Low Folic Acid Levels: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
If you don’t have adequate folate in your diet, you may wind up with a folate shortage. Specific drinks and foods, such as citrus juices and dark green vegetables, are particularly good sources of folate. Not consuming sufficient folate can cause a shortage in simply a few weeks. Deficiency may also occur if you have a disease or genetic anomaly that avoids your body from soaking up or converting folate to its functional type.
Folate, or folic acid, is a type of B vitamin. It helps to:
- make DNA
- produce red blood cells (RBCs).
- repair DNA
Low folic acid can cause anemia. Anemia is a condition where you have too few RBCs. Anemia can deprive your tissues of oxygen it needs because RBCs carry the oxygen. This might impact their function.
Folate is especially crucial in women of childbearing age. A low folic acid during pregnancy can lead to abnormality. Most people get enough folate from food. Lots of foods now have extra folate to avoid deficiency. Nonetheless, supplements are advised for women who might conceive.
What Are The Symptoms Of Low Folic Acid Levels?
The symptoms of folate deficiency are often subtle. They include:
- development issues.
- mouth sores.
- gray hair.
- tongue swelling.
The symptoms of anemia that happen due to folate deficiency include:
- shortness of breath.
- pale skin.
- consistent fatigue.
What Causes Folate Shortage?
Folate is a water-soluble vitamin. It dissolves in water and isn’t really saved in your fat cells. This suggests that you have to keep taking folate as your body can not establish a reserve.
Individuals launch excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins in their urine.
The causes of low folic acid levels consist of:
A diet low in fresh fruits, veggies, and strengthened cereals is the primary cause of folate shortage. In addition, overcooking your food can often ruin the vitamins. Folate levels in your body can become low in simply a few weeks if you do not eat sufficient folate-rich foods.
Illness that affect absorption in the gastrointestinal tract can cause folate deficiencies. Such diseases consist of:
- Crohn’s disease.
- celiac disease.
- certain types of cancers.
- severe kidney problems that need dialysis.
Some people have a hereditary anomaly that impedes their body from correctly and efficiently transforming dietary or supplemental folate to its functional type, methylfolate.
Medication side effects
Particular medications can cause folate shortage. These include:
- phenytoin (Dilantin).
- alcohol intake. You should quit alcohol.
How Is A Low Folic Acid Detected?
Folate deficiency is detected with a blood test. Physicians will frequently test the folate levels of pregnant women during their prenatal examinations.
What Are The Complications Of Folate Shortage?
Folate is needed for the typical production of RBCs. Complications of a shortage may include:
- megaloblastic anemia, which implies the RBCs are larger than regular and not totally established.
- low levels of white blood cells and platelets.
- severe abnormality in the spine and brain of an establishing fetus, which are called neural tube problems.
Low Folic Acid Levels Treatment
Treatment involves increasing the dietary intake of folate. You can likewise take a folate supplement. Folate is regularly combined with other B vitamins in supplements. These are in some cases called vitamin B complexes. Pregnant women should completely avoid alcohol, and everyone else with a folate shortage must reduce their alcohol intake.
Prevention Of Low Folic Acid Levels
Eat a healthy diet to avoid folate shortage. Foods that contain high quantities of folate consist of:
- liver meat.
- leafy, green vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach.
- Brussels sprouts.
- wheat bran.
- fortified cereals.
- tomato juice.
- fruits, such as bananas and melons.
The advised folate dosage is 400 micrograms each day. Women who might become pregnant need to take a folate supplement. Folate is critical for typical fetal development.
People who take medications understood to cause folate deficiency should take a supplement too, however it’s important to consult your doctor first.
Last modified: October 25, 2016