According to dictionaryforall, anemia due to folic acid deficiency can be expressed in different ways. After a folic acid deficiency has been compensated for by prolonged intake of folic acid, symptoms usually recede.

What is Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia?

If a person has anemia due to a lack of folic acid, this means that there are too few red blood cells (erythrocytes) in this person’s blood or that the blood does not contain enough red blood pigment (hemoglobin).

In the case of anemia due to a folic acid deficiency, among other things, insufficient oxygen can no longer be transported from the air we breathe into the areas of the body where the oxygen is required for the purpose of generating energy. Folic acid deficiency anemia is associated with typical symptoms in most cases.

These possible symptoms of anemia due to folic acid deficiency include tiredness, dizziness, paleness, palpitations, difficulty concentrating or ringing in the ears. In addition, anemia due to folic acid deficiency can result in symptoms such as impairment of the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhea or an altered sense of taste.

Causes

Anemia due to folic acid deficiency can initially occur because folic acid is required for the formation of red blood cells. If there is not enough folic acid in the body, the production of red blood cells can be impaired and anemia due to folic acid deficiency can result.

An undersupply of folic acid, which can lead to anemia, has various possible causes: First, a folic acid deficiency can be caused, for example, by a diet that is too low in folic acid. Such a diet occurs more frequently in people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, as well as in the elderly.

Anemia due to folic acid deficiency can also be caused by an individual increased need for folic acid; this is the case, for example, with pregnant women or growing young people. Long-term use of certain medications can also cause anemia due to a lack of folic acid.

Symptoms, ailments & signs

Anemia caused by a folic acid deficiency can manifest itself through a variety of symptoms. Most of the time, those affected feel increasing tiredness as well as dizziness and shortness of breath. In the area of ​​the cardiovascular system, anemia manifests itself through palpitations ] and occasionally also through sharp pain. As the disease progresses, cardiac arrhythmias and other symptoms may occur.

The ringing in the ears, which is sometimes associated with impaired hearing, is also typical. Outwardly, folic acid deficiency anemia is shown by paleness, especially on the eyelids, gums and the inner sides of the lips. The regression of the oral mucosa leads to tears in the corners of the mouth. Occasionally, bleeding and edema also occur. The tongue appears reddish to smooth and the sense of taste is weakened.

Some patients also suffer from gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, stomach pressure and [[indigestion. In severe cases, headaches, pain in the limbs – especially in the legs – and heartache can occur. Chronic anemia can also manifest itself in psychological complaints, such as mood swings and depression. Affected newborns often suffer from malformations and mental disorders. The strikingly light complexion, which often persists for a long time after the defect has been rectified, is typical.

Diagnosis & course

Anemia due to folic acid deficiency can first be diagnosed with the help of a blood test : the red blood cells contained in the blood sample are examined microscopically if anemia due to folic acid deficiency is suspected; An increase in the size of the red blood cells suggests a folic acid deficiency or anemia.

To ensure that anemia is caused by folic acid deficiency, a treating doctor can also specifically check the blood sample taken for folic acid deficiency.

As a rule, anemia can be successfully combated by adapting the intake of folic acid to their individual needs. If the folic acid deficiency as the cause of anemia is remedied in the long term, possible symptoms that can be associated with anemia will usually also recede.

Complications

The diagnosis of anemia due to folic acid deficiency must be considered carefully. An acute hemoglobin deficiency prevents the lungs from transporting oxygen into the tissue. As a result, the body becomes exhausted and various negative side effects have a significant impact on the quality of life.

Folic acid is an important carrier for red blood cell production. Anyone suffering from folic acid deficiency should regularly take an additional preparation. If the symptoms are not treated in time or not at all, annoying side effects occur in everyday life. Limitations such as fatigue and dizziness can have a detrimental effect on professional life.

Emotionally unstable patients are more at risk of depression. People exposed to stress are prone to heart palpitations, angina pectoris, and significant leg pain. If the blood fall is chronic, the condition of dialysis patients can become life-threatening.

Women, children and young people form the highest risk group. During menopause, there is a risk of hair loss and extreme mood swings. During pregnancy, undetected anemia due to folic acid deficiency leads to severe deformities in the fetus such as the cleft lip and palate and the open back.

Even in adolescents, especially girls during the menstrual phase, the folic acid deficiency can have a negative impact on healthy growth. Anemia in the elderly increases the risk of arteriosclerosis and has an adverse effect on the function of organs, especially the kidneys.

When should you go to the doctor?

Anemia due to deficiencies in the supply of folic acid should be treated immediately by a doctor. Although the symptoms do not appear immediately as with rapid blood loss, they are still no less dangerous. Pregnant women in particular suffer more from this special form of anemia due to their increased folic acid requirement.

Since pregnant women attend regular checks by the doctor anyway, an additional examination to check the vitamin B9 level should be carried out in the event of the smallest signs. Specific suspicions arise with long-term one-sided nutrition, which can trigger a folic acid deficiency.

In the case of frequent attacks of daytime sleepiness, physical and mental decline in performance with shortness of breath, a visit to the doctor for clarification is definitely advisable. Unusually heavy sweating during light activities and a shallow pulse can indicate a deficit of red blood cells for oxygen transport.

