Top 8 Neglected Signs of Folate Deficiency

When you are not feeling well, you probably want to find out why. Maybe you’re sick with an infection or virus? But if you have gone to the doctor and everything else seems fine, it may be time to look into folic acid benefits.

The Wide Range of Folic Acid Benefits

Most people today associate folic acid, or folate, with pregnancy. While it does reduce birth defects when taken before and during pregnancy, it has many other benefits for all people.

For women, in particular, folic acid has been found to reduce the risk for high blood pressure. It also helps the body produce new cells, including red blood cells. Without enough folic acid, people can become anemic.

Signs of Folate Deficiency

Just as there are many folic acid benefits, a deficiency can cause a number of problems. Here are 8 symptoms associated with too little folate to be aware of.

1. Fatigue

One of the biggest symptoms of anemia is fatigue or general tiredness. If you don’t have enough folate in your system, your body can’t produce enough red blood cells.

Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Without enough oxygen, you will have less energy and feel very sluggish. You will likely feel tired no matter how well you sleep each night.

2. Diarrhea

Like headaches, diarrhea can have many causes. Can you trace back the problem to something you have eaten? Is anyone else around you ill? If not, ask your doctor about other possible causes, especially if you have more than one symptom.

3. Paleness

If your skin looks paler than normal, anemia is likely the cause. Without enough blood circulating under your skin, you will lose your normal color.

4. Weakness

Just as too few blood cells will cause fatigue, weakness is a common problem. Without oxygenated blood, your muscles can’t function properly. Climbing stairs or even just walking through a parking lot may be more difficult without folic acid benefits.

5. Headaches

Headaches can have a number of different triggers. If you are prone to migraines, you might not even notice that anything else is wrong!

Similarly, you might write it off as stress or dehydration. These are common causes of headaches, so it is understandable not to think much of it.

If you have a sudden increase in headaches, or maybe you have never had them before, it is time to get checked out.

6. Low Appetite

Your digestive system requires a certain amount of blood to function. And if you are fatigued, that can also lessen your appetite. If you don’t often feel hungry anymore and you are losing weight without trying, there’s likely a metabolic issue. Talk to your doctor about folic acid benefits to see if a supplement will get you back to normal.

7. Racing Heart

Because your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, your heart may try to compensate. This will cause your heart to beat faster to deliver more oxygen-rich blood where it needs to go.

This symptom can be a scary one, because you may initially think there’s a problem with your heart. In reality, you are just lacking the folic acid benefits that keep everything running smoothly.

8. Oral Lesions & Swollen Tongue

Before anemia has set in, you may have pain upon swallowing and your tongue may appear swollen, shiny, beefy, or red usually around the tips and edges. Also, oral lesions can start before and throughout the period of anemia.

Getting Your Folate Levels in Check

Once you have established that a folate deficiency is to blame for your symptoms, talk to your doctor about how to fix it. For many people, diet changes will help. Leafy greens, whole grains, and citrus fruits all deliver folic acid benefits. You may also look into folic acid supplements.

Jeremy Bowen

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