Anaemia Due to Vitamin Deficiency

Anaemia is a below-normal level of hemoglobin or hematocrit. Hemoglobin is the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen to all parts of your body. Anaemia can be temporary or it can be a long-term disease/illness. People with mild anemia1 may not have any symptoms or may have only mild symptoms. People with severe anaemia can feel tired, get short of breath with activity, and have problems doing the things they usually do.

Folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin C are the vitamins needed for a body to produce ealthy red blood cells. Not having enough of one or more of these vitamins may cause anaemia. Low vitamin B6 is usually due to not eating enough foods that contain B6. Good sources of vitamin B6 are meat, liver, cereal grains, bananas, and nuts. Certain medications can also cause vitamin B6 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency develops when your body is not able to absorb this vitamin. This can be caused by medication, stomach or bowel surgery, and certain diseases. Sometimes vitamin B12 deficiency occurs in strict vegetarians and people who do not eat much meat, milk, or eggs. In older people, the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is not having enough gastric juice to get the B12 out of the food you eat. This is known as achlorhydria.

The treatment of anaemia due to vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency consists of replacing the deficient vitamin. Commonly, vitamin B12 is administered by injection. At first, injections are given daily or weekly for several weeks until the blood levels of vitamin B12 return to normal; then injections are given once a month. Vitamin C helps your body absorb iron, and low levels can result in anaemia.

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