Understanding Nutritional Deficiency Anemia

Understanding Nutritional Deficiency Anemia

Sep 05, 2023Sanguina Inc

Are you feeling tired and rundown more often than usual? Do you find it hard to concentrate, or are you always running out of energy? If so, it may be time to take a closer look at your diet. Nutritional deficiency anemia is an umbrella term for a wide range of conditions caused by low levels of iron, folate, vitamin B-12, or other important vitamins in the body. 

Not getting enough nutrients can prevent your body from making red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body, leading to fatigue and numerous health issues like decreased physical endurance and cognitive impairment. As such, understanding nutritional deficiency anemia is key if you want to put yourself back on the road to wellness. Let’s discuss what nutritional deficiencies lead to anemia, as well as some tips for preventing them and managing their symptoms. 


Nutritional deficiency anemia is caused by an insufficient intake or absorption of essential nutrients, including iron, vitamin B12, and folate. Iron deficiency is the most commonly known cause of anemia, as it is needed for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to different parts of the body. A lack of vitamin B12 or folate can also cause anemia as both vitamins are needed for red blood cell development and differentiation. Nutritional deficiency anemia can develop due to poor dietary intake, malabsorption conditions, or pregnancy.


The symptoms of nutritional deficiency anemia can vary from mild to severe, depending on the severity of the deficiency. The most common symptoms of anemia are fatigue and weakness, as the body's cells are not getting enough oxygen. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, pale complexion, dizziness, headaches, and rapid heartbeat. In some cases, nutritional deficiency anemia can lead to more severe symptoms, such as chest pain, numbness, and tingling in the fingers and toes, and cognitive impairment.


Nutritional deficiency anemia can be diagnosed through a blood test. The blood test will measure the levels of essential nutrients such as Iron, Vitamin B12, and Folic Acid in your blood. A low level of these nutrients will indicate a nutritional deficiency anemia.

Iron Deficiency Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia worldwide. It is caused by a lack of dietary iron, which is required for the formation of hemoglobin. The symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, breathlessness, headache, and dizziness. Women of reproductive age, pregnant women, and children are at higher risk of developing this type of anemia. To prevent iron deficiency anemia, consume foods rich in iron, such as red meat, poultry, seafood, dark leafy greens, and legumes. Iron supplements may also be recommended by healthcare providers if dietary intake is insufficient.

B12 Deficiency Anemia

Vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the proper functioning of the nervous system. A lack of vitamin B12 in the diet or impaired absorption can lead to B12 deficiency anemia. The symptoms of this type of anemia include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and nerve damage causing numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. The elderly, strict vegetarians, and people with digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease are at a higher risk of developing B12 deficiency anemia. A diet rich in animal products or vitamin B12 supplements can prevent the deficiency.

Folate Deficiency Anemia

Folate, also known as folic acid, is an essential vitamin for the production of red blood cells. A lack of folate in the diet can lead to folate deficiency anemia. The symptoms of this type of anemia include fatigue, weakness, headache, and behavioral changes. Pregnant women, alcoholics, people with digestive disorders, and people who take certain medications are at higher risk of developing folate deficiency anemia. To prevent this type of anemia, consume folate-rich foods such as dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, legumes, and fortified cereal. Folate supplements may also be recommended for women of childbearing age.

What to do? Supplementation and Prevention

Supplementation and prevention are essential strategies to overcome nutritional deficiency anemia. Iron, B12, and folate supplements can help replenish the missing nutrients. However, supplements should be taken under medical supervision, as high doses can be harmful. A healthy diet rich in iron, animal products, dark leafy greens, and fortified cereal can supply the necessary nutrients. It is also essential to identify and treat any underlying medical conditions that cause nutritional deficiency anemia. Regular blood tests can detect anemia early and prevent complications.

Nutritional deficiency anemia is a common condition caused by a lack of vital nutrients. Iron, B12, and folate are essential for the production of red blood cells, and a deficiency can lead to anemia. The symptoms of anemia can be detrimental to the quality of life and cause long-term complications if left untreated. Supplementation and prevention strategies, such as a balanced diet, vitamin supplements, and identifying underlying medical conditions, are crucial to preventing nutritional deficiency anemia. If you suspect you have anemia, consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Manage Your Anemia With AnemoCheck Mobile

Coping with nutritional deficiency anemia can pose daily challenges. Yet, with AnemoCheck Mobile, tracking your health's progress from the convenience of your home has become incredibly simple. A quick snapshot of your fingernails can provide an instant estimate of your hemoglobin levels. Don't let anemia keep you from feeling your best. Start your journey to wellness today!

Click here to download the app via the iOS or Android app stores.

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