Folate deficiency

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Folate deficiency means you have a lower than normal amount of folic acid, a type of B vitamin, in your blood. Folic acid works with vitamin B12 and vitamin C to help the body break down, use, and make new proteins. The vitamin helps form red blood cells. It also helps produce DNA, the building block of the human body, which carries genetic information. Folic acid is a type of B vitamin. It is water-soluble, which means it is not stored in the fat tissues of the body. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. Because folate is not stored in the body in large amounts, your blood levels of folate will get low after only a few weeks of eating a diet low in folate. You can get folate by eating green leafy vegetables and liver. Causes of folate deficiency are: Diseases in which folic acid is not absorbed well, such as celiac disease (sprue) or Crohn's disease; Drinking too much alcohol; Eating overcooked food; Getting too much folic acid during the third trimester of pregnancy; Hemolytic anemia; Medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin), sulfasalazine, or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole; Poor diet (often seen in the poor, the elderly, and people who do not eat fresh fruits or vegetables).


Laboratory Test Procedures:

gray hair
weight loss
mouth sores
stunted growth
loss of appetite
shortness of breath
fast heartbeat
pale skin

Folic Acid (in red cell)
Folic Acid (in serum)
Platelet Count
Neutrophil %
Neutrophil Absolute
Reticulocyte Count
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All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information