levels of intrinsic factor are seen. Celiac disease and Crohn's disease can cause B12 malabsorption that leads to anemia. Gastrointestinal surgery, intestinal parasites, and certain drugs are also common causes of B12 deficiency. Pregnancy, hyperthyroidism, and advanced stages of cancer can cause need for B12, which can lead to a state of deficiency.