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B12 deficiency is rather different from Iron deficiency and is treated differently.
Pernicious anemia is caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a substance needed to absorb vitamin B12 from the gastrointestinal tract. Vitamin B12, in turn, is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Anemia is a condition where red blood cells are not providing adequate oxygen to body tissues. There are many types and causes of anemia. Absence of intrinsic factor itself is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency. Intrinsic factor is produced by cells within the stomach. In adults, the inability to make intrinsic factor can be the result of chronic gastritis or the result of surgery to remove the stomach. The onset of the disease is slow and may span decades. Vitamin B12 injections are the definitive treatment to correct the vitamin B12 deficiency, as it bypasses the stomach and goes directly into the tissues. This therapy corrects the anemia and may correct the neurological complications if given soon enough. Since about 1% of vitamin B12 is absorbed (even in the absence of intrinsic factor), some doctors recommend that patients with gastric atrophy take oral vitamin B12 supplements in addition to monthly injections.





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