Sudden tachycardia requires immediate clarification by a specialist. Severe forms of anemia caused by a folic acid deficiency trigger feelings of dizziness or even complete loss of consciousness. In the much more common, creeping form of anemia due to an insufficient supply of folic acid, the first warning signs appear sporadically and subside spontaneously. The body is able to compensate and tolerate a slow drop in red blood cells over a longer period of time.

Those affected are usually not clear what causes are behind it and usually suffer primarily from recurring fatigue. In general, all regularly occurring warning signs of anemia without a clear cause give reason to consult your family doctor. The deficiency always leads to potentially life-threatening conditions in the long term.

Treatment & Therapy

The aim of anemia therapy due to folic acid deficiency is initially to combat the causes that led to anemia. It can therefore be important to see a doctor if there is any evidence of anemia so that the individual causes of anemia can be determined.

If, for example, there are addictions, an important component in combating anemia can initially be a therapeutic treatment of the addiction problem. If a dependency disorder could be positively influenced in the context of therapeutic treatment, this often also influences the folic acid balance in the body and thus the disease as a result.

If an affected person is anemic due to a folic acid deficiency because the individual requirement has increased, increased folic acid can be increased, for example, through a conscious diet: Green vegetables, oat flakes, asparagus, liver or mushrooms are very rich in folic acid and therefore effective against anemia. If necessary, additional folic acid-containing may, after consultation with a doctor dietary supplements be taken to combat anemia.

Outlook & forecast

Anemia due to folic acid deficiency is associated with a good prognosis. If those affected go to the doctor because of the symptoms and the doctor determines that they are anemia, the administration of folic acid preparations is sufficient for acute treatment. If the diet is based on a diet containing folic acid in the long term, relapses are no longer to be expected. The affected person is completely cured of his symptoms and the blood count normalizes.

On the other hand, those affected are more dependent on folic acid supplements if they have a metabolic disease or another disease that hinders the absorption of nutrients. The corresponding losses during metabolism then have to be artificially absorbed all the more. The causes should also be treated so that these measures can also be reduced in the long term and a balanced diet is sufficient.

Pregnant women who have anemia due to folic acid deficiency should react particularly quickly, as a folic acid deficiency also affects the development of the child. The main focus here is on the increased risk of developing spina bifida.

If left untreated, anemia caused by folic acid deficiency is rarely fatal, but the debilitating symptoms can severely reduce the quality of life of those affected.

Prevention

Anemia due to folic acid deficiency is to be prevented, above all through a varied and folic acid-containing diet. A healthy lifestyle and largely avoiding addictive substances also contribute to a balanced folic acid balance. If the folic acid requirement is very high, food supplements can help prevent anemia caused by folic acid deficiency after consulting a doctor.

Aftercare

Depending on what caused the anemia due to folic acid deficiency, follow-up care must be more or less intensive and continuous. If folic acid deficiency anemia is caused, for example, by chronic alcohol consumption or due to age, the conditions may be more complex than with an increased folic acid requirement or malabsorption syndrome.

Often the circumstances of a folic acid deficiency with subsequent anemia are such that in addition to remedying the folic acid deficiency, further treatments and follow-up measures must be carried out. Follow-up care for the elderly consists of oral substitution of folic acid. In the case of chronic alcoholism, rehab must be ordered. The nutritional status should be checked and improved in both cases.

If pregnant women have an increased consumption of folic acid or have an increased need for folic acid due to chronic haemolysis, follow-up care includes a regular visit to the attending physician. There is an oral substitution with folic acid. Malabsorption syndromes such as celiac disease call for a gluten-free diet with high levels of folic acid. In the follow-up care, it must be ensured that the gluten intolerance has not caused any damage to the digestive tract. Regular monitoring makes sense.

If folic acid deficiency anemia is caused by medication, replacement must be considered. In addition, a substitution with folic acid must be made. Either way, anemia due to folic acid deficiency must be taken seriously. Close monitoring is particularly important in pregnant women.

You can do that yourself

Folic acid deficiency anemia can be managed by changing your diet to include fresh foods. The daily amount of folic acid should be at least 0.4 mg.

Vegetables such as spinach, fennel, Chinese cabbage as well as radishes and beets are ideal. Mushrooms, broccoli, beans and asparagus are also rich in folic acid. Care should be taken to prepare it gently. It is best to stew or use the low cooking method so that the valuable ingredients are not lost.

When it comes to fruit, fresh oranges should be on the daily menu. For example as freshly squeezed juice or in a delicious fruit salad. For meat, the choice should be cooked liver and beef. Other foods with a high folic acid content are oatmeal, yeast, nuts, and cow and breast milk.

So that the offspring to be expected do not suffer from a folic acid deficiency, folic acid combined with vitamin B supplements should be taken at least four weeks before pregnancy. To protect the mother, it is recommended to take it eight weeks after delivery.

As an alternative or as a supplement, the folic acid requirement can also be covered with appropriate food supplements. However, this should be done in consultation with a doctor or nutritionist.

Anemia Due to a Lack of Folic Acid

Anemia Due to a Lack of Folic Acid Guide