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what causes low folic acid in males

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What foods are high in folic acid?

Top 25 Foods Rich In Folic AcidBroccoli. A single serving of broccoli contains 57.3 mcg of folate. ...Pinto Beans. One serving of pinto beans contains a whopping 1,013 mcg of folate. ...Seeds And Nuts. ...Asparagus. ...Yeast Extract Spread. ...Liver. ...Herbs. ...Avocados. ...Soybeans. ...Arugula. ...More items...

Why you should take folic acid?

Why should I take folate?Folate helps prevent neural tube disorders (NTD) Folate helps build DNA and supports cell growth and reproduction. Basically,the building blocks for life.NTD often occur before a woman knows she’s pregnant. This is the biggest case for folate even if you’re not currently pregnant. ...In this case,food isn’t enough. ...More items...

How to lower high folate levels?

To help lower ALT levels,consider adding more folate-rich foods to your diet,such as:leafy greens,including kale and spinachasparaguslegumesBrussels sproutsbeetsbananaspapaya

What causes low folate level?

What causes folate deficiency?Diet. A diet low in fresh fruits,vegetables,and fortified cereals is the main cause of folate deficiency.Disease. Conditions that affect absorption in the gastrointestinal tract can cause folate deficiencies.Genetics. ...Medication side effects. ...Excessive alcohol intake. ...

How Is It Diagnosed?

To check for folate deficiency anemia, your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. They might also order blood tests and a complete blood count ( CBC) test to measure the number and appearance of your red blood cells. If you have a lack of folate, your red blood cells look large and immature.

Are There Any Complications?

Most cases of this type of anemia are easily treated. Severe effects are rare. But if you’ve been without folate for a long time, your risk of having some types of cancer and heart disease goes up. You might also find it harder to get pregnant. Your fertility will likely return to normal once you’re getting enough folate again.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

As soon as you notice any symptoms. If left untreated , some of these could get worse and your anemia could cause lasting damage.

How to treat folic acid deficiency anemia?

Folate deficiency anemia is prevented and treated by eating a healthy diet. This includes foods rich in folic acid, such as nuts, leafy green vegetables, enriched breads and cereals, and fruit. Your doctor will also likely prescribe you a daily folic acid supplement.

How to tell if you have anemia?

If your anemia is caused by not having enough folate in your body, you could also notice the following: 1 Reduced sense of taste 2 Diarrhea 3 Pins and needles feeling or numbness in your hands and feet 4 Muscle weakness 5 Depression

Why is it so hard to absorb folate?

Over time, this makes it harder for your intestines to absorb folate. You have stomach problems. When your small intestine isn’t working the way it should , your body has a hard time hanging on to as much folate as it needs.

What are some examples of folate?

This is the case for most people. You might not be eating enough foods like leafy green vegetables, beans, citrus fruits, or whole grains. You drink a lot of alcohol. Over time, this makes it harder for your intestines to absorb folate.

What causes folic acid deficiency in adults?

Because folate is a water-soluble vitamin, it can’t be stored by your body for long periods .

What can you do if you have symptoms of low folic acid?

First of all, speak to your doctor. You’ll probably need a blood test to diagnose a folic acid deficiency and your doctor can also help you to identify your particular cause.

What is the condition where the body can't build up folic acid?

Sometimes it can result in a condition known as folate deficiency anaemia. Folate is a vital B vitamin, but one that your body can’t build up and store for long periods.

Why is folic acid important?

Folic acid helps your body make red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen around your body. If you don’t have enough red blood cells, your organs and tissues receive less oxygen and, as a result, they can’t work as well as they should. When this happens, you can be suffering with folate deficiency anaemia, which can cause fatigue ...

How long does it take to restore folic acid levels?

You can restore folic acid levels by taking folic acid tablets daily until the deficiency corrects. As a general benchmark, it usually takes around four months to address a shortage of the vitamin if it’s down to diet. 5. However, if the cause is another condition or medication, you may need to continue for longer.

How do you know if you have low folic acid?

In addition to the common signs of anaemia, there are some more specific symptoms of low folic acid: 4. Change in sense of taste. Diarrhoea. Pins and needles. Muscle weakness. Psychological problems, such as depression.

What happens if you don't eat enough folate?

Consequently, if you don’t eat enough folate-rich foods regularly, your body can quickly become low in folic acid. This makes incorporating folates into your daily food choices an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.

How to prevent folate deficiency?

The most effective way to prevent and treat folate (folic acid) deficiency is with a healthy diet. Diversity Home Health Group offers Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) services that can help. A Registered Dietician can help you design a nutrition program that is tailor-made for you. When helping you make a plan, we will take into account factors such as your medical history, your current health needs, your dietary restrictions, and many others. Through the MNT services offered by Diversity Home Health Group, you can make better food choices, eat healthier portions and learn delicious ways to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.

How to get folate?

