Vitamin deficiency anemia


A lack of healthy red blood cells brought on by low levels of vitamin B-12 and folate is known as vitamin deficiency anemia.

This may occur if you don’t consume enough foods rich in folate and vitamin B-12 or if your body has difficulties absorbing or processing these nutrients.

When your body produces red blood cells that are unusually large, it diminishes their capacity to transport oxygen, as opposed to healthy red blood cells. Anemia caused by vitamin deficiency is also known as macrocytic or megaloblastic anemia due to the unusually large size of the red blood cells.

Dizziness, weariness, and shortness of breath are other symptoms. Vitamin injections or pills used as supplements can make up for the inadequacies.


Anemia caused by a vitamin deficiency typically takes months or years to develop. At first, signs and symptoms may be mild, but as the deficit gets worse, they typically become more obvious. They may consist of:

  • Dizziness
  • Being very tired
  • Heart palpitations
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Losing weight
  • Weak muscles
  • Tingling or numbness of the upper or lower extremities
  • Unstable body movements
  • Mental problems (forgetfulness or confusion)
  • Altered personality
  • Skin discoloration (pale or yellowish)

The mental and mood changes can occasionally be mistaken for dementia in elderly persons.


If you don’t consume enough foods rich in folate and vitamin B-12 or if your body has difficulties absorbing or processing these vitamins, you may develop vitamin deficiency anemia.

Vitamin B-12 deficiencies

A lack of vitamin B-12 may result from:

  • Diet. Those who don’t eat meals that are high in meat, eggs, or milk may need to take vitamin B-12 supplements. B-12 has been added to several meals, such as some breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast products.
  • Pernicious anemia. The immune system of the body targets stomach cells that create a chemical called intrinsic factor. Without it, the intestines cannot absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Gastric surgeries. Your body may create less intrinsic factor and have less room for vitamin B-12 to be absorbed if parts of your stomach or intestines have been surgically removed.
  • Intestinal diseases. Both Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, as well as tapeworms that may be consumed by eating contaminated fish, can prevent the absorption of vitamin B-12.

Folate deficiencies

Folate, also known as vitamin B-9, is a nutrient that is mostly present in liver and dark-green leafy vegetables. When people don’t consume foods rich in folate or their systems are unable to absorb folate from diet, they may develop a folate deficit.

Absorption issues could result from undergoing surgery to remove or bypass a portion of the intestines, alcoholism, having celiac disease, or taking some medicines to treat seizure.

Women who are pregnant, nursing mothers, and those receiving dialysis for kidney illness all have higher folate requirements.

Insufficient folate during pregnancy might result in birth abnormalities. The prevalence of folate insufficiency has decreased in nations that regularly add the vitamin to foods including breads, cereals, and pasta.