Pernicious anemia is a form of anemia caused by the lack of intrinsic factor , a
substance needed in order to absorb the vitamin B12 from the intestines. Without
this intrinsic factor there is a vitamin B12 deficiency. This deficiency then
affects the bone marrows ability to create red blood cells. The main cause of
this disorder is best linked to heredity. It mostly occurs in men over 50 from a

Northern European decent. The main symptoms are weakness in arms and legs, sore
tongue, nausea, apetite loss, bleeding gums, clumsiness, pale lips, yellow eyes
and skin, shortness of breath, depression, confusion and dementia, headaches,
and poor memory. Some of the things that might cause pernicious anemia are
eating a vegetarian diet, having stomach surgery ( removing a part of the
stomach that produces intrinsic factor). Another cause could come from having
diabetes mellitus or thyroid disease. The main treatment for this disease is the
replacement of vitamin B12 into the body. Since people with pernicious anemia
cannot absorb B12 taken by mouth, they take a B12 injection into their blood
about once a month for the rest of their lives. Without this injection or
treatment the patients prognosis is very severe. The ending result would be
possible congestive heart failure or possible neurological effects( brain
damage).