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Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia

Folic acid deficiency anemia results from lower-than-normal levels of folic acid in the body. It causes symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, and lightheadedness.

Causes of folic acid deficiency anemia include:

  • Not getting enough folic acid in the diet.
  • An increased need for folic acid, as can happen during pregnancy or with certain diseases, such as sickle cell disease.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Certain medicines.
  • Artificial cleansing of the blood (hemodialysis), as is done to treat kidney disease.

Folic acid deficiency anemia is treated by increasing a person's intake of folic acid (folate).

Last Revised: December 18, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology

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