Understanding Iron Deficiency Anemia and Folate Deficiency Anemia

Anemia is a medical condition characterized by low blood cell count as well as low hemoglobin level. There are different types of anemia with the most common ones being iron deficiency anemia (IDA) and folate deficiency anemia. Since time immemorial, the similarities and contrasting differences between these two conditions have been put to test. This article will take a look at these two contrasting health conditions in terms of causes, treatment and management.

Iron deficiency anemia

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA), is a type of anemia characterized by low level of iron in the body. Iron is a very important element which helps in the production of red blood cells in the body. Any form of iron deficiency can lead to serious health conditions.Anemia

Iron deficiency in the body can be caused by excessive loss of iron through intravascular hemorrhage as well as poor dieting where the affected individual takes food low in iron.

Folate deficiency anemia

Folate deficiency anemia on the other hand is a type of anemia caused by the deficiency of folate, or vitamin B9 (the very similar condition is also caused by the lack of vitamin B12), in the body leading to numerous disorders. Folate is required by the body in the production of red blood cells and it’s crucial for many other bodily functions.

Factors behind folate deficiency include poor dieting where an individual has a low intake of foods rich in vitamin B9, and bone marrow inefficiency to produce more red blood cells as well as hereditary folate malabsorption where an individual acquires the condition from their family members genetically.

Similarities between IDA and folate anemia:

-Both of these health conditions are characterized by low blood cell count and hemoglobin level.

-Both IDA and folate deficiency anemia are hereditary in nature.

-Unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyles have also been associated with both types of these anemia.

Differences between iron deficiency anemia and folate deficiency anemia

The only basic difference is that IDA is caused by the low levels of iron in the body while folate anemia is caused by insufficient amount of folic acid (B9). However, both conditions affect production and functioning of red blood cells in the body.

Treatment and management of both cases

Since both of these conditions are caused by controllable factors, the early detection of the causes behind the condition can be a game changer. Proper dieting should be observed in both conditions. If it’s the case of IDA, the affected individual should be placed on a diet rich in iron. In the case of folate deficiency anemia, the affected patient should increase the consumption of food rich in vitamin B9.

In severe cases such as hemorrhage, the affected individual can undergo blood transfusion to arrest and compensate the loss of iron.