Folate Deficiency Anemia - Symptoms And Treatment

What is Folate Deficiency Anemia?

Folate Deficiency Anemia is actually the lack of folic acid in the blood. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps your body make red blood cells. If you don’t have enough red blood cells, you have Anemia.
Red blood cells carry oxygen to all parts of your body. When you are suffering from anemia, your blood can’t bring enough oxygen to all your tissues and organs. Without enough oxygen, your body can’t work as well as it should.
Low levels of folic acid can cause megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal. There are fewer of these cells. They are also oval-shaped, not round. Sometimes these red blood cells don’t live as long as normal red blood cells.
Folate Deficiency Anemia

What causes Folate Deficiency Anemia?

Here are some reasons of Folate Deficiency Anemia:
  • You do not take enough foods that have folic acid. These include fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, fortified cereals, yeast, and meats (including liver).
  • You drink too much alcohol.
  • You are suffering from certain diseases of the lower digestive tract, such as celiac disease. This type of anemia also occurs in people with cancer.
  • You take certain medicines, such as some used for seizures.
  • You are pregnant. This is because the developing baby needs more folic acid. Also, the mother absorbs it more slowly. A lack of folate during pregnancy period can cause major birth defects that affect the spinal cord, brain, and spine (neural tube defects).
Some born babies are unable to absorb folic acid. This can lead to megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal. They also have a different shape. Early treatment is a must to prevent problems such as poor reasoning and learning.

What are the Symptoms of Folate Deficiency?

The symptoms of Folate Deficiency are often clear. They include:
  • Gray hair.
  • Fatigue.
  • Tongue swelling.
  • Mouth sores.
  • Growth problems.
The symptoms of Anemia due to Folate Deficiency are:
  • Weakness.
  • Persistent fatigue.
  • Lethargy.
  • Irritability.
  • Pale skin.
  • Shortness of breath.
Folate Deficiency Anemia

Treatment of Folate Deficiency Anemia

The treatment of Folate Deficiency Anemia involves increasing the dietary intake of folate. You can also use a folate supplement. People with a genetic mutation that affects folate absorption, known as MTHFR, need to take methylated folate in order to avoid deficiency.
Folate is usually combined with other B vitamins in supplements. These are sometimes called vitamin B complexes. Pregnant women should completely avoid alcohol, and everyone else with a folate deficiency should decrease their alcohol intake.

Top 12 Folate Food Sources

Your intake of folate can be increased naturally with the foods rich in folate. This is the best way to protect yourself from deficiency along with complications of folic acid supplementation. Here we list the following folate levels found in natural foods:
  1. Spinach — 1 cup cooked: 262 mcg (66 percent DV).
  2. Beef Liver — 3 oz: 215 mcg (54 percent DV).
  3. Black Eyed Peas — 1 cup cooked: 210 mcg (52 percent DV).
  4. Asparagus — 8 spears: 178 mcg (44 percent DV).
  5. Broccoli — 1 cup cooked: 104 mcg (26 percent DV).
  6. Brussel Sprouts— 1 cup cooked: 156 mcg (40 percent DV).
  7. Mustard Greens— 1 cup cooked: 104 mcg (26 percent DV).
  8. Kidney Beans — 92 mcg (24 percent DV).
  9. Romaine Lettuce — 1 cup raw: 64 mg (16 percent DV).
  10. Avocado — ½ cup: 59 mcg (15 percent DV).
  11. Wheat Germ — 2 tablespoons: 40 mcg (10 percent DV).
  12. Orange — 1 medium: 29 mcg (7 percent).
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