How is intrinsic factor related to Hunter's glossitis?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

A deficiency of intrinsic factor may lead to Hunter's glossitis. Intrinsic factor is meant to bond with B12, making it easy to absorb. But, if you have pernicious anemia, your body does not produce enough intrinsic factor. This leads to a B12 deficiency in your body, which is believed to worsen pernicious anemia and lead to Hunter's glossitis.

Without the proper secretion of a protein called intrinsic factor, the body’s intestines may not absorb enough vitamin B12, which in turn could lead to a condition called Hunter’s glossitis, or bald tongue. The condition can be painful and causes the tongue to appear smooth and glossy due to a loss of a thread-like layer of skin on surface of the tongue.

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