Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia: Causes
Reference Folic acid Opens New Window 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 Reference 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 Reference neural tube defects Opens New Window.
- Blood disorders such as Reference sickle cell anemia Opens New Window, which use up the body's supply of folic acid.
- Diseases that cause rapid cell growth, such as Reference leukemia Opens New Window or Reference psoriasis Opens New Window.
- An increased rate of Reference metabolism Opens New Window, as might happen with an overactive thyroid (Reference hyperthyroidism Opens New Window). 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 Reference hemodialysis Opens New Window.
- Having an intestinal problem such as celiac disease.
- Taking certain medicines, including medicine used to treat cancer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 22, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology