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Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia: Causes
Folic acid is one of the B vitamins. It helps produce red blood cells. Low levels of folic acid (also called folate) in the body decrease production of red blood cells and cause folic acid deficiency anemia.
Causes of folic acid deficiency anemia include:
- Not eating enough foods that contain folic acid.
- Having an increased need for folic acid. This might
- Pregnancy. Pregnant women need additional folic acid to protect their babies from birth defects, such as neural tube defects.
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia, which use up the body's supply of folic acid.
- Diseases that cause rapid cell growth, such as leukemia or psoriasis.
- An increased rate of metabolism, as might happen with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). This uses up the body's store of folic acid faster than it is absorbed.
- Not absorbing or retaining folic acid. This can be caused by:
- Drinking too much alcohol.
- Having hemodialysis.
- Having an intestinal problem such as celiac disease.
- Taking certain medicines, including medicine used to treat cancer.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology|
|Last Revised||November 22, 2011|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: November 22, 2011|
|Medical Review:||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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