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What Cause Megaloblastic Anemia

What Cause Megaloblastic Anemia

Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia that occurs when the body doesn't have enough red blood cells due to a deficiency in vitamin B-12 and folic acid. The condition is common among people who are vegetarian or vegan, as these dietary choices often lead to low levels of B-12. However, there are many other causes of megaloblastic anemia, such as alcoholism, certain medications, and certain types of cancer.

Causes of Megaloblastic Anemia

As mentioned, megaloblastic anemia has various underlying causes. One of the most common causes is a deficiency in vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Without sufficient amounts of these vitamins, the body is unable to produce healthy red blood cells. This is especially true for vegetarians and vegans who don't consume enough B-12 in their diets. However, there are other causes of megaloblastic anemia, including:

  • Alcoholism
  • Certain medications, such as antacids and chemotherapy drugs
  • Certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma
  • Inherited conditions, such as pernicious anemia
  • Medical procedures that remove or damage the intestines, such as gastric bypass surgery

It's essential to determine the underlying cause of megaloblastic anemia to ensure proper treatment. In some cases, treating the underlying cause is enough to resolve the anemia without further intervention.

Treatment for Megaloblastic Anemia

The treatment for megaloblastic anemia varies depending on the underlying cause. However, the primary treatment for most cases is to supplement the body with vitamin B-12 and folic acid. Supplements can be taken orally or injected depending on the severity of the anemia and other factors like age and overall health.

If megaloblastic anemia is caused by an underlying medical condition, such as cancer, treatment of the condition is necessary to resolve the anemia. In cases of alcoholism, the individual must stop drinking and begin a course of vitamin supplements to replenish the body's stores of B-12 and folic acid.

Preventing Megaloblastic Anemia

The best way to prevent megaloblastic anemia is to ensure that the body receives enough B-12 and folic acid through diet or supplementation. Vegetarians and vegans must pay special attention to their diets and consult with a nutritionist to ensure they receive the recommended daily amounts of these vitamins.

Other ways to prevent megaloblastic anemia include limiting alcohol intake and avoiding medications that can interfere with the absorption of vitamins, such as antacids.


Megaloblastic anemia is a type of anemia that results from a deficiency in vitamin B-12 and folic acid, among other underlying causes. The condition is a serious health issue that can cause fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms, but it's treatable with supplementation or other medical interventions. Preventing megaloblastic anemia requires a healthy diet and lifestyle and taking special care for those at risk of developing the condition. If you're concerned about megaloblastic anemia, discussing your concerns with your healthcare provider and making lifestyle changes can help prevent and treat the condition.

Image Sources

Causes of Megaloblastic Anemia

Causes of megaloblastic anemia

This image shows the various causes of megaloblastic anemia, including vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism, and cancer.

Megaloblastic Anemia Treatment

Megaloblastic anemia treatment

This image depicts a patient receiving a vitamin B-12 injection as treatment for megaloblastic anemia.