For most people, eating a balanced diet will provide all the folate their body’s need. A balanced diet must include foods that are good sources of folate. The body is not able to store unused folate, so folate-rich foods should be eaten daily. Without getting enough folate in the diet, a person can become folate deficient within a few weeks. Folate-rich foods that are commonly available include:

What is a PCA in home health?

Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services through Diversity Home Health Group are provided by trained and caring individuals who are supervised by a Registered Nurse. PCA services are available to people who aren’t able to do all the things they once were able to do for themselves. PCA’s can help with grocery shopping, meal preparation, going to medical appointments, picking up prescription medications and many other tasks that are required for living an independent and healthy life. Diversity Home Health Group offers several PCA service options that are designed to meet your unique needs efficiently and effectively.

Can folate deficiency cause anemia?

Complications resulting from folate (folic acid) deficiency can be severe and permanent. If a deficiency goes untreated, it will eventually lead to anemia. Remember that folate helps the body to produce red blood cells. The purpose of red blood cells is to carry oxygen to every organ and to all tissues throughout the entire body. Without enough oxygen, the organs and tissues are damaged and die. Anemia is a condition in which the blood doesn’t contain enough red blood cells to carry an adequate supply of oxygen to all parts of the body.

Does folate help a pregnant woman?

This increases the amount of folate the woman needs during pregnancy. If you are planning to become pregnant, it is best to inform your primary care doctor so that steps are taken to increase your intake of folate and folic acid even before becoming pregnant.

Can folate be passed from generation to generation?

Some people are born with bodies that are unable to normally absorb folate from food or folic acid from supplements. This genetic trait can be passed from generation to generation. When infants are diagnosed with this genetic trait, they must begin treatments right away in order to avoid long-term health risks.

What Are The Complications Of Folate Shortage?

Folate is needed for the typical production of RBCs. Complications of a shortage may include:

Why is there a shortage 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: produce red blood cells (RBCs).

Why is folate low?

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.

How to avoid folate shortage?

Eat a healthy diet to avoid folate shortage. Foods that contain high quantities of folate consist of:

What foods are good sources of folate?

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.

What is the term for severe abnormality in the spine and brain of an establishing fetus?

severe abnormality in the spine and brain of an establishing fetus, which are called neural tube problems.

Can low folic acid cause anemia?

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.


Folate deficiency is when your blood lacks the amount of vitamin B9 (folate) it needs to function properly. Folate deficiency can cause a wide range of symptoms and complications.

Symptoms and Causes

One of the first symptoms of folate deficiency is extreme tiredness ( fatigue ). Other symptoms may include:

Diagnosis and Tests

Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history and your symptoms. They can diagnose folate deficiency through a blood test. The blood test measures the amount of folate in your blood. A low level of folate indicates a folate deficiency.

Management and Treatment

Your healthcare provider will treat your folate deficiency with a folic acid supplement. Most adults need 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid each day. Your healthcare provider will let you know how much you should take.


The best way to prevent folate deficiency is to eat a healthy diet that includes foods that contain folate or folic acid. Folate can be found naturally in:

Frequently Asked Questions

Cerebral folate deficiency is a very rare disorder that occurs when there’s a shortage of folate in your baby’s brain. Babies born with cerebral folate deficiency develop normally during infancy. Then, they begin to slowly lose their mental skills and movement abilities about age 2.

What is folate-deficiency anemia?

Folate-deficiency anemia is 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.

How is folate-deficiency anemia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may think you have this type of anemia after taking your medical history and doing a physical exam. You may have several blood tests to confirm the diagnosis. You may also have a barium study if a digestive problem is the cause .

Why is folate not taken during pregnancy?

Also, the mother absorbs it more slowly. A lack of folate during pregnancy is linked to major birth defects that affect the brain, spinal cord, and spine (ne ural tube defects). Some babies are born unable to absorb folic acid. This can lead to megaloblastic anemia. With this condition, red blood cells are larger than normal.

How long do you need to take folic acid?

You may need to take folic acid supplements for at least 2 to 3 months. These may be pills or shots (injections). Eating foods high in folic acid and cutting your alcohol intake are also important. If a digestive tract problem causes your anemia, your provider may treat that first.

What foods cause anemia?

These include green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, fortified cereals, yeast, and meats (including liver). You drink too much alcohol. You have certain diseases of the lower digestive tract, such as celiac disease. This type of anemia also occurs in people with cancer.

What happens if you have anemia?

When you have 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.

What does it mean when you are grouchy?

Being grouchy (irritable) Lack of energy or tiring easily. Diarrhea. Smooth and tender tongue. The symptoms of folate-deficiency anemia may look like other blood conditions or health problems. Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

What causes tongue swelling?

8. Glossitis. Glossitis is the tongue’s swelling due to a lack of folic acid if ignored for an extended period. It can occur in megaloblastic anaemia, which is also caused by the deficiency of folic acid. In the case of glossitis, the tongue swells up abnormally and becomes very sore as well. 9.

Why is folic acid important for babies?

