Munson Health
 
Pernicious Anemia

Back to Document

by Kahn M

(Juvenile Pernicious Anemia; Congenital Pernicious Anemia)

 

Causes

There are many possible causes of pernicious anemia. These include:
  • Inflammation of the stomach—atrophic gastritis
  • Immune system reaction to:
    • Intrinsic factor—a protein necessary for vitamin B12 absorption
    • Cells that produce both intrinsic factor and hydrochloric acid in the stomach
  • Removal of all or part of the stomach
  • Genetic defect
 

Symptoms

Pernicious anemia symptoms can vary from person-to-person. They may change or worsen over time.
Pernicious anemia may cause:
  • Sensation of pins and needles in feet or hands
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • Stinging sensation on the tongue, or a smooth red tongue
  • Substantial weight loss
  • Inability to distinguish the colors yellow and blue
  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • Loss of hunger
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Impaired sense of balance, especially in the dark
  • Ringing in the ears—tinnitus
  • Cracked lips
  • Fever
  • Inability to sense vibrations in feet or legs
  • Lightheadedness when changing to standing position
  • Rapid heart rate
 

RESOURCES

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements
http://ods.od.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

 

References


Beers MH, Berkow R, eds. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 1999.


Beers MH, Porter RS, Jones TV, eds. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 18th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Research Laboratories; 2006.


Escott-Stump S. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2002.


Kasper DL, Braunwald E, Fauci AS, Hauser SL, Longo DL, Jameson JL, eds. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc; 2005.


Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S, eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.


Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S, eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2003.


Morrison G, Hark L, eds. Medical Nutrition and Disease. 2nd ed. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science; 1999.


Pernicioius anemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 9, 2013. Accessed September 4, 2014.


Whitney EN, Rolfes SR. Understanding Nutrition. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: West/Wadsworth; 1999.


Whitney EN, Rolfes SR. Understanding Nutrition. 9th ed. Belmont, CA: West/Wadsworth; 2002.

 

Revision Information