Vitamin deficiency anemia is not nearly as well-known as anemia, and in most cases it is referred to as pernicious anemia.
However, although this is certainly one of the forms, there are actually three of them.
These three deficiencies are also known by another name; megaloblastic anemia’s.
The three include folate deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia, as well as vitamin C deficiency anemia.
This last form is extremely rare in developed countries, but is still a threat in some parts of the world.
Vitamin deficiency anemia is different than what is referred to as just plain anemia, where your body is not producing enough healthy red blood cells and it affects your blood supply due to the lack of a mineral.
Although this much better known form can be the result of a vitamin deficiency, it is much more likely to be the result of a deficiency of the mineral iron.
Folate deficiency is caused by a lack of folate, also referred to as folic acid, the pernicious form is caused by the lack of vitamin B12, and the vitamin C form is obviously caused by the lack of this nutrient.
However, this is where a lot of misconception about these deficiencies starts to develop, for one very basic reason; this may not be the actual cause.
In fact, it is estimated that in the majority of cases the reason for this deficiency is not a lack of these nutrients in your diet, instead, for some reason your body is not absorbing these vitamins into your body.
When either of these cases does occur, it will produce the same affect in your body as it will inhibit its ability to produce the sufficient numbers of healthy red blood cells that it needs to function properly.
These red blood cells are absolutely critical to your overall health, as they are what carry your oxygen from your lungs to several areas throughout your body.
Once a deficiency occurs, two major symptoms will start to develop; weakness or fatigue, as well as a shortness of breath that is caused by the lack of oxygen in your body.
However, this is where another major misconception emerges as these symptoms do not occur immediately.
In fact, in most cases, it is completely the opposite as it can take several months or even years in some cases before these as well as other symptoms start to surface.
Although fatigue and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of vitamin deficiency anemia, they are by no ones the only ones.
As these deficiencies begin to intensify, you may begin to feel dizzy or wobbly when you stand or walk.
Your skin will also begin to pale or turn yellow in color tone, and you may begin to lose weight for no apparent reason as you are eating the same type of diet.
What may be happening in this case is that your muscle tone may be starting to breakdown because they are lacking these very critical nutrients and muscle weighs more than fat.
However, the list of symptoms is still not complete as your tongue may begin to swell and will appear almost fiery reddish in color.
You will also develop chronic diarrhea, and your muscles will begin to become both weak as well as very sore as they are breaking down.
If it reaches a critical point, any type of movement that you make will be very unsteady and it may appear that you are slightly intoxicated.
You will also start to develop severe cases of metal confusion as well as forgetting even the simplest of details.
This is one of the major reasons these deficiencies are being tested in detail as a possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
The actual causes of vitamin deficiency anemia will all depend on which type it is, as all three have different forms of potential causes.
The folic acid or B-9 form is most often the result of an inability by your body to absorb this nutrient.
Most all forms of nutrients are absorbed by your small intestine.
If you have had or currently have either Chrons or Celiac disease, or you have had part of your small intestine removed, you are a prime candidate for this deficiency.
Alcohol abuse for extended periods of time will also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb this nutrient, as well as certain types of drugs.
If you are taking any type of anti-seizure medications, it is very important to discuss with your doctor taking supplements to protect yourself.
If you are pregnant or breast feeding, your body requires an increased demand of this nutrient, and if you are not supplementing, you may also be at risk for pregnancy complications.
The next form of vitamin deficiency anemia, B-12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, can also be caused by intestine surgery as well as Chrons or Celiac disease.
However in most cases, it is the result of what is referred to as the intrinsic factor.
The intrinsic factor is a protein that is secreted by your stomach where it joins with this nutrient and helps to move it though your small intestine.
Once there it is then deposited and absorbed into your bloodstream.
If for some reason it is not absorbed, it will very slowly begin to cause a deficiency of B-12 in your body.
This form of vitamin deficiency anemia can be devastating to your overall health as it critical in the production of myelin, which is the fatty sheath of protection that surround and insulates your nerve fibers.
These fibers help to move the electrical impulses though your body and if they become damaged, low blood cells counts may be just the beginnings of your problems.
Low levels of this nutrient in your body can also cause memory loss, confusion, loss of balance, as well as an impaired touch and pain perception.
It is can also be the cause numbness and tingling in your arms and legs, as well as tinnitus and hearing loss.
The final of the three forms of vitamin deficiency anemia is vitamin C deficiency, and in most cases it is also the result of your body not properly absorbing this nutrient.
However, if you are malnourished or if you smoke, you are at a higher degree of risk. Smoking interferes with the absorption of several nutrients, and vitamin C leads the list.
Vitamin deficiency anemia can also present several risk factors and leading the list is pregnancy complications.
If you are deficient of folate, it can easily cause a miscarriage as well as premature birth.
Treatments will include adjusting your diet as needed as well as taking B-9 supplements.
If you do have an absorption problem, you will most likely have to take these supplements for the rest of your life.
B-12 deficiencies can very easily lead to nervous disorders, and if it not treated, can lead to several neurological problems.
In mild cases, supplements will be used as treatments and in severe cases; injections of this nutrient will have to be used.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding under your skin and around your eyes, but supplements can easily correct this.
Vitamin deficiency anemia is much broader than just pernicious anemia, and once you identify the symptoms; all three forms are very easy to treat.
The key is to catch it as early as you can, and then take supplements in liquid forms as they absorb much quicker and more efficiently into your system.