Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Folate deficiency anemia

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

Causes of folate deficiency anemia include:

  • Not getting enough folate or folic acid in the diet.
  • An increased need for folate, 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.

Folate deficiency anemia is treated by increasing a person's intake of folate or folic acid supplements.