Pernicious anaemia is an auto immune condition whereby the red blood cell count is low,caused by impaired absorption of vitamin B12 because of a lack of the intrinsic factor.
The intrinsic factor is a glyco protein produced by the parietal cells of the stomach.Glyco proteins play an important part in embryonic development and cell functions while the parietal cells are epithelial cells that line the stomach and secrete hydrochloric acid and the intrinsic factor.
The vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin and one of the most important in the human body as it is involved in the making of DNA and keeping the body's blood and nerve cells healthy.It also prevents megaloblastic anaemia,a condition which makes a person tired and weak.This vitamin is most abudant in foods of animal origin such as fish,meat,eggs.
Fatigue or light headedness,gastritis,pale skin,pins and needles,shortness of breath,weight loss, numbness,personality changes are some of the symptoms of pernicious anaemia.
Persons with other auto immune conditions like diabetes mellitus type 1,a family history of the disease,having had a part of the stomach removed or being 60 years or older are some of the factors that increase the risk of getting the disease.
Untreated pernicious anaemia is a fatal condition due to the neurological complications it can cause,it also increases the risk of getting cancer of the stomach.
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