Pernicious Anemia and Celiac

As someone who has both Pernicious Anemia and Celiac disease, I was curious to see if there are any links between the two.

What is Pernicious Anemia?

According to Healthline

Pernicious anemia is one cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia. It’s thought mainly to be caused by an autoimmune process that makes a person unable to produce a substance in the stomach called intrinsic factor. This substance is needed to absorb dietary vitamin B-12 in the small intestine. Vitamin B-12 is a required nutrient that helps allow proper red blood cell production and function in the body.

|Pernicious anemia is a rare condition, with a prevalence of 0.1 percent in the general population and 1.9 percent in people who are older than 60 years, according to a 2012 studyTrusted Source in the Journal of Blood Medicine. However, up to 50 percentTrusted Source of anemia from vitamin B-12 deficiency in adults is caused by pernicious anemia. This type of anemia is called “pernicious” because it was once considered a deadly disease. This was due to the lack of available treatment.” To read more on this article from Healthline click here.”

What is the Cause of Pernicious Anemia?

Common causes of pernicious anemia include Weakened stomach lining (atrophic gastritis) – An autoimmune condition – Genetics – congenital pernicious anemia is extremely rare and is passed down through families.” 

Risk factors include Family history of the disease – Northern European/Scandinavian descent – Type 1 diabetes – Surgical removal of part of the intestine or stomach – Vegans without enough B12 in their diet – People age 60 and above.

Following complications can occur if the condition is undiagnosed and untreated for a long time: Gastric Cancer – Nerve Damage – Digestive tract problems – Memory problems/confusion.” Source: Focus Medica

Although one of the causes can be an autoimmune disorder there doesn’t seem to be any research that directly links celiac disease and pernicious anemia. Celiac disease is more common. If pernicious anemia was heavily linked to celiac disease then it would be more common. Because I have this disease I have to give myself monthly B-12 injections. Unfortunately, I was deficient in B12 long before it was discovered that I had pernicious anemia. I took oral supplements for years that never seemed to do much good. Both celiac and pernicious anemia are linked to nerve damage (which I have). I have been told my “Brain Fog” is because of my depression. There isn’t much more I can add, other than if you are taking B12 supplements and they don’t seem to be keeping your B12 levels at a healthy level discuss other causes for your deficiency with your doctor. My deficiency was a huge factor in figuring out I had celiac disease. On another note, I read an article years ago that said B12 deficiency can mimic the symptoms of early-onset Alzheimers. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, double-check with the doctor that B12 levels are normal.

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