You might not know what the doctor is saying when he or she speaks about a folate deficiency, but the meaning becomes apparent as soon as you learn this is another name for a lack of vitamin B9 or B12. In this condition, the body produces many more red blood cells than it needs, so these cells are unable to operate normally. Although anemia is usually linked to a shortage of iron in the bloodstream, an excessive or too small an amount of red blood cells also causes a type of anemia. Folate deficiency can affect a person in several ways.
There are many possible causes. It might be a consequence of a condition known as pernicious anemia. This is a malfunctioning of the immune system where instead of protecting cells against the damage it starts to damage cells in the stomach. The harm it causes to the stomach interferes with the absorption of vitamin B12 from the food supply. Other possible folate deficiency causes include following a diet that fails to supply sufficient B12, or it could be a side effect of certain medications that the patient needs to treat another condition.
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