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Anemia due to deficiency of folic acid (vitamin B9)

Written By Admin on Monday, July 4, 2016 | 7:37:00 AM

Folic acid , also known as vitamin B9, belongs to the group of vitamins B, which is water-soluble.Vitamin participates as a coenzyme in various biochemical reactions (synthesis of purine and pyrimidine synthesis of methionine, etc.). Lack of folic acid can lead to a number of health problems, megaloblastic anemia, neural tube defects in the developing fetus in pregnant women, increase the level of homocysteine leading to other disorders etc.
Megaloblastic anemia caused by folate deficiency caused by a disruption in the process of creating a “healthy” erythrocytes. In this situation, instead of the normal red blood cells, bone marrow produces red blood cells dysfunctional. Because red blood cells responsible for transporting oxygen and the production is disrupted, there is anemia.


There are multiple causes of anemia caused by folic acid deficiency. Can it comes to:
  • Nutritional reasons. Often, a lack of folic acid due to inadequate diet (especially the elderly, infants) or a diet low in folate in combination with alcoholism.
  • Malabsorption. Certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, tropical sprue can lead to folate deficiency.
  • Increased need for supplementation with folic acid. There are health conditions that increases the body of folic acid. They may be physiological (pregnancy, growth and development in puberty ) or pathologic (hemolytic anemia, cancer, chronic dialysis, etc.).
  • Certain medications. Use of certain medications such as methotrexate, trimethroprim, barbiturates and oral contraceptives may result in a lack of folic acid.


    The clinical picture of anemia due to folic acid deficiency may include the following signs and symptoms:
  • weakness;
  • malaise;
  • pallor;
  • Wheezing;
  • Palpitations (feeling lupanje the heart with a rapid or irregular rhythm);
  • dizziness;
  • Ill language with burning sensation;
  • Decreased concentration ;
  • Decreased appetite;
  • Decreased body weight;
  • irritability;
  • Diarrhea .
Anemia caused by a lack of folic acid has similar symptoms with anemia caused by B12 deficiency.But the deficit of folic acid causes less neuropathy (tingling in the feet, unsure of) than vitamin B12 deficiency.
Reserves of folic acid in the body are small compared with the daily requirement. Therefore, diet low in folic acid in a relatively short time can lead to megaloblastic anemia.


For diagnosis, it is necessary to make a detailed physical examination and take a good history. In addition you need to make a differential blood count and biochemical analysis. Depending on what led to folate deficiency, it may require additional clinical trials.
It is especially important to check whether the present lack of vitamin B12, because often present a double shortage, ie and folic acid and B12.


Lack of folic acid can be treated with oral agents in daily doses determined by the doctor. What will be the duration of treatment depends on the cause of folate deficiency. Preventively advise taking folic acid for pregnant women and premature births.
In case of poor, but chronic deficiency of folic acid, consult an appropriate diet rich in vitamin The communications: spinach, broccoli , citrus fruits, beans and so on.