What is pernicious anemia?
This is anaemia (lowered blood haemoglobin) due to a lack of vitamin B12 absorbed from the intestinal tract, due to a lack of intrinsic factor usually. This can be due to auto antibodies against the cells that produce intrinsic factor, stomach ulcers crowding out the cells that produce intrinsic factor, a hereditary lack of intrinsic factor or the after effects of surgery, illness or fish tapeworm. This gives a macrocytic anaemia. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that renders the person unable to absorb sufficient Vitamin B-12. Eventually the person becomes Vitamin B-12 deficient and must be treated. Prior to the availability of treatment persons died from the disease, hence the name pernicious. It is critical that treatment be obtained as soon as possible. You can find more information at the following website: www.pernicious-anaemia-society.org