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      Pernicious Anemia
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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia?

Major Signs and Symptoms

Major signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia are feeling tired and weak and having a bright red, smooth tongue. Common symptoms of nerve damage caused by this disease are tingling and numbness in the hands and feet.

Symptoms most often develop slowly over time if the disease is not treated. Some people may experience mental changes and nerve problems before blood tests show that they have anemia. This is more likely to happen in older adults than in younger people.

Other Signs and Symptoms

Other signs and symptoms of pernicious anemia may include pale or yellowish skin, a low-grade fever, and dizziness when standing up. Infants with the condition may show unusual movements or a delayed development and failure to thrive.

Signs and Symptoms of Complications Associated With Pernicious Anemia

Complications seen with pernicious anemia can involve the heart, nerves and brain, and digestive tract. Some of the complications are due to the anemia; others are the effect of a low vitamin B12 level on parts of the body.


Signs and symptoms of heart problems may include shortness of breath and chest pain. Heart murmurs, a rapid heart rate, and heart failure can develop.

Nerves and Brain

In addition to tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, signs and symptoms of problems with the nerves may include difficulty walking, unsteady movement, and loss of balance. There can be changes in vision, taste, and smell. Memory loss, confusion, depression, and even psychosis can develop.

Digestive Tract

Signs and symptoms of untreated pernicious anemia can occur all along the digestive track. They can start with a bright red, smooth tongue and may include mouth sores or bleeding gums. The liver could be enlarged. Nausea and vomiting may occur, along with a sense of fullness, gas, or heartburn. Changes in bowel habits could include constipation or diarrhea. A person might have a loss of appetite or weight loss.

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