We will write a custom Research Paper on Pathophysiology: Iron Deficiency and Pernicious Anemia specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Various blood disorders can affect human bodies adversely, preventing them from normal functioning. Anemia is one of the most common types of this health issue, as it can be faced by people of all ages, genders, and races (NIH, 2012). Different types of anemia are discussed separately because they have different causes and pathophysiological mechanisms.
Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Iron Deficiency Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is observed more often than others. It is caused by the lack of body iron that leads to blood loss. In addition to that, it can be caused by malabsorption, but this case is rarely observed. Total body iron should be 2.5-3.5 g, depending on one’s gender and body size. Dietary peculiarities may lead to increased (more than 6 mg/day which rarely occurs) or decreased levels (1 mg/day) (Braunstein, 2016). Transferrin is needed to turn iron into heme, but its synthesis decreases because of anemia. Limited iron absorption leads to its streamlined recycling and decrease of stores.
Pathophysiological Mechanisms of Pernicious Anemia
Pernicious anemia deals with the lack of erythrocytes and is caused by “the body’s inability to absorb vitamin B12” (Krause, Cirino, & Gotter, 2016, para. 4). This outcome is associated with a lack of intrinsic factor that prevents degradation of the vitamin. It may also be caused by the inability of the parietal cells to produce this factor. The absence of the needed amount of B12 leads to the issues with DNA synthesis, and erythrocytes divide with immature nuclei. As a result, they are not released into the blood circulation.
Similarities and Differences
Based on the information discussed above, it can be stated that both iron deficiency anemia and pernicious anemia presuppose a lack of some element in the blood. However, in the first case, it is iron, and in the second case, it is vitamin B12. These types of anemia can be inherited or caused by human behavior, such as poor nutrition. Moreover, malabsorption may be the reason for the deficiency in both cases as well. It is also important to consider the fact that anemia affects the overall health condition of a person.
Influence of Patient Factors
Iron deficiency anemia can be inherited from family members. In particular, attention is paid to various mutations in the TMPRSS6 gene, as it “provides instructions for making a protein called matriptase-2, which helps regulate iron levels in the body” (NIH, 2017, para. 4). Infants, children, and teens may suffer from this health issue if they are underweight. Girls and women are at risk because of heavy periods and pregnancy. Poor diet and other conditions that lead to internal bleeding increase the chances of having anemia (NIH, 2014). It often affects African and Mexican Americans.
Pernicious anemia rarely occurs in infants and teenagers. As a rule, it is diagnosed after the age of 30, even 40. The associated gender ratio is 4:1, as females face this health issue more often than males. People’s behavior also matters. For instance, a vegan diet may is likely to cause a deficiency of vitamins, which increases the risk of this type of anemia. There is also a genetic predisposition to it. Pernicious anemia may deal with the mutation in different genes. In the majority of cases, people whose parents and grandparents were diagnosed with it receive the same diagnosis; siblings and uncles/aunts may also be involved (PAS, n.d.). Moreover, individuals with Northern European and African ethnicity tend to be mainly affected.
Braunstein, E. (2016). Iron deficiency anemia. Web.
Krause, L., Cirino, E., & Gotter, A. (2016). Pernicious anemia. Web.
NIH. (2012). Who is at risk for anemia? Web.
NIH. (2014). Who is at risk for iron-deficiency anemia? Web.
NIH. (2017). Iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia. Web.
PAS. (n.d.). Who is most at risk from developing pernicious anemia? Web.