Pernicious Anemia: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

The deficiency of the type B12 vitamin that occurs from the uptake of impaired vitamin B-12 results in Pernicious anemia. This basically occurs due to the presence of very little B12 vitamin in the body. The B12 vitamin helps in making healthy red blood cells. Besides creating red blood cells it also keeps the nerve cells healthy. This type of vitamin is generally found in different animal foods including fish, meat, milk, eggs and even dairy products. One of the major causes behind the occurrence of pernicious anemia is the loss of the stomach cells.

Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia

Some of the commonly overlooked symptoms of pernicious anemia are:

  • Chest pain
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Depression
  • Vomiting

Neurological Symptoms

Neurological symptoms can also be seen in rare cases of pernicious anemia:

  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • A gait that is unsteady in nature
  • Spasticity

Diagnosis of Pernicious Anemia

Normally, ELISA test is used for diagnosing this condition. To know more, you can visit Pernicious anemia can be diagnosed through the following methods:

Physical Exam– At the time of the physical exam, the doctor will surely be checking for yellowish or pale skin and definitely an enlarged liver. Besides this, he might also check whether the patient had any type of intestinal surgeries.

Complete blood count– The most important type of test to know whether the individual has pernicious anemia is the complete blood count test. This test is done by taking blood from the veins. The hemoglobin is checked by a CBC. Besides checking the hemoglobin level it also checks the count of hematocrit level. The range of this level in normal can be a bit lower in ethnic and racial population. The CBC also does the job of checking the count of white blood cells and even red blood cells that are present inside the body of an individual. It even checks the count of the platelets.

Other blood tests– There are also other blood tests that should be followed after the CBC confirms that one is suffering from anemia. This test will eventually help to identify the type of anemia that the individual has. The count of young red blood cells in the body is done through the reticulocyte count.

Iron, Serum folate, iron binding capacity tests help in finding whether the individual is suffering from Pernicious anemia or not.

Treatment of Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious anemia isn’t that hard to treat but severe pernicious anemia is a bit problematic. Vitamin B12 pills and shots are the first steps for treating minor pernicious anemia. For severe anemia, shots of vitamin B12 can be pushed directly in the muscles. After the following treatment, the patient will gradually improve. The improvement in the condition of the patient will be seen clearly after a few weeks.   


Thus, it can be clearly understood what is pernicious anemia, what are its symptoms and how can it be diagnosed. Besides this, it also shows how pernicious anemia can be treated. This will surely help you all to know every little thing about pernicious anemia.

Author bio –

Daniel Mattei is a Professional writer. He has written many articles on Health. You can visit

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