Why Is Megloblastic Anemia Caused By The Deficiency Of Folic Acid And Vitamin B12?

Why does folic acid deficiency cause megaloblastic anemia?

When you have anemia, your blood can’t bring enough oxygen to all your tissues and organs. Without enough oxygen, your body can’t work as well as it should. Low levels of folic acid can cause megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal.

How does a deficiency of folate or vitamin B12 contribute to megaloblastic anemia?

Folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies are the leading causes of megaloblastic anemia. The leading cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia caused by autoimmune destruction of gastric parietal cells. Excess cell turnover, increased demand, malabsorption, or a poor diet may cause folate deficiency.

Why do B12 and folate deficiencies cause anemia?

Vitamin B12 or B9 (commonly called folate) deficiency anaemia occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that cannot function properly. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body using a substance called haemoglobin.

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What causes megaloblastic anemia?

The most common causes of megaloblastic anemia are deficiency of either cobalamin (vitamin B12) or folate (vitamin B9). These two vitamins serve as building blocks and are essential for the production of healthy cells such as the precursors to red blood cells.

What are symptoms of low folic acid?

The symptoms of anemia that occur due to folate deficiency include:

  • persistent fatigue.
  • weakness.
  • lethargy.
  • pale skin.
  • shortness of breath.
  • irritability.

How long does it take to correct folate deficiency?

The body has about 1,000-20,000 mcg of folate stores, and adults need about 400 mcg/d to replenish the daily losses. Folate deficiency may take 8-16 weeks to become evident.

What happens when your vitamin B12 is low?

Not having enough B12 can lead to anemia, which means your body does not have enough red blood cells to do the job. This can make you feel weak and tired. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause damage to your nerves and can affect memory and thinking.

How long does it take to recover from B12 deficiency?

Recovery from vitamin B12 deficiency takes time and you may not experience any improvement during the first few months of treatment. Improvement may be gradual and may continue for up to six to 12 months.

How long does it take to recover from megaloblastic anemia?

While most mild neurologic abnormalities that may have arisen in the past 3 months can be expected to improve in up to 90% of patients within about 6 months, those with more prolonged symptoms could take a year to recover completely.

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What medications should not be taken with B12?

Certain medications can decrease the absorption of vitamin B12, including: colchicine, metformin, extended-release potassium products, antibiotics (such as gentamicin, neomycin, tobramycin), anti-seizure medications (such as phenobarbital, phenytoin, primidone), medications to treat heartburn (such as H2 blockers

What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?

A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:

  • vision problems.
  • memory loss.
  • pins and needles (paraesthesia)
  • loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.

How can I raise my B12 levels fast?

To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:

  1. Beef, liver, and chicken.
  2. Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams.
  3. Fortified breakfast cereal.
  4. Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  5. Eggs.

Is Megaloblastic anemia serious?

Most cases of macrocytic anemia that are caused by vitamin B-12 and folate deficiencies can be treated and cured with diet and supplements. However, macrocytic anemias can cause long-term complications if left untreated. These complications can include permanent damage to your nervous system.

Who is at risk for megaloblastic anemia?

Common risk factors of megaloblastic anemia include nutritional factors, alcoholism, elderly, pregnant, vegans, and malabsorptive syndromes.

What drugs cause megaloblastic anemia?

A partial list of medications that can cause folate deficiency includes phenytoin, metformin, phenobarbital, dihydrofolate reductase inhibitors (trimethoprim, pyrimethamine), methotrexate and other antifolates, sulfonamides (competitive inhibitors of 4-aminobenzoic acid), and valproic acid.

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