Folic acid (folate) is a water soluble B vitamin, essential for the maintenance and development of healthy cells. Considered an essential nutrient in the development of a fetus, pregnant women are encouraged to consume foods high in folic acid or take a supplement. A folate deficiency often goes undiagnosed because it mimics other medical conditions
Look for symptoms of anemia. Since folic acid is a B vitamin, a deficiency may cause fatigue, dizziness, pale skin and an inability to concentrate. Folate anemia results if steps to rectify the defect is unsuccessful.
Stick out your tongue in the mirror. A person with folic acid deficiency can exhibit a red tongue, which may or may not be ulcer and impair the ability to taste food. Severe folate deficiency can lead to weight loss, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, weakness and balance problems.
Consider a folic acid deficiency in those who show signs of dementia in combination with a diet low in folate. Since the body does not store this nutrient, the only way to get enough in your diet is to eat folate-rich foods or take a supplement regularly.
Scrutinize your diet when to settle a folic acid deficiency. Eat plenty of legumes, chicken, fish, citrus and whole grains. Dark green leaves are also a good source of folic acid. If your diet is lacking in these food sources, consider taking a supplement.
Tips and Warnings
Folic acid anemia is common in diets low in folate.
All pregnant women should eat folate-rich foods daily or take a folic acid supplement. Medical research indicates folic acid prevents spinal impairment loss and other debilitating conditions in newborns.
See your doctor regularly if pregnant to ensure that the child gets proper nutrition.