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What is Vitamin Deficiency Anemia?


What is Vitamin Deficiency Anemia?

Vitamin deficiency anemia is caused when you have lower than normal amounts of certain vitamins. Vitamin deficiency anemia is caused by lack of folate, vitamin B-12 and vitamin C.

Vitamin deficiency anemia can occur if your food lacks folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin C. This can also happen if your body has trouble in absorbing or processing these vitamins.

It’s important to have your doctor diagnose and treat your anemia. Vitamin deficiency anemia can be treated by adding vitamin supplements and making changes in your diet.

Symptoms of Vitamin Deficiency Anemia

Anemia can make you feel tired and dizzy. Here are some other signs:

  • Skin looks pale or yellow.
  • You may feel dizzy.
  • No appetite.
  • Weight Loss
  • numb or tingling in hands and feet
  • Your heart may beat too fast or you have chest pain.
  • Muscles may feel weak.
  • Mood Swing
  • You’re confused or forgetful.

Causes of vitamin deficiency anemia:

Vitamin deficiency anemia develops when your body has a shortage of the vitamins needed to produce enough healthy red blood cells. RBC carries oxygen from your lungs to your complete body.

If your food is lacking in certain type of vitamins, vitamin deficiency anemia can develop. Or vitamin deficiency anemia may develop because your body can’t properly absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.

Causes of vitamin deficiency anemias include:

Folate deficiency anemia

Folate, also known as vitamin B-9, is widely available in fruits and leafy green vegetables. If you skip this continuously you may lead to a deficiency.

Vitamin C deficiency anemia

Vitamin C deficiency is also possible if something impairs your ability to absorb vitamin C from food. For instance, smoking impairs your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C.

Certain chronic illnesses, such as cancer or chronic kidney disease, also increase your risk of vitamin C deficiency anemia by affecting the absorption of vitamin C.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia

Vitamin B-12 deficiency can result from a diet lacking in vitamin B-12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk.

However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.


Your doctor will do a physical exam and might order one or more of these tests:

Complete blood count. This test checks the size and number of your red blood cells. If you’re low in vitamin B12, your red blood cells won’t look normal. They’ll be much bigger and shaped differently than healthy ones.

Vitamin B12 level. This test checks to see if you have enough of it in your blood.

Intrinsic factor antibodies. These proteins tell your immune system to attack intrinsic factor. If you have pernicious anemia, you’ll have them in your blood.

Schilling test. This test uses a radioactive form of B12 to see if your body has enough intrinsic factor.

Methylmalonic acid level (MMA). This test measures the amount of MMA in your blood. When your vitamin B12 level is low, your level of MMA rises

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