Clubbed fingernails are a result of a blockage against oxygen reaching every cell in the body. In COPD, it is a function of damaged lungs. But in Crohn's Disease, it is a function of lack of red blood cells, anemia.
Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.
In chronic bowel conditions which involve malabsorption, anemia is caused by either expelling blood in bowel movements, or a lack of "intrinsic factor" in the stomach which has an important role in the absorption of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) in the intestine. Vitamin B12 is needed for red blood cells to form and grow. Failure to produce or utilize intrinsic factor results in the condition pernicious anemia.
Pernicious anemia is a decrease in red blood cells that occurs when the intestines cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. The body needs vitamin B12 to make red blood cells. You get this vitamin from eating foods such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, nutritional yeast and dairy products. There is also an injection of B12 that lasts 6 months. Vegan vegetarians need B12 supplements.
A special protein, called intrinsic factor (IF), helps your intestines absorb vitamin B12. This protein is released by cells in the stomach. When the stomach does not make enough intrinsic factor, the intestine cannot properly absorb vitamin B12.
Common causes of pernicious anemia include:
• Weakened stomach lining (atrophic gastritis)
• An autoimmune condition in which the body's immune system attacks the actual intrinsic factor protein or the cells in the lining of your stomach that make it.
Post Edited (Sunbear) : 11/21/2016 9:28:30 AM (GMT-7)