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Pernicious anemia is a condition that happens when a person cannot absorb vitamin B12 from food. Vitamin B12 is in foods that come from animals, including eggs, meat, poultry, and fish. Vegetarians need to take extra vitamin B12, but they do not have pernicious anemia.

In pernicious anemia, your stomach does not make an important protein that your body needs to absorb vitamin B12. The protein is called "intrinsic factor." As a result, your infection-fighting system (immune system) attacks the cells in the stomach that help you absorb vitamin B12 from foods.

Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for making blood cells. People with pernicious anemia may have too few red blood cells (called "anemia"), too few white blood cells (which fight infection), or too few platelets (which help the blood to clot).

Vitamin B12 is also important for your brain and nerves. People with pernicious anemia can have problems thinking, depression, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, trouble with balance, or weakness.

What are the symptoms of pernicious anemia? — People with mild pernicious anemia might not have any symptoms. But people can get symptoms if the vitamin B12 level is low enough. Some symptoms are the same as in other types of anemia. They include:

●Pale skin or a pale color in the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelids - You can see this tissue (called "conjunctiva") by gently pulling down your lower eyelid. The tissue will appear pale instead of its normal, pinkish-red color.
●Feeling very tired
●A fast heartbeat
●Trouble breathing
●Headache and muscle pains