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Pernicious Anemia Symptoms

Updated on January 28, 2011

Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the body cannot absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract. Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia and caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12, which is needed for normal production of red blood cells. Here are the pernicious anemia symptoms that you should watch out for and take proper measures.

Pernicious anemia supplement
Pernicious anemia supplement

Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia

Symptoms of pernicious anemia may vary depending on the severity of the condition. A lack of vitamin B12 may cause nerve damage. This can cause tingling and numbness in your hands and feet, trouble walking, muscle weaknes, memory loss and confusion.

Vitamin B12 also affects the gastrointestinal system and the cardiovascular system. Symptoms include nausea and vomiting, abdominal bloating and gas, constipation, heart burn, loss of appetite, diarrhea and weight loss. Other symptoms include heart murmur, fast or irregular heartbeats, and enlarged heart.

The most common symptom of pernicious anemia is fatigue (tiredness). The following symptoms indicate pernicious anemia:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tingling and numbness of hands and feet
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding gums
  • Weight loss
  • Tongue problems

Diagnosis of pernicious anemia:

Tests to diagnose pernicious anemia include:

Complete blood count

Schilling test

Serum vitamin B12

Stomach acid tests

Treatment of pernicious anemia:

Pernicious anemia is treated using injections or vitamin 12 supplements.

Foods rich in Vitamin B12: Foods rich in vitamin B12 include eggs, meat, oranges, fortified cereals, rice, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, spinach, lettuce, broccoli, sprouts, asparagus, peanuts, beans, soy beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils.


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    • veronica456 profile image

      veronica456 7 years ago

      just found out i have pernicious anemia, very anemic but finding it hard to take my iron it makes me feel drowsy?? had 3 shots a week ago and great after first one, but after second and third i experienced dizzy spells and lightheadedness, now i am worn out and off balance xx

    • profile image

      sal 8 years ago

      anemia can be a very scary thing