Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

About Pernicious Anemia

Anemia is a common pathological condition characterized by abnormally low counts of red blood cells or hemoglobin. There are different types of anemias, of which, one that is caused as a result of vitamin B12 deficiency is termed as Pernicious Anemia. This type of anemia is caused as a result of the body’s inability to absorb vitamin B12 required for production of red blood cells.

Pernicious Anemia is quite rare in nature with less than 1% of global population being affected by this condition. This usually occurs in individuals above the age of 60. The term “pernicious” was given to this condition since there was no cure for this disease previously. However, this condition is easily treated now with vitamin B12 supplementation or injections.

If Pernicious Anemia is left untreated, it can lead to many potentially serious complications. Coming to causes, gastritis especially atrophic gastritis is believed to be the primary cause behind the development of Pernicious Anemia.

How Does Gastritis Cause Pernicious Anemia?

Gastritis, especially Atrophic Gastritis develops as a result of gradual inflammation of the lining of the stomach. The primary cause for Atrophic Gastritis is infection caused by H. Pylori bacterium.

The Intrinsic factor is a special type of protein which is present in the intestines. This special protein is extremely useful in absorbing vitamin B12. When an individual has Atrophic Gastritis, the body is not able to make adequate amounts of Intrinsic Factor protein. The lack of adequate amounts of Intrinsic Factor protein results in affecting the body’s ability to completely absorb vitamin B12. This over time results in vitamin B12 deficiency and ultimately Pernicious Anemia. In conclusion, gastritis is the primary cause of Pernicious Anemia. As a result of gastritis, the body loses its ability to absorb vitamin B12 causing vitamin B12 deficiency which ultimately results in development of Pernicious Anemia.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 19, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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