7 Red Flags That Could Indicate Folic Acid Deficiency Is Impacting Your Daily Health

by Aoife Hanna

We all know there are certain vitamins, minerals, and supplements that help keep us healthy and stop us from feeling tired, sluggish, or generally a bit grim. The thing is, though, with all the marketing and information out there, it can be hard to understand what your body needs and when. All bodies are different, and we each need a unique combination of things to keep us feeling good. One thing to be aware of is folic acid, which are key in the development of healthy red blood cells. But what are the signs of folic acid deficient?

According to the NHS website, folic acid is the manmade version of folate. Folate is also known as folacin and vitamin B9, and, as previously mentioned, it recommended in order to help the body form healthy red blood cells. However, you probably know it best as something that is important in women and children's health. Folic acid is essential for women either trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant, as it helps reduce the risk of central neural defects, such a spina bifida, in babies, the NHS states.

OK, so now we know what folic acid good for preventing, how do you know if you're deficient in it? Can you even be deficient in it?

Well, yes. A lack of folate in your system can lead to folate deficiency anaemia. So it's definitely worth keeping an eye out for potential symptoms. According to the NHS website, symptoms of folate deficiency anaemia include:

1. Extreme tiredness or a lack of energy

Do you find yourself consistently knackered despite all that sleep and healthy food? This could be a signal of folate deficiency anaemia.

2. Pins and needles in your feet or hands

That numb, tingly feeling that is so weird could actually be your body telling you it's folate deficient.

3. A sore red tongue or mouth ulcers

Oral pain and issues can indicate a vitamin deficiency.

4. Muscle weakness

General difficulty and strain in your muscles might not be your lack of gym visits, but something more serious.

5. Psychological problems, including depression and confusion

These types of issues can be down to a number of things, including folate deficiency anaemia, and it's always worth checking in with your doctor to find out possible causes and solutions.

6. Disturbed vision

A lack of folic acid or folate can cause blurred vision.

7. Memory, understanding, and judgement issues

Folate deficiency can leave to cognitive issues.

If you are experience one or more of these symptoms, it it worth a trip down to the doctor, as there is a blood test available to see if you are suffering from folate deficiency anaemia.

If you're looking for some ways to boost your folate levels, did you know that there are plenty of foods rich in this vitamin? According to the NHS, you can get your folate fix with foods such as broccoli, chickpeas, brussel sprouts, peas, and leafy greens, as well as folate-fortified breakfast cereals.

Like all health-related decisions, it's important to speak with your doctor is you think you may be experiencing folate deficiency anaemia. Then you can make a decision about how to address any problems they identify in a way that is tailored specifically to you.