Ailments & ConditionsYour Health

What Is Pernicious Anemia?

Pernicious anemia is a rare disorder that causes a lack of red blood cells in the body. This rare condition only occurs in around 0.1 percent of the general population. There were once not so many treatment options available, which makes it quite fatal. If left untreated, many possible complications may happen. Fortunately, it is now quite simple to treat it with vitamin B12 oral supplements or injections. [1]


Typically, symptoms of pernicious anemia show up gradually. At first, they tend to be mild and become worse over time if left untreated. One of the earliest signs can be mild tiredness. Other common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal bloating, racing heartbeat, dizziness, shortness of breath, prickling or tingling of the skin, limb weakness, pale skin, poor balance, darkened skin, swollen extremities, weight loss, and reduced cognitive function. In the long run, dementia or psychosis would happen if these problems are not treated properly. Those with pernicious anemia also tend to have a higher risk of suffering from autoimmune diseases than others. These include vitiligo, autoimmune thyroid disease, and type 1 diabetes. [2]