Health & Wellness

Folic Acid Deficiency: 11 Signs that Your Body Needs More Folic Acid

In every family weekly dinner, there always exists a sibling who is the least favorite of the parents and so taken for granted that nobody really pays any attention while they are present but nudges everyone’s conscience when gone.

Vitamin B9 or Folic Acid in our body plays the same role as the unnoticed sibling of every family dinner party. People do not really pay attention to ‘Folic Acid’ in their good days but folic acid plays uncountable vital roles in assembling our different vital organs and keeps our body working through hard and hectic days.

The deficiency of folic acid or Vitamin B9 or in medical term, ‘Folate Deficiency’ can be fatal to our body, although it is naturally present in most of our regular citrus juices and dark green vegetables.

However, for people who survive on junks, Folate Deficiency can turn into a serious disorder if not treated on time.

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 should educate ourselves on identifying the signs that indicate that our body is in dire need of Folic Acid. Let’s take a look.

Signs that Your Body Needs More Folic Acid:

The subtle art of our body is to provide you with a hint of folic acid scarcity, which can be confusing and most of the time we mistake it for a consequence of having a stressful life than to dig deeper to find the underlying cause.

According to our modern daily lifestyle, having a balanced diet is somewhat of a joke and also needs lots of maintenance which we cannot afford.

However, the deficiency of folic acid can cause such a distressful situation that distracts you by pointing out the other direction and ultimately we end up receiving no solution at all.

Folic acid deficiency can cause mental as well as physical problems which if given indulgence, will surely take over your whole life. Let us examine carefully here.

1. Cognitive Problems:

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 behavior rotates around your daily life.

Folic acid is extremely important for the central nervous system to function properly. Thus, scarcity of folic acid can stir up depression, make your memory weak and it can seriously damage your concentration.

The power of folic acid is so strong on our central nervous system that an insufficient intake of folic acid for a long period of time can be the root cause of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

While mental health issues should be treated with proper care and caution, the importance of having a balanced diet cannot be overlooked in any mental health issues.

And among most of the vitamins, folic acid is the main villain that possesses power over the function of our nervous system. 

2. Body Ache:

Along with various cognitive issues, folic acid can be the cause of your regular headaches which you thought, were happening due to sleep problems or stress.

The deficiency of folic acid eventually breaks off the supply of oxygen to our brain and it causes severe headaches as the arteries of the brain swells up. 

Also, the insufficient supply of oxygen to different parts of our body can cause body pain in other parts of our body as well such as leg cramps.

3. 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 chest as well.

In general, shortness of breath is not considered to be a major sign of deficiency of folic acid. However, if shortness of breath is accompanied by any other signs, it should be properly treated as a deficiency of folic acid in our body.

4 Stomach Issues:

An upset tummy is something no one really welcomes in their life with open hands. Severe digestive problems including stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, or nausea are not only the sign of intake of junk food but also a red signal to have more folic acid concentrated food on a daily basis.

Folic acid plays a direct role in all the digestive issues that we face and with the right amount of folic acid included in our diet, we can prevent that quite easily.

However, if untreated, this can lead to severe weight loss within a span of a few months.

ALSO READ: 12 Life Dangerous Bedtime Habits that You Should Always Avoid

5.Weakness and Sore Mouth:

Although this might sound 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 hemoglobin and hemoglobin keeps our energy level intact. This can also cause fatigue and turn our skin pale. 

Also, frequent sore in the mouth is a very clear signal of deficiency of folic acid in our body. Sore in the mouth, swollen tongue are mostly caused 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.

Our tongue swelling up is the first symptom of folate deficiency while losing the sense of taste is the second.

ALSO READ: 10 Best Home Remedies for Anemia

7. Hand Numbness:

Hand numbness or a continuous tingling feeling in your hand is another very prominent sign of folate deficiency which we usually ignore most of the times.

Not only hand, but the numbness can also be felt at feet and other extremities of our body.

While the stroke is usually identified with the symptoms of body part numbness, folic acid might play a major role in this case as well.

8. Glossitis:

Glossitis is the swelling of tongue due to lack of folic acid if being ignored for a long period of time.

It can occur in the case of megaloblastic anemia 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.Grey Hair:

While the unfortunate of finding grey hair at a young age is often linked to liver problems, the underlying villain could be the folic acid.

The deficiency of folic acid can turn your hair grey in no time and if the condition worsens, the situation becomes irreversible as well.

10.Growth Problems:

Folic acid interferes with the growth hormone of our body as well and plays an important role in our growth, especially for the fetus.

Thus, pregnant women are highly suggested to intake more of folic acid so that the child is not born with folate deficiency.

ALSO READ: 10 Warning Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency Anemia

11. Tinnitus and Palpitation:

Tinnitus is defined as hearing sounds coming from inside the body and this can make people develop extreme OCD behaviour along with schizophrenia.

Folate deficiency also causes palpitation which develops many cognitive problems as well such as GAD or General Anxiety Disorder.

Sources of Folic Acid:

Folic Acid or Folate belongs to the essential Vitamin B family and it is categorized as Vitamin B9 in the list of body minerals. Folic Acid takes part in developing new cells and provides nurturing nutrients to Red Blood Corpuscles.

Also, folic acid plays a major role in preventing rapid changes in DNA which in turn helps in preventing cancer as well.

The source of folic acid is quite common and we do not need to search for it and spend anything extra.

Dried beans, lentils, peas, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach are the most common food source of folic acid. Apart from these vegetables, folic acid is also present in most of the leafy green vegetables and cereals that we consume on a daily basis.

If you are not the biggest fan of the green vegetables, there are other resources from where you can consume folic acid; however, those options might not be ideal.

Eggs and beef liver are the two most important sources of folic acid. Also, papaya and banana demand to be full of vitamin B9, a fact that is ignored by most. 

foods rich in folic acids

Final Words:

While we restrict the functions of vitamins to our beauty standards, it does more than we can ever think of.

Also, the ignorance of one of such vitamins can actively misbalance our life and most of the time, we are not even aware of it. In the era of increasing mental health problems, it is not so wise to ignore the leafy green vegetables, is it? 

Dr Maria

MD Board Certified physician 8 years of experience in health care Former Naturopath at UK Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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