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folic acid deficiency symptoms
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How To Prevent And Treat Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms?

There are many instances of folic acid deficiency which require prompt and effective treatment. You should always be aware of the folic acid deficiency symptoms in order to quickly inform your doctor about the same and get treated promptly.

Folic Acid Deficiency 

Folate is a crucial B-Vitamin which the body requires for smoother functioning. Folate is crucial for those who are pregnant. This deficiency takes place when the body does not receive sufficient quantities of folate. Some of the symptoms include weakness, fatigue, neurological disorders and sores in the mouth. Deficiencies in folate may be combated by consuming a diet which is rich in food items containing this vital ingredient. This deficiency takes place when there is a lack of Vitamin B9 or folate in the blood for suitable functioning. This deficiency may lead to a diverse mix of complications and other symptoms. 


Folate is contained in several food items including seafood, beans, citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, peas, grains and poultry. Folate is required by our bodies for the creation of new RBCs (red blood cells) and DNA, which is the genetic material needed by our cells. Folate is essential for those who are pregnant and helps in the proper growth and development of unborn children (fetuses), while helping in bypassing any birth defects simultaneously. 

Folic acid is a synthetic and manmade version of folate itself. The body cannot always offer storage for higher natural folate amounts. However, it can readily absorb folic acid. Hence, it is often added to some of the food items that we consume. Grains like bread, rice pasta and other cereals are often fortified with folic acid. This is also provided in the form of a dietary supplement. 

Folic Acid Deficiency Symptoms and Complications

There are many low folic acid symptoms and other complications arising from such deficiencies. Here’s taking a closer look:

  • Folate deficiency at the time of pregnancy may lead to defects in the neural tubes and other birth defects. This may lead to higher chances of placental abruption where the placenta comes away from the uterus, along with premature birth, lower weight of the baby at birth and more. 
  • Folate deficiency anemia may also take place when the body does not have sufficient RBCs. The body requires these cells for the transportation of oxygen to the tissues. This may also lead to the production of excessively large RBCs which do not suitably function. 
  • Some other complications include specific forms of cancer, infertility, depression, cardiovascular ailments, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and reduced cognitive functioning. 
  • Symptoms include anemia and fatigue. Some of the accompanying signs include shortness of breath, paleness, dizziness, irritability, redness and tenderness in the tongue, ulcers/sores in the mouth, reduced taste sensations, loss of memory and concentration issues. 
  • Some other symptoms also include issues with judgment, confusion, loss of energy, weakness in the muscles, loss of weight, depression and diarrhea. 


Reasons Behind Folate Deficiencies

  • Issues with the digestive system, which fails to suitably absorb folic acid if you have an ailment like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. 
  • Excessive alcohol consumption may cause this problem. 
  • Overcooked vegetables and fruits may be another reason. 
  • Hemolytic anemia is another reason, a specific disorder where the RBCs get eliminated without fast replacements. 
  • Specific medicines- Some ulcerative colitis medication and other types may also lead to the issue. 
  • Dialysis may also lead to folate deficiencies. 


Testing & Diagnosis

The doctor will first inquire about your medical history and other symptoms while doing a blood test. This will track the folate levels in the blood. A lower reading automatically indicates a deficiency. 

Treatment and Other Aspects

The doctor will treat such deficiencies with suitable supplements. Most adults will require approximately 400 mcg of folic acid on a daily basis. The doctor will inform the patient about this specific amount. The doctor will also recommend a balanced and healthy diet which has vegetables, fruits and other items with folate. 

Prevention of this Condition 

You can prevent this deficiency from occurring, if you consume beans, peas, legumes, dark and green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, seafood, liver, poultry, meat, dairy products and eggs on a regular basis. Folic acid is also contained in flour, bread, rice, pasta and cereal. Make sure that you get at least 400 mcg of folate each day. Those who are pregnant should take special care in this regard. 


What will I have to do if there is a folate deficiency? 

The doctor may prescribe specific medication for folate deficiencies if they are severe. You may be given a daily course of supplements as well. At the same time, you will have to consume a balanced and healthy diet that has items containing folate in sufficient amounts. 

What is meant by cerebral folate deficiency? 

This is an extremely rare condition which takes place whenever folate is not sufficiently present within the brain of the baby. Babies born with this condition may start losing mental abilities from the age of two onwards. Several other complications are seen subsequently. 

What are some food items containing folate? 

You should consume healthy items like green and dark leafy vegetables, peas, beans and fortified cereals. You should also consume seafood, eggs and meat or poultry products if you are a non-vegetarian. 

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