Pernicious Anaemia

Also Known As:

Addison's Anaemia, PA

What is Pernicious Anaemia?

Pernicious Anaemia is a rare autoimmune blood disorder which occurs when there is a deficiency of Vitamin B12 in the body, due to a lack of Intrinsic Factor protein. This leads to a lack of healthy red blood cells needed to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body.

Intrinsic Factor (IF) is a protein produced by cells in the stomach which is needed to absorb Vitamin B12. In Pernicious Anaemia, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce Intrinsic Factor in the stomach.


The underlying cause of Pernicious Anaemia is an inability of the body to absorb the Vitamin B12 needed to make enough healthy red blood cells. Factors which lead to this inability include:
•   Surgical removal of part of the stomach
•   An inherited disorder


The progression of Pernicious Anaemia is slow. It may be difficult to recognize the symptoms because you may have become used to not feeling well. In rare cases of Pernicious Anaemia, people may have neurological symptoms. More common symptoms include:
•   Weakness
•   Headaches
•   Chest pain
•   Weight loss

Diagnosis & Treatment

Pernicious Anaemia is diagnosed by a Doctor using a physical examination, blood tests, and occasionally bone marrow tests.

Your doctor will treat any existing vitamin B12 deficiency and check for iron deficiency. Treatments may include:
• Vitamin B12 injections or tablets
• Complete blood counts to monitor vitamin B12 and iron levels in blood serum

Additional Information

Pernicious Anaemia is a rare condition, with a prevalence of 0.1 percent in the general population and 1.9 percent in people who are older than 60 years.

Pernicious anemia is sometimes seen in association with certain autoimmune endocrine diseases, such as Type 1 Diabetes, Hypoparathyroidism, Addison’s Disease, and Graves’ Disease.

Also see: Anaemia, Vitamin Deficiency Anaemia, Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anaemia

Medical Disclaimer

© 2018 – 2028 Mediv8. All Rights Reserved.

Published Date:

10th December 2018


Mediv8 Admin