Vitamin B12 Deficiency Information

Vitamin B12 deficiency occurs when there is an abnormally low level of vitamin B12 absorbed in the body. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be a factor in a variety of different health conditions and disorders. B12 deficiency inhibits the body's ability to produce blood, increases blood cell destruction, and is very harmful to the nervous system. Pernicious anemia (PA) is the name of the condition that occurs as a result of severe vitamin B12 deficiency. This condition is usually caused by lack of intrinsic factor in the intestine that is required for the body to properly absorb vitamin B12.

However, even if the body contains ample amounts of intrinsic factor, vitamin B12 deficiency may be caused by a number of malabsorption disorders. Celiac disease and Crohn's disease are common causes of malabsorption that can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia. Some less common causes may include gastrointestinal surgery, pancreatic disease, intestinal parasites, and certain drugs.

Pernicious anemia is a very serious condition that requires medical attention.