All About Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia
As the name suggests, vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anemia is a condition when your body doesn't have enough vitamin B12 and folate. This condition is a blood disorder that can cause various problems in the body, even affecting nerves and vital organs.
Find out more about the symptoms, risk factors, and how to treat vitamin B12 and folate deficiency anemia through the following article.
What Are B12 And Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?
Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemia is an anemic condition that occurs when your body doesn't have enough vitamin B12 and folic acid (vitamin B9).
As a result, the erythroblasts which are the forerunners of your red blood cells then burst or die. This condition is also known as apoptosis.
Red blood cells or erythrocytes have a role in delivering xoxygen throughout the body through the circulatory system.
Meanwhile, vitamin B12 and folate play a role in the process of replacing old red blood cells with new red blood cells. This is also known as erythropoiesis.
When the body lacks these two substances, the formation of new red blood cells does not run perfectly. This condition can trigger various problems in the body.
This type of anemia is very common and can affect patients at any age.
What Are The Symptoms Of B12 And Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?
Different types of anemia cause typical symptoms.
Launching the National Health Services, common symptoms that occur when the body has vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemia include:
- fatigue (fatigue),
- lack of energy,
- hard to breathe,
- pale or yellowish skin,
- irregular heartbeat,
- lack of appetite,
- weight loss, and
- ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Anemia related to vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency can cause a variety of symptoms that may be mild at first or no symptoms at all.
However, these symptoms can worsen if not treated immediately.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
If you have anemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have additional symptoms in addition to those listed above, such as:
- yellow and pale skin,
- sore and red tongue (glossitis),
- changes in the way you walk and move,
- impaired vision,
- easy to get angry,
- changes in the way you think, feel and behave, as well as
- decreased cognitive abilities, such as memory and understanding (dementia).
The above symptoms can occur if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency for a long time.
Not just experiencing symptoms of vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemia in general.
In anemia caused by folate deficiency, you will also experience additional symptoms such as:
- numbness and tingling in the feet and hands,
- muscle weakness,
- less sensitive tongue, and
When Should You See A Doctor If You Have B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?
If you experience the symptoms mentioned above, immediately consult a doctor.
The doctor will perform a physical examination and blood tests to confirm your anemia condition.
Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemia are also known as pernicious anemia.
Quoted from the US Department of Health & Services website, the word "pernicious" is taken from the English language, namely pernicious which means bad or destructive.
This condition is called "damaging" because it can cause various complications of the disease.
Even in the past, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia and folic acid can cause death because of the unavailability of adequate treatment.
Therefore, you should not take it lightly and take treatment as soon as possible.
If not treated immediately, this condition can cause permanent problems in the body.
What Causes The Symptoms of B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?
Different types of anemia are distinguished based on the cause. Lack of absorption of B12 and folic acid is the cause of anemia in this type.
The following causes of B12 deficiency are anemia and folic acid.
1. Autoimmune disease
Vitamin B12 is absorbed into your body through the stomach.
A protein called “intrinsic factor” binds to vitamin B12 to absorb it from your diet.
Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, in people with autoimmune diseases such as Addison's disease or vitiligo, it can cause the immune system to attack the cells in the stomach that produce intrinsic factors.
This condition causes the body to be unable to absorb vitamin B12.
2. Side effects of surgery
Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency anemia can also occur if you have had surgery to remove the stomach or small intestine (ileum).
This problem can also occur in weight loss surgery in people who are overweight.
3. Digestive problems
If you have digestive problems, your body may not be able to absorb folic acid and vitamin B12 properly.
As a result, the body experiences anemia.
Some of these problems include canker sores, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and the growth of bacteria or parasites in the small intestine.
That’s information about vitamin B12 and Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia, hope this is useful!