Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia , a blood disorder in which the number of red blood cells is lower than normal. Red blood cells transport oxygen through the body. There are many types of anemia with different causes and characteristics. Megaloblastic anemia is characterized by red blood cells that are larger than normal. Because the cells are too large, they may not be able to exit the bone marrow to enter the bloodstream and deliver oxygen.
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Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia , a blood disorder in which the number of red blood cells is lower than normal. Red blood cells transport oxygen through the body. There are many types of anemia with different causes and characteristics.
Megaloblastic anemia is characterized by red blood cells that are larger than normal. Because the cells are too large, they may not be able to exit the bone marrow to enter the bloodstream and deliver oxygen.
The two most common causes of megaloblastic anemia are deficiencies of vitamin B or folate. These two nutrients are necessary for producing healthy red blood cells. Vitamin B is a nutrient found in some foods like meat, fish, eggs, and milk. Megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B deficiency is referred to as pernicious anemia. Folate is found in foods like beef liver, spinach, and Brussels sprouts. Folate is often mixed up with folic acid — technically, folic acid is the artificial form of folate, found in supplements.
You can also find folic acid in fortified cereals and foods. Your diet is an important factor in making sure you have enough folate. Pregnant women are more likely to have folate deficiency, because of the high amounts of folate needed by the developing fetus.
The most common symptom of megaloblastic anemia is fatigue. Symptoms can vary from person to person. Common symptoms include:. One test used to diagnose many forms of anemia is the complete blood count CBC. This test measures the different parts of your blood. Your doctor can check the number and appearance of your red blood cells.
They will appear larger and underdeveloped if you have megaloblastic anemia. Your doctor will also gather your medical history and perform a physical exam to rule out other causes of your symptoms. Your doctor will need to do more blood tests to figure out if vitamin deficiency is causing your anemia.
One test that your doctor may use to help diagnose you is the Schilling test. The Schilling test is a blood test that evaluates your ability to absorb vitamin B Your treatment plan can also depend on your age and overall health as well as your response to treatments and how severe the disease is. Treatment to manage anemia is often ongoing. In the case of megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B deficiency, you may need monthly injections of vitamin B Oral supplements may also be given.
Adding more foods with vitamin B to your diet can help. Foods that have vitamin B in them include:. This MTHFR gene is responsible for the conversion of certain B vitamins, including B and folate, into their usable forms within the body. Regular intake of vitamin Brich foods, vitamins, or fortification is not likely to prevent deficiency or its health consequences in those with this genetic mutation.
Megaloblastic anemia caused by a lack of folate may be treated with oral or intravenous folic acid supplements. Dietary changes also help boost folate levels. Foods to include in your diet include:. As with vitamin B, individuals with the MTHFR mutation are encouraged to take methylfolate to prevent a folate deficiency and its risks.
In the past, megaloblastic anemia was difficult to treat. Today, people with megaloblastic anemia due to either vitamin B or folate deficiency can manage their symptoms and feel better with ongoing treatment and nutrient supplements. Vitamin B deficiency can lead to other problems. These can include nerve damage, neurological problems, and digestive tract problems. These complications can be reversed if you get diagnosed and treated early. People who have pernicious anemia also may be at higher risk for weakened bone strength and stomach cancer.
Talk to your doctor if you see any signs of anemia so you and your doctor can come up with a treatment plan and help prevent any permanent damage.
Anemia is a term for low hemoglobin or red blood cells. Anemia can be divided into different types based on the volume of the red blood cells.
Macrocytic anemia means that the red blood cells are larger than normal. In microcytic anemia, the cells are smaller than normal. We use this classification because it helps us to determine the cause of the anemia. The most common causes of macrocytic anemia are vitamin B and folate deficiency. Pernicious anemia is a type of macrocytic anemia due to the body not being able to absorb vitamin B Elderly, vegans, and alcoholics are more susceptible to developing macrocytic anemia.
The most common cause of microcytic anemia is iron-deficiency anemia, usually due to poor dietary intake or blood loss, such as menstrual blood loss or through the gastrointestinal tract. Pregnancy, menstruating women, infants, and those with a diet low in iron may have an increased chance of developing microcytic anemia.
Other causes of microcytic anemia include defects in hemoglobin production such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and sideroblastic anemia. In macrocytic anemia, your red blood cells are too large. Learn about symptoms of macrocytic anemia and how to treat it. In microcytic anemia, your red blood cells are too small.
Many cases can be treated with supplements and…. Vitamin B is a key player in maintaining cell health and keeping you energized. Folate is a B vitamin. It helps make DNA and produce red blood cells. A folate deficiency can lead to complications, especially in pregnant women. There may be a link between vitamin B and depression. Vitamin B is an important nutrient for your nervous system. A few nutrients are either difficult or impossible to get in adequate amounts from plant foods.
This article reviews 7 nutrients commonly lacking in…. Nutrient deficiencies may occur with almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others. Here are 7 incredibly common nutrient deficiencies. Causes of Megaloblastic Anemia. What Are the Symptoms of Megaloblastic Anemia?
Diagnosing Megaloblastic Anemia. How Is Megaloblastic Anemia Treated? Living with Megaloblastic Anemia. Different types of anemia. Q: What are the differences between macrocytic anemia and microcytic anemia? A: Anemia is a term for low hemoglobin or red blood cells.
Katie Mena, M. Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice. Pernicious Anemia. The Symptoms of Vitamin B Deficiency. Folate Deficiency. Read this next. Medically reviewed by Stacy Sampson, D.
Medically reviewed by Elaine K. Luo, MD. Can a B Deficiency Cause Depression? Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Best Diet Plan for Anemia. Medically reviewed by Atli Arnarson, PhD.
Only comments seeking to improve the quality and accuracy of information on the Orphanet website are accepted. For all other comments, please send your remarks via contact us. Only comments written in English can be processed. Thiamine-responsive megaloblastic anemia TRMA is characterized by a triad of megaloblastic anemia, non-type I diabetes mellitus, and sensorineural deafness. TRMA syndrome has been reported in less than 80 cases worldwide.
Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
Megaloblastic anemia is an anemia of macrocytic classification that results from inhibition of DNA synthesis during red blood cell production. This leads to continuing cell growth without division, which presents as macrocytosis. Megaloblastic anemia has a rather slow onset, especially when compared to that of other anemias. The defect in red cell DNA synthesis is most often due to hypovitaminosis , specifically vitamin B12 deficiency or folate deficiency. Loss of micronutrients may also be a cause. Copper deficiency resulting from an excess of zinc from unusually high oral consumption of zinc-containing denture-fixation creams has been found to be a cause.
Cobalamin Deficiency: Clinical Picture and Radiological Findings
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a wide range of hematological, gastrointestinal, psychiatric and neurological disorders. Hematological presentation of cobalamin deficiency ranges from the incidental increase of mean corpuscular volume and neutrophil hypersegmentation to symptoms due to severe anemia, such as angor, dyspnea on exertion, fatigue or symptoms related to congestive heart failure, such as ankle edema, orthopnea and nocturia. Neuropsychiatric symptoms may precede hematologic signs and are represented by myelopathy, neuropathy, dementia and, less often, optic nerve atrophy. The spinal cord manifestation, subacute combined degeneration SCD , is characterized by symmetric dysesthesia, disturbance of position sense and spastic paraparesis or tetraparesis. The most consistent MRI finding is a symmetrical abnormally increased T2 signal intensity confined to posterior or posterior and lateral columns in the cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Isolated peripheral neuropathy is less frequent, but likely overlooked. Vitamin B12 deficiency has been correlated negatively with cognitive functioning in healthy elderly subjects.