Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Is PA connected with auto-immune illnesses?

I have Lupus and my recent blood tests show anaemia with a very low ferritin level. My GP is blaming heavy periods but I am not convinced as they have been heavier in the past and my bloods were ok then.I am due to have folate, ferratin and B12 levels checked next week and I am wondering if it is more a problem with iron absorption. Thing is I can't tolerate oral iron supplements as they wreck my digestive system. I have tried changing my diet but there is only so much liver you can eat! Any ideas/advice? Is PA associated with auto-immune diseases?

4 Replies

Hi, i believe PA is associated with auto-immune diseases as i was diagnosed with udctd (undifferentiated connective tissue disease) but for some stupid reason the hospital just say its a possibility they are linked.


Thank you for answering x


PA usually means you could have parietal cell and/or intrinsic factor antibodies, in which case is an autoimmune disorder. x


Patients with AITD also often develop other “organ specific” antibodies, including antibodies directed to gastric parietal cells in 50% of patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

AITD = Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

So, yes, there is a strong link - with some disorders more than others.

Incidentally, hypothyroidism is associated with reduced stomach acidity, which affects ability to absorb B12 and iron. I blogged on the Thyroid UK group here:

Which might be of some interest - including some of the responses.

There is one person who has recently received intravenous iron - is that a possibility?



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