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Pernicious anemia means that you do not have enough red blood cells. It happens when your body can't absorb vitamin B12 from food.
Your body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. Vitamin B12 also helps your nerves work well.
Your doctor can treat this problem with vitamin B12 shots. You may also take vitamin B12 by pill or nasal spray.
With treatment, most anemia gets better in a few days. But if you have severe anemia, you may need a blood transfusion to give you red blood cells as quickly as possible.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 8, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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