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Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Folate Deficiency

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Treatment for B12 and folate deficiencies frequently involves long-term or lifetime supplementation. People who lack intrinsic factor or have conditions causing general malabsorption require injections of B12. Folate/folic acid is an oral supplement.

Doctors recommend that all women contemplating having a child take folic acid supplements prior to and during pregnancy to ensure that they have a sufficient store for normal fetal development.

If a person is deficient in both B12 and folate, he will require replenishment of both. If someone with a B12 deficiency only takes folic acid supplements, the macrocytic anemia may be resolved but the underlying neuropathy caused by the B12 deficiency will persist. Appropriate treatment should resolve symptoms but may not reverse all of the nerve damage.

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