Pernicious Anemia: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 12/16/2020

Pernicious anemia is a type of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia (low red blood cells count). Pernicious anemia is most common in Caucasians of northern European ancestry.

Signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia can include

Cause of pernicious anemia

Impaired uptake of vitamin B12 due to the lack of a substance known as intrinsic factor (IF) produced by the stomach lining causes pernicious anemia. Doctors believe that the loss of specialized cells in the stomach that produce IF causes the condition. It has been suggested that an autoimmune reaction occurs in the body against these cells that destroys them.

Other pernicious anemia symptoms and signs

  • Bright Red, Smooth Tongue
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pallor
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Tingling Sensation of Pins and Needles in the Hands and Feet


Sickle cell disease is named after a farming tool. See Answer

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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.