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Vitamin B12 or folate anaemia occurs when the body starts to develop red blood cells that are larger than normal (known as megaloblastic or macrocytic cells). The condition is usually caused by pernicious anaemia which is diagnosed when the body's immune system begins to attack the 'intrinsic factor' protein in the stomach, preventing the absorption of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 anaemia can also be caused by a dietary imbalance, gastrointestinal conditions and as a reaction to some medications (e.g. proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Folate anaemia can also develop as a result of a poor diet, digestive conditions, excessive urination, pregnancy, cancer and some medications (e.g. anticonvulsants).
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