Folic acid aids in the proper development of an unborn baby’s brain, skull, and spinal cord, thereby avoiding congenital disabilities called neural tube defects. Folic acid is used to cure certain forms of anemia caused by a lack of folate by raising the red blood cell production in the body. Q.

What does it mean when your mouth is sore?

Weakness and Sore Mouth. Although this might sound like a very vague sign, weakness and having a sore mouth are two of the most important signs that we face when our body lacks the necessary folic acid. Folic acid essentially helps in building up the haemoglobin, and haemoglobin keeps our energy level intact.

What is the cause of shortness of breath?

Shortness of Breath. The supply of oxygen to our brain and different parts of our body is directly linked to our lungs as well. As folic acid breaks off the supply of oxygen, it can lead to shortness of breath or tightness of the chest.

Why does my tongue swell?

Sore in the mouth, the swollen tongue is caused mainly by the deficiency of folic acid. 6. Loss of Taste. Regular intake of insufficient folic acid eventually deactivates papillae or the taste receptors of our tongue, and in turn, we become unable to taste any food.

What is the role of folic acid in mental health?

Cognitive Problems ( Neurological ) While seldom we consider our deficiency of one vitamin to be the villain of mental health issues, in most cases folic acid plays a vital role in shaping how our cognitive behaviour rotates around your daily life.

Why is folic acid deficiency often unnoticed?

Folate Deficiency or Folic Acid deficiency often goes unnoticed because of its subtle signs, which we confuse easily with other problems. Thus, it is of utmost importance that we educate ourselves on identifying the signs indicating that our body is in dire need of Folic Acid. Let’s take a look.

What medications can cause folate deficiency?

Medications including methotrexate, phenytoin, sulfasalazine and trimethoprim may lead to folate deficiency due to its impact on intestinal folate absorption, utilization and conversion into an active form of folate.

What causes folate deficiency?

A diet that is lacking in folate or folic acid is one of the leading causes of folate deficiency. Those who are following a restrictive diet, or a diet that cuts out entire food groups may be at a higher risk of folate deficiency. A diet lacking in fruits and leafy green vegetables is one of the leading causes of folate deficiency. ( Read: 8 Foods To Boost Folate if you are concerned that your folate deficiency is as a result of poor or inadequate nutrition.)

Can gastrectomy cause folate deficiency?

This is a more uncommon way that one may experience folate deficiency but it is still a possible cause of folate deficiency.

Does folic acid help with pregnancy?

During pregnancy and while breast-feedingthe body requires more folate or folic acid . A developing fetus needs folic acid to grow, especially the development of the brain and spinal cord. Folate also plays a vital role in the development of DNA during pregnancy, a folate rich diet is very important. It is recommended that if you are trying to get pregnant or if you are pregnant, you need to ensure that you are getting enough folate in your diet each and every day. Taking prenatal vitamins could help ensure you do not fall short of key nutrients, including folate.

Can Crohn's disease cause folate deficiency?

Certain health conditions may cause folate deficiency such as:#N#Most nutrients are absorbed by your small intestine, so certain intestinal diseases (colitis, Crohn’s disease, or coeliac disease) or surgery, could mean your intestines are unable to properly absorb folate from your food and this can result in a folate deficiency.

What is the recommended serum folate level?

There is no clear consensus on the level of serum folate that indicates deficiency. Conventionally, clinicians have used serum folate lower than 7 nmol/L (3 lg/L) as a guideline because the risk of megaloblastic anaemia greatly increases below this level.

Why is folic acid fortified flour mandatory in the UK?

Folic acid fortification in flour is mandatory in the UK to prevent NTDs in babies.

Why is folate important for a healthy fetus?

Folate is also required for the development of a healthy fetus and plays an important role in the development of the fetus' spinal cord and brain. There is no simple relationship between maternal folate status and fetal abnormalities but folic acid supplements at the time of conception and in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy reduce the incidence of neural tube defects (NTDs).

How long does it take for folate to develop?

On a deficient diet, folate deficiency develops over the course of about four months but folate deficiency may develop rapidly in patients who have both a poor intake and excess utilisation of folate. Patients with folate deficiency may be asymptomatic or present with symptoms of anaemia or of the underlying cause.

How is red cell folate measured?

Red cell folate is assayed by radioisotope dilution or immunological methods. This is to be preferred to serum folate which fluctuates with dietary intake. In about 5% of patients the measurement of red cell folate may be useful in patients with macrocytosis who have a normal serum folate.

How much thalassaemia is considered a prophylactic dose?

Women with a BMI >30 kg/m 2. For those patients receiving renal dialysis, the prophylactic dose suggested is 5 mg daily to weekly, depending on the diet and rate of haemolysis.

What foods are good for folate?

Good food sources of folate include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peas, chickpeas and brown rice. Other useful sources include fortified breakfast cereals, beans, some bread and some fruit (such as oranges and bananas). Insufficient folate can result in megaloblastic anaemia.

what causes low folic acid in males
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