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Pernicious Anemia

Pernicious anemia is a type of anemia that occurs when the cells of the stomach are not producing sufficient intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor binds to vitamin B12 in the duodenum and that new molecule is what is absorbed in the terminal ileum by cubam receptors. Without intrinsic factor, you do not absorb vitamin B12 in the terminal ileum. Crohn's Disease can damage the cells that create intrinsic factor and so can H. pylori bacteria, the bacteria that cause ulcers.


There are three types of antibodies that can lead to pernicious anemia. Those which bind to the intrinsic factor-vitamin B12 complex preventing uptake, antibodies which bind to intrinsic factor itself preventing binding with vitamin B12, and antibodies to gastric parietal cells preventing the production of intrinsic factor